Forum Index > Trail Talk > Tahoma Cr. trail damaged by glacial outburst
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olderthanIusedtobe
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PostFri Aug 09, 2019 8:23 am 
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Geologist w/ MRNP says the trail is impassable.

https://www.google.com/url?sa=t&rct=j&q=&esrc=s&source=web&cd=7&cad=rja&uact=8&ved=2ahUKEwjc0q3DmfbjAhWLilQKHU9UD94QFjAGegQIARAB&url=https%3A%2F%2Fwww.seattletimes.com%2Fseattle-news%2Fenvironment%2Fmassive-boulders-floodwater-rush-down-mount-rainier-after-glacial-outburst%2F&usg=AOvVaw2T3s7dfz1YJgaiO48Z6Q2O
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flatsqwerl
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PostFri Aug 09, 2019 9:14 am 
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Cool. Can't wait to hike it there and check out mother nature. I guess that one nice springy log for crossing the river is gone now! haha!
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slabbyd
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PostFri Aug 09, 2019 12:27 pm 
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Westside Road currently closed to all access due to "increased possibility of glacial outburst".   Ranger was just hanging out at gate.
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flatsqwerl
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PostFri Aug 09, 2019 12:36 pm 
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crap...
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neek
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PostFri Aug 09, 2019 2:37 pm 
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NPS news release with link to pics
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MojaveGeek
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PostMon Sep 16, 2019 6:04 am 
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Bumping this.   Anyone been out there?  A few photos on a WTA TR post suggest the beginning of the trail is pretty trashed but that doesn't mean the rest is.   Or does it?  Was thinking of going in to Emerald Ridge early next week.   There are longer routes that avoid Tahoma Creek of course, and I realize that I may just have to wait till I'm out there and figure it out myself.
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slabbyd
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PostMon Sep 16, 2019 7:22 am 
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A geologist might be different but if we all had quarters for every time a ranger said something was impassable....... dizzy.gif
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drm
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PostMon Sep 16, 2019 3:34 pm 
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Quote:
a sudden and significant change in the primary outlet stream from the terminus of the South Tahoma Glacier.

Which sounds like there was some accumulation of meltwater that was stuck on/in/under the glacier and suddenly managed to break out/through whatever was holding it back.
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Sore Feet
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PostMon Sep 16, 2019 5:00 pm 
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"Impassable" on the Tahoma Creek trail usually means the creek has shifted over to the north side of the flood plain about a quarter mile in, and blocked any viable path to reach the rest of the trail without a double ford (because there aren't usually any logs in there).

Part of the creek was already being diverted into Fish Creek via a small channel that passes under the road at a culvert at the first switchback where it starts climbing up to Round Pass, immediately before where the Tahoma Creek trail starts.  If that culvert didn't blow out (I would be surprised if it didn't), I imagine the creek probably wiped out a chunk of the trail in that first 300-500 yard stretch too.

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BarbE
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PostTue Sep 17, 2019 8:43 am 
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BTW-The West Side road was repaired and is in excellent condition when we hiked it at the end of August. WTA is doing much needed work on the beautiful South Puyallup River Trail leading to the Wonderland trail. I highly recommend this route leading to stunning St Andrews/Klapatche Park scenery.

Tahoma Glacier views from Tokaloo Rock
Tahoma Glacier views from Tokaloo Rock
St Andrews Lake
St Andrews Lake
Tokaloo Rock and Spire from St Andrews Lake
Tokaloo Rock and Spire from St Andrews Lake
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MojaveGeek
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PostThu Sep 19, 2019 5:29 am 
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Yes, was just looking at the area around St. Andrews, the lake and BM above it, via South Puyallup Tr.   Long day hike for me though.  May go for Emerald Ridge via South Puyallup instead of Pyramid Pk via Tahoma Creek Tr, though I can look for boot tracks around the TH to see if it's being used.   If the trail damage is only near the TH, may be worth pushing through as it saves a bunch of distance, but don't relish a couple of fords if that is what's awaiting up trail.   I'll call the backcountry office but as said upthread, I would not put much weight on ranger advice unless it was positive; been burned too many times.
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MojaveGeek
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PostThu Oct 10, 2019 7:19 am 
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So I went up the West Side Rd. on Sunday, with a goal of Emerald Ridge and maybe a bit further off trail to the next higher bump on the ridge.  I nosed around the beginning of the Tahoma Creek Trail, saw signs of the debris flow, but the initial bits of the trail seemed pretty obvious to me (I've never been on it before).   But I had a long enough day planned that I feared if I went too far up the trail and had to turn back, I'd not get anywhere fun at all, so instead I walked up the road, to the Round Pass Trail, South Puyallup Trail, and then Wonderland to Emerald Ridge.  I did not have time to go further (walked the last half mile with headlamp on the return) but it sure is a beautiful spot!

While up there I ran into a ranger who said he met a "runner" who had come up Tahoma Creek, and then climbed a few local summits.  (Copper / Iron?  I had been considering such a trip as well).   This suggests that the trail is passable, at least to some.

I debated going down that way (saves about 2.4 miles) but thought it most prudent with the late day timing not to venture down into the questionable trail and risk having to thrash around in the dark.    Instead I gave myself an hour at Emerald Ridge for a leisurely lunch and watching the little cloud dance around the summit.  It is a really beautiful place.
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Forum Index > Trail Talk > Tahoma Cr. trail damaged by glacial outburst
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