CASCADES CONDITIONS REPORT 6/19/24

Greeting follow climbers!

This past week has showcased truly classic Pacific Northwest weather with a mixture of sunshine and rain showers (or snow showers in the mountains).  When the weather has allowed teams have been reaching the summit of peaks from the southern part of Washington (Mt Adams) to the northern part of the state (Mt Baker).  The cool, wet spring we had this year has led to glaciers being more filled in than we have observed in recent years for this time period.   As we near the summer solstice the low elevation snow is melting quickly, but the mid and upper elevation snow is staying in place which is causing phenomenal climbing conditions on glaciated peaks around the region.  Weather forecast for the remainder of the week and weekend look to bring more of the same, a classic mixture of sunny spells and snow showers at the upper elevation terrain.

Koma Kulshan (Mount Baker) & North Cascades

Mt Baker continues to prove to be an excellent training ground for mountaineering schools and climbs. Guides have been reporting the route in good condition and while it has been seeing a similar storm pattern to Rainier, the slightly lower elevation terrain is allowing for climbers to reach the summit on the vast majority of trips. Guides continue to report that the glacier is very filled in and the route is direct to the summit on both the North Side and South Side. Guides reported that the Colfax Icefall has been active lately, but the hazard can be avoided. Guides are still recommending double boots and wearing boots from the parking lot.

Tahoma (Mount Rainier)

For almost being at the summer solstice and despite a lower-than-average winter snowpack, there is still a lot of snow at Paradise.   Climbers are walking on snow from the parking and the summer trails are slowly melting out. Climbers should expect around 90% of Paradise to be snow covered. On the Muir route teams have switched traveling through the summer route to access the Muir Snowfield.   Once at Camp Muir we continue to see an impressive amount of snow from these spring storms and cooler temperatures.   The Disappointment Cleaver route is in excellent condition, remaining very direct and well established.  The Cleaver itself is 80% snow covered with defined switchbacks for climbing on.  Above the Cleaver the route continues with its direct nature and has a small crevasse step across at 13,100 ft. From 13,100 ft to the summit the route is direct and in good condition.  Over on the Kautz route we had 100% of climbers reach the summit on our most recent Kautz climb.  Guides reported the route in excellent condition. On the Emmons route, our 8 day Emmons climb reached the summit today (June 19th) with 100% of climbers making it to the top.  Guides reported the route in excellent condition and very direct.

Thank you for following up our blog, and happy climbing!

We provide a weekly conditions report. Stay tuned for next week’s update!

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Rainier/Cascades BLOG

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