August has been an amazing month of clear skies and calm winds across the Cascade crest. We look to remain in similar pattern with possibly a small impulse of light off-shore systems providing low level cloud and cooling temperatures. Here is a link to the general forecast for the Cascades. Generally climbing conditions across the state are phenomenal largely due to the abundant amount of snowfall this winter and spring. At this time we anticipate good climbing conditions through the end of September on all Cascade peaks.
With the prolonged dry period we are starting to get reports of small wildfires in the Cascades. Recently there was a small wildfire reported in the Chilliwack/Hannegan Pass area. All recreationalist should take adequate measure to prevent forest fires. Here is a video from one of our co-works talking about forest fires.
Mount Rainier (Tahoma)
At this time teams are making the ascent to the summit only via the Disappointment Cleaver route through Camp Muir. The trail to the Muir Snowfield is snow free and there is a good track up the Muir snowfield. The climbing route from Camp Muir to High Camp is well established, there are a few crevasses crossing along the way. On the upper mountain above High Camp, there are several adjunctions (ladders) in place to aid climbers in the ascent- the first being out of high camp at 11,400ft. The cleaver is snow free and climbers are following the summer route on the rock. Above the cleaver, the route is direct with a few switchbacks and another ladder crossing at 13,100. The remainder of the route to Columbia Crest is direct and well established.
Komo Kulshan (Mt. Baker)- We have seen little change over past couple week. The mountain is climbed daily via the Coleman Deming (CD), Easton, and Squak glaciers. The Schreiber’s Meadow trailhead to access the Easton Glacier is snow free all the way to Sandy Camp. Above Sandy Camp the mountain is still fully snow covered. Currently guide teams are reporting excellent climbing conditions on the upper mountain with a well established track on the Easton and Roman headwalls.
On the North side of the mountain, FS Road 39 is still closed due to the washout at mile 3.8. Trails are dry to Hogsback camp just below 6,000 ft on the North side.
North Cascades- Teams continue to explore the North Cascades, with successful Shuksan summits via both the Sulfide Glacier and Fisher Chimneys. Guides are reporting the summit pyramid of Shuksan to be a mix of snow and rock with excellent alpine climbing conditions. Teams have been climbing the SE ridge to reach the summit of Shuksan. We recently had a team summit Forbidden Peak and reported great conditions. Climbers are currently accessing the West Ridge via the Cat Scratch Gullies. The small pocket glacier below the large South Face of Forbidden has not yet released.
Climbing in Washington Pass is snow free now and boots/crampons/ice axe are no longer needed.
While our Rainier and Baker climbs have been the spotlight of our season thus far, we have launched our Glacier and Olympus climbs over the past weeks. Although there are still large amounts of snow in the North Cascades, teams highlight the beautiful conditions prevailing the Pacific Northwest with many successful summits. With the sun continuing to shine, we’ll be out frolicking and picking blueberries!’