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Little T²

Following my unsuccessful climb of Little Tahoma with Chris and Jon, I was excited to have another go at it when Craig mentioned the idea. After sorting out some partner shenanigans Craig and I decided to meet Dan and Kristen for an attempt from the east, via the Fryingpan Glacier. For reasons beyond my imagination, the good folks at the national park service have limited the number of camping permits for the entire Little Tahoma zone, an area covering two or three large glaciers, to two parties. So, while they are happy to accommodate 110 people at Camp Muir, 48 at Camp Sherman, 36 at the Ingraham Flats, and countless others all over Rainier, if you happen to be the fifth person to ask for a permit for all of the Whitman and Fryingpan Glaciers, you might just be out of luck.

Craig hates his skis

Such was almost the case for Craig and I. Assisted by ranger Arlington Ashby (is that not the greatest name for a ranger ever?), we were told all the permits were taken. I suggested that perhaps we could be put on the permit of our “friend” Greg, who we had attempted to coordinate with before leaving with no success. He had obtained a permit and, with some minor cajoling, we talked our way onto his permit. Just then Dan and Kristen showed up, and we tried to get them onto said permit, further exasperating Mr. Ashby. Agreeing that we would stick together and act as a party, they were added and we set off.

Me crossing the river. Photo by Craig

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Cruising Baker

With a forecast for Bleh, Ava, Josh, Kris and I set out for Mount Baker, our sights set on the Easton Glacier. Skis in hand we walked the road lined with many, many cars. Not quite reaching the trailhead we donned skis and soon passed a large group of Kitsap Mountaineers, at least one of whom was wearing his harness and helmet from the car. Safety first.

Joji and Kris approaching camp

Roughly following the myriad snowmobile tracks we skinned through Schreiber’s Meadow to gain a railroad grade-like stream bed. I didn’t know it was actually called Railroad Grade Trail, and commented that it appeared as though there could be a road grade under all the snow. Little did I know…

The ants go marching

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Little Tahoma attempt

I went out for the weekend with Jon Toner and Chris Moorehead. Our objective: Little Tahoma via the East Face.  Otherwise known as that little bump on the east shoulder of Rainier, Little T is the third highest peak in Washington (depending on which source you consult) and is a pretty decent mountain in it’s own right, although it possesses an exceedingly different character than its larger neighbor.

Opting for the early/winter season approach from Paradise, Jon and I set out for Chris’ house in the wee hours, only to realize that neither of us could remember how to get there. As Chris wasn’t answering his phone, we took a slight detour through ALL of West Seattle before finally remembering that he lives down near the airport. Off to a good start.

Jon and me skinning not far from the truck. Photo by Chris

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