Whitman Crest/Fryingpan Glacier

The climb takes one through mature forest, an open valley and the subalpine meadows of Summerland providing spectacular views of Mount Rainier and Little Tahoma. It then takes you up to an even more spectaular highpoint which is surrounded by crevassed glaciers.


Drive southeast from Enumclaw on SR 410 to White River Entrance of Mount Rainier National Park, entrance fee required. Register for climb here at the ranger station. About 3 mi from White River Entrance, park just beyond the Fryingpan Creek Bridge at 3,900 ft. See map below.


Hike up trail (snow covered early in season) along Fryingpan Creek. The large meadow below Meany Crest is an environmentally sensitive area and should NOT be crossed if it is free of snow. Skirt the meadow to the left — beyond Summerland Campground to attain Meany Crest (7,000+ ft). On Meany Crest, just before the Fryingpan Glacier, there is a huge camp spot with leveled sites and some rock walled sites. Be prepared to melt snow for water. If there are more than five in the party, you will have to camp on the nearby glacier, i.e. on snow.


From Meany Crest proceed up Fryingpan Glacier.  Aim to notch southeast (climber’s left) of 9,323 ft highpoint of Whitman Crest.  From camp it is a 232-degree true north  bearing to the notch, but crevasses will impede direct progress.  Observe crevasses in map below in your planning process. From notch, scramble to summit which is marked on the map below.


Descend the climbing route.


  • This climb qualifies as a Basic Glacier Climb only after September 15 in each year.  The highly crevassed conditions then make it as interesting as longer glacier routes early in the summer. 
  • Suitable Activities: Climbing
  • Climbing Category: Basic Alpine
  • Seasons: July, August, September, October
  • Weather: View weather forecast.
  • Difficulty: Basic Glacier Climb
  • Length: 14.5 mi
  • Elevation Gain: 5,400 ft
  • 9,323 ft
  • Land Manager: Mount Rainier National Park
  • Parking Permit Required: National Park Entrance Fee
  • Recommended Party Size: 12
  • Maximum Party Size: 12
  • USGS Mt Rainier East
  • Green Trails Mount Rainier Wonderland No. 269S

Upcoming Activities

Glacier Climb - Whitman Crest/Fryingpan Glacier

Climbing Trip
A fun one day glacier climb with great views of the Rainier area.
Difficulty: Basic Glacier Climb
Sat, Aug 11, 2018
Prerequisites, Leader's Permission Required
2 participants 1 leader
Registration opens Jul 16
Seattle Branch

Glacier Climb - Whitman Crest/Fryingpan Glacier

Climbing Trip
Mentored Glacier Lead for Doug Hansen. Please do not contact until 8/1/2018. Open to Olympia
Difficulty: Basic Glacier Climb
Sun, Sep 16, 2018
Prerequisites, Leader's Permission Required
4 participants 0 leaders
Registration opens Aug 1
Olympia Branch

Glacier Climb - Whitman Crest/Fryingpan Glacier

Climbing Trip
A late season one day glacier climb with spectacular views of Rainier and Tahoma.
Difficulty: Basic Glacier Climb
Sat, Sep 22, 2018
1 participant 0 leaders
Registration opens Sep 4
Seattle Branch
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