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Trip Report    

Alpine Scramble - Goat Island Mountain (Mount Rainier)

Island in a sky full of clouds. Fresh snow, lots of animal tracks.

  • Road suitable for all vehicles
  • Trail in excellent shape.

    Continuous snow at the bridge at 5200'. (Low snow year.)

    We crossed the (braids of) Fryingpan Creek at ~6,000. Water low enough here to keep boots dry.

    S face looked to be snow-free up to ~6,800. (We did not go this way.)

    We were intending for this to be a snow scramble, so went nearly the entire way to the headwaters of Fryingpan Creek, and walked virtually the entire W ridge of the mountain, which was about 75% snow-covered.

     

Trip was originally intended to be Mt Ruth. There was an intense storm 1 & 2 days prior to the trip, which raised concerns about avalanche risk, so we changed to Goat Island Mtn, taking the long counterclockwise route to near the headwaters of Fryingpan Creek, then up the W ridge of the mountain.

Avalanche concerns about large snowfall & wind-driven snow from the storm proved to be unfounded; there was only about 2" fresh snow in most places. Temp was close to 50F at the summit; about 20F warmer than forecast.

Weather was mostly cloudy in morning, but opened up to mostly sunny in afternoon, triggering avalanches on Little Tahoma & Mt Ruth at snow/rock interfaces on steep terrain (>50 degrees).

Clouds opened up & were swirling around the local peaks. Got intermittent but great views of Mt Rainier, Little Tahoma & Emmons Glacier. Turned out to be outstanding day.

Snow conditions at 5400'.Snow conditions at 5400'.

Creek-crossing conditions at 6000'.

Summit conditions.

 

Lots of animal tracks in fresh snow.

Black bear

Chipmunk

Marten

Mountain Goat

Pika

Marmot

 

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