Trip Report    

Alpine Scramble - Success Cleaver

Stunning solitary views on the SW aspect of Mount Rainier. A two day journey to 8000’ on the Success Cleaver.

  • Road suitable for all vehicles
  • The South Tahoma Creek Trail is its usual unmaintained self (not much degraded from last year).  Continuous snow begins at ~4400’, and the Wonderland Trail stream crossing/snow bridge at ~4840’ is spicy (fairly solid on Saturday, but significant degradation by Sunday, might be best to avoid for a week or two):


    Snow melt has created an opening in the snow cover near Mirror Lakes such that running water is available there, as well as puddles near Point 6631.

 This was originally a Basic Glacier Island traverse/carry-over of the South Tahoma Glacier.  After seeing extra broken up glacier conditions at the ~8000’ level (viewed from 6631’ just north of Pyramid Peak) we decided to abandon the traverse and switch to type 1 fun: leisurely camping at Point 6631 plus a 2nd day scramble with ~2000’ of gain:


The Success Cleaver to 8000’ is a wonderful mixed snow/rock scramble, with lots of route finding practice (choosing between snow on the east side versus rock/talus/pumice on the crest):


ending in a palatial camping area used by climbing parties (not us on this trip ;):


with great plunge stepping/glissading on the descent back to camp:


On Saturday ascent to camp at 6631’ was 6 hours from the cars.  The following day saw ~2 hours to 8000’, with under an hour back down to camp.  For our our 5.5 hour return to the cars on Sunday we were throughly baked by high temps and calm conditions.  A great workout with a trip total of ~6000’ of elevation gain over ~14 miles, most of it with overnight packs.  Photos from this (and other) trip(s) to this venue can be seen here