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Trip Report    

Basic Glacier Climb - Whitman Crest/Fryingpan Glacier

Route to Whitman Crest is in good shape. Snow free campsite and running water nearby. Direct route on Fryingpan Glacier with no open crevasses.

  • Road suitable for all vehicles
  • The route is in good shape. Some key notes:

    • The trail is snow free until the Fryingpan Creek crossing.
    • The Fryingpan Creek crossing is now uneventful. A new log bridge has been installed over the diverted section of the creek. This must have happened at some point between 6/28  (WTA TR) and 7/6.
    • There is some lingering snow and snow bridges on parts of the trail between the creek crossing and Summerland.
    • The meadow at Summerland is snow free. We encountered a Ranger who reminded us to spread out as we travelled through the meadow.
    • Between the meadow and the bowl below Meany Crest, the slope is covered in snow but we punched through to the underlying rock multiple times. Some of the group preferred to travel on rock where possible.
    • Between the bowl and the campsite above Meany Crest, the slope is covered in snow. Stay away from the ridge to avoid punching through.
    • The campsite is completely snow free. It is extremely spacious and there is a running water at the base of the glacier. 
    • The route over Fryingpan Glacier to Whitman Crest has no open crevasses but there is obvious sagging. 
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Happy summitters

  • Our team of 11 met at South Renton P&R at 6:15am on Saturday and we arrived at the White River Wilderness Information Center at 8am. You do not need a timed entry reservation if you can show a wilderness permit reservation. This TR outlines the information you should collect from your team ahead of time to make the permit pickup smooth.
  • Summerland has a group campsite which is a nice large spot in the shade to take a break. But be careful about barging in if a group has reserved it. There is a nearby creek to filter water.
  • After a good 7+ hours of rest, we departed from camp at 3am on Sunday hoping to be at the summit by sunrise. We succeeded!
  • We traversed the glacier to the saddle south of Whitman Crest and then unroped. We left packs and ropes at the saddle but kept crampons and ice axes to ascend north along the ridge. The ridge is mostly rock but some of it can be bypassed by traversing the snow on the east side of the ridge.
  • We returned to the trailhead before noon on Sunday. We stopped for food at Frankie's Pizza in Enumclaw which was perfect for our large group.

Approximate moving times


  • TH to Summerland: 2h25m
  • Summerland to base of bowl below Meany Crest: 1h20m
  • Base of bowl to campsite (including short stop at Meany Crest): 55m


  • Campsite to summit: 2h15m
  • Saddle to campsite: 1h15m
  • Campsite to Summerland: 1h10m
  • Summerland to TH: 1h35m
Fryingpan Creek crossing

Meadow at Summerland

View of campsite on the way back from filtering water

Route (center to right) across Fryingpan Glacier

Ridge traverse from saddle