Sunday, June 04, 2017

Emmons-Winthrop 6/4/17

Sunset Panorama taken from Camp Schurman June 3, 2017 Photo: NPS Reade

The Emmons-Winthrop conditions are currently very good. Climbing Rangers Reade and Waterfall summitted via the route today (06/04).

From Camp Schurman the route ascends directly to Emmons Flats without difficulty. Just a couple hundred feet above the Flats it angles over to the Corridor on a large snow bridge. That bridge should last for the rest of June at a minimum. The climbing on the Corridor is very straight-forward, there are just a few small crevasses to avoid. There is no single boot path to follow though as climbers have ascended all over the Corridor trying to find the most efficient line.

At the top of the Corridor (~11,300') the route moves right through some rapidly opening crevasses. In the coming days and weeks this will probably become a difficult passage. After this tight passage the route continues to traverse right out onto the Winthrop (~12,200'). Once on the Winthrop the various boot tracks come together into a more coherent trail, mostly because you are forced to cross several large crevasses well out to the climbers right.

That said, it is a pretty straight shot up after 12,200'. Passing the bergschrund is still relatively simple and the only difference that you note when climbing through it is that the slope angle increases by about 10 degrees. All in all the route is in great shape.

Of note for skiers the top 2000' feet of the route has not been softening well with our recent high winds and many skiers are making the wise decision to down climb from the summit until they reach softer snow.

-Rangers Reade and Waterfall

Ranger Reade Descends the upper Winthrop Glacier. Photo: NPS Waterfall