|Descending The Corridor with Sun On The Rise. May 26, 2018
The Emmons-Winthrop route is climbing well. The route is in typical condition from Camp Schurman to the top of The Corridor. Above there, a few opening cracks present navigational challenges from 12,000’ to 12,500’ along the north (right) side of the Alpine Meadows (the lower-angle area above The Corridor). There are many tracks in this area that lead to hollow and thin crevasse crossings around 12,500. There are currently no safe crossings along the 12,500’ crevasse except on its north end on the Winthrop Shoulder. Above this crevasse, the upper route is fairly straightforward with variable surface snow conditions. The uppermost portion of the route traverses along climber's right side of the bergschrund towards Liberty Saddle on large fins of snow and ice that are visible from Camp Schurman. The route then rallies to the saddle and, eventually, the summit itself.
The climbing route is not wanded, nor well traveled at this point. Come prepared with navigation tools (GPS, altimeter, map/compass) and the skills to use them. It won't take much snow to obscure the nascent bootpack on the route.
|Large and wild glacial fins near the Bergschrund on the Emmons-Winthrop.
Although many parties come to this side of the mountain intent on a ski descent, the route is not in good condition for skiing. Cold and variable snow, replete with wind textured surfaces (e.g. sastrugi) exist above 12,000’ - the East Northeast aspect hasn't been getting the same melt-freeze cycles as the South side. The surface is frequently a mix of breakable wind crust and very firm wind packed snow. Don’t expect the snow surface to soften above 12,000 feet, especially given the low freezing levels forecast for this week. Make conservative decisions when considering skiing the Emmons route –what would be an insignificant fall in a ski resort can easily cascade into an unstoppable slide into an open crevasse. Don’t be afraid to stash skis at lower elevations for use on the descent.
|Ice fins and opening crevasses on the upper Emmons-Winthrop route.
|Track Log of the Emmons-Winthrop Route on May 26, 2018