Thursday, August 09, 2018

Emmons Update 8/6/18

The Emmons Glacier route was continuing to be climbed through the weekend of 8/6/18. The route from Camp Schurman to the summit was in similar condition to the last blog post. A major junction at 13,300 feet (below the bergschrund) trends right and out to the Winthrop Saddle before climbing up the last 800 feet to the summit. Don't be suckered into climbing directly over the bergshrund by the old bootpack -- the bridge is thin, wide, and incredibly consequential if it fails. Walk the long way to Winthrop Saddle!

Current Track of the Emmons Route. 8/6/2018

Conditions directly above Camp Schurman and up to around 11,200' seem to be some of most hazardous on the route. Not much snow exists above the glacial ice in many locations and this leads to "punchy" conditions as you are forced to navigate through a sea of holes. Rangers observed and responded to a visitor crevasse fall between Camp Schurman and Emmons Flats as a team was working their way through this section. The route that you take in the cold morning hours may not be the way you want to return. Use caution and attempt stay on the grey glacial ice where possible.

Crevasse maze above Camp Schurman. Camp is in the lower left.

The upper mountain above, 12000 feet, is continuing to hold together. Many of the large crevasses require end-running and the passable crevasse bridges are becoming hollow. Rangers found that the majority of cracks had more than one possible crossing. Assess your options for the most solid crossing--it may not be where the major boot pack takes you.
Climbers descending from the Winthrop Saddle back to the 13300' route junction.

Climbers returning to camp as a thunderstorm approaches.
Inter Glacier:
The approach to Camp Schurman on the Inter Glacier is continuing to become more and more crevassed. As warm weather continues and bridges continue to thin, traveling as a roped team is recommended on the Inter Glacier.

Glissading is strongly discouraged due to icy and crevassed conditions.
View of the upper Inter Glacier from Mount Ruth. Climbers path proceeds up the center.