Thursday, June 23, 2022

Kautz Conditions 6/22

Kautz Conditions appear to be inline with other routes on the south aspects of Mount Rainier- for the most part, routes such as the Kautz, Fuhrer Finger & Wilson Headwall all appear to be well filled in. Snow still blankets most of the steeper pitches, such as the "ice tongue" and appears planar and well connected. The rock step at Camp Hazard has a minimal drop to access the base of the ice tongue of the Kautz and should be relatively easy to navigate in both directions of travel. The Turtle snowfield is well filled in and is beginning to corn by mid morning, although climbers may encounter post-holing if they are ascending later in the day. 

The lower crossing of the Nisqually is also well filled in and minimal crevasses are visible. This being said, temperatures are forecasted to remain warm and sunny. Use caution when navigating a crossing as crevasse bridges may soften, leading for higher potential for a crevasse fall. 

Lots of older, but surprisingly large wet-loose avalanche debris exists from prior shed cycles and activity should act as reminders for climbers and skiers alike to heed warning about the possibility for avalanches. We are just cresting into our first real warmup of the season. We have received lots of snow this spring- that mixed with more warm and sunny weather presents the potential for more Wet snow related avalanches in the upcoming weeks.

A view of the mountain from the Lower Nisqually
crossing below Glacier Vista.
A view of the Kautz Glacier from the rock step at Camp Hazard