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Whitman Crest and Ohanapecosh Basecamp

Mount Rainier National Park

Making the most out of a long weekend exploring the Ohanapecosh area

Ski Touring Difficult

40 km
3.4 km
3.4 km
1 day +
Low Point
1.2 km
High Point
2.8 km
Whitman Crest and Ohanapecosh Basecamp Map

Whitman Crest is one of those places that skis great well after most places have melted out. Being that it is a high point just below Little Tahoma this ski tour offers some amazing views of the whole Eastern Side of Mount Rainier. While most of the time people climb this route then retrace it during the descent we were looking to do something different. Wanting to take some time exploring the area we decided to set up a basecamp within the Ohanapecosh zone. If you choose to turn this into a camping trip make sure to get permits from the White River Ranger Station. Below is a description of that trip.


Starting off at the Fryingpan Creek trailhead make your way up the well established trail. After passing by some of the most beautiful forests in the park you will make it into the upper basin. Staying on said trail there is a bridge that crossing Fryingpan Creek and with a bit of elevation gained you will soon be in an area referred to as Summerland. From here keep heading Southeast slowly gaining elevation and before long you will be at Fryingpan Gap. Start heading southwest into the Ohanapecosh valley where if you are doing an overnight trip this is the perfect spot to set up camp.

Being in the Ohanapecosh valley start heading northwest where the gentle slopes allowing you to get onto the ridge. Keep gaining elevation working with the mellow angled slopes of the Whitman Glacier before reaching Whitman Crest. Standing up top start descending Southeast and before long you will get into a semi steep headwall that brings you into the gut of Ohanapecosh River. Now it is time to enjoy fall line turns until arriving on the flats known as Indian Bar.

Climbing back up is relatively easy as we loosely followed the Wonderland trail north staying on the ridge. Getting to the top of the mid elevation bowl it is a nice open slope which allows for a great decent until arriving on the mellower slopes below. Now it is time to head West back up to the ridge you had ascended earlier but instead of heading North make your way Southeast to another sub summit. Now drop into the North slopes before retracing your route back into the higher slopes of Ohanapecosh where for us we had camp waiting.

The next morning we had a bit of time to spare so we skinned up to Banshee Peak to take in the views before riding back to camp and packing up. Now it is time to head back up and over Fryingpan Gap and once descending make a hard traverse to the skiers left. Getting back into Summerland there is a little bit of flats up high but with a few steps you are back on the board and can get back to the trail riding down to the bridge. Follow the trail back down the valley and soon enough you will arrive back at the Fryingpan Creek Trailhead

To see my trip in the area and more photos check out this link https://www.whereiskylemiller.com/mt-rainier/whitman-crest/



Serious gradient of 30-38 degrees where a real risk of slipping exists.

Medium Exposure (E2)

2 out of 4

As well as the slope itself, there are some obstacles (such as rock outcrops) which could aggravate injury.


3 out of 4

Little chance of being seen or helped in case of an accident.

Best time to visit

between March and June


  • Bowl
  • Face
  • Alpine
  • Ski Safari
  • Ski Mountaineering

Equipment required

  • Skins
  • Crampons

Similar routes nearby

Guidebooks in this area