Exploring the east side of Mount Rainier in winter

Statistics

5 - 6

hrs

1,063

m

1,062

m

65

max┬░

Difficulty

FATMAP difficulty grade

Difficult

Description

The Sarvant Glacier area is possibly one of the list visited places within Mount Rainier National Park.

Being that there are no trails going within the Wright Creek area during the late Spring your access would have to be from Fryingpan Gap.

My experiences have been during the dead of Winter so heading up the valley was the easy part, crossing Fryingpan Creek was always the crux.

But with enough snow and a little bit of luck we were always able to find a way and as a reward we would have wide open North facing slopes with a whole valley all to ourselves.

Below is the description of our experience heading into this isolated area. Like everything based off of the White River during the winter we would start our trip at Crystal mountain Boulevard before arriving at Fryingpan Creek.

Making our way onto the Fryingpan Creek trail after a few minutes we would skin over to the banks of the river and start looking for the best route across.

Usually there was a fallen tree that would make a nice bridge then a few well placed jumps and before long the stress was over and we would be on the Eastern side. After passing the Tamanos avalanche swaths a little bit further along the banks there will be a stream heading down to Fryingpan Creek, this is Wright Creek.

Staying on the lookers left side we started heading up the Old Growth Forest until finding ourselves in a massive basin.

What started as a Northeast climb bends to the Northwest and a straightforward climb for the rest of the route.

Keep climbing the flats of the valley and before long you are standing on the Sarvant Glacier.

From here just keep gaining elevation until you arrive at a small notch where you can transition. Standing on top of the Sarvant Glacier col you can just retrace your skin track or we found a nice little chute by heading skiers right.

The most important part of this route is to loosely follow the skin track back down as you will have to cross Fryingpan creek once again.

Knowing that you have a good route to make it across without wet feet can make the difference between a perfect day or a sufferfest. To see my trip in the area and more photos check out this link https://www.whereiskylemiller.com/mt-rainier/sarvant-glacier/