The Kautz Glacier hasn't seen any recent activity. The last climbers on route climbed in mid-August and with winter-like weather in early-October climbers can expect off-season conditions until May 2017.
Thursday, August 11th
The two following pictures were taken via helicopter on Thursday the eleventh. The ice tongue involves multiple pitches of glacial alpine ice. The upper section is still navigable, but with thinning snow bridges due to the recent warm weather and high pressure.
Sunday, July 25th
Current conditions as of 7/24/2016
|View of the approach from Glacier Vista|
|View of the Fan as of 7/23/2016|
|GPS approach track 7/23/2016|
|Climber approaching the Castle high camp|
The approach to the Kautz Glacier is in good condition. The Fan is still being used by most but is melting out fast. Access through Van Trump Park will be the best approach to use after the fan melts out. It has more elevation gain approx. 1,800 but is far less hazardous or prone to rock fall. Something to consider as summer presses on.
|Climber starting the upper ice pitch.|
|Rock step down the the Kautz Glacier at 11,200|
|Climber on lower ice pitch|
|GPS track of Kautz Glacier route as of 7/24/2016|
|Upper ice pitch condition as of 7/24/2016|
The climbing is in great summer condition. The Lower and upper ice pitches have multiple lines to ascend depending on your flavor. The glacier travel above the ice is still very manageable with many options for crossing over opening crevasses.
|View of the climbing route from Wapowety Cleaver|
Sunday, July 3rd
Despite the busy weekend around the Park, climbing rangers found themselves nearly alone on the approach to the Kautz glacier. Although July is already upon us, most people are still approaching the Kautz from Paradise/lower Nisqually rather than the Commit Falls trail. Even though there are a number of cracks beginning to open up on the Nisqually crossing, they remain small and easily navigated. Currently, the approach up to the Castle and the higher camps at the base of the route are fairly straightforward.
Unfortunately, climbing rangers were unable to push up the route due to sustained 60 mph winds on the route last night and through today. There appears to still be a fair bit of snow on the route keeping the actual pitches of ice climbing somewhat shorter than compared to later in the summer. Guide services have reported that the upper Kautz is quite smooth and straightforward as it traverses across to the Wapowety cleaver and up to the Crater Rim.
Wednesday, April 20th
Current photos of the route. More to come soon.
For 2015 route conditions and information follow this link: Kautz Glacier 2015
|Lower Kautz Glacier|