I see that Ptarmigan Ridge was in until early August last season and the season before that (http://mountrainierconditions.blogspot. ... 11_21.html) and I was wondering if this is typical? Also, if it's climbable does that mean its still fun or should I pack a machete to hack through penitentes? I've got some time off in the late summer and I'd like to do some alpine ice somewhere and I was wondering if this is worth looking into.
I think this is fairly atypical. It usually gets climbed early season, June-July. Notice the verbiage "remarkably still in". I've attempted it in August and it was a bowling alley with huge falling rocks. Have you thought about the Canadian Rockies that time of year? NF of Robson?
No I hadn't thought about Canadian Rockies, thanks for pointing that out. I'll have to do the research on Robson to see if we can fit it into the time window, but that's probably a good place to start. We also thought about Chamonix, though getting there from NH for 7 days might be too pricey to be worth it. Thanks again!
Lots of alpine ice routes in the Candan Rockies that time of year, certainly more than the Cascades. NF Athabasca, Skyladder on Andromeda are also popular ice routes. Dow here on SP spends a lot of time there, he probably has more suggestions. Not sure how long a drive that would be from NH, from Seattle it is a long day drive.