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2004 Backcountry Trip Reports => March 2004 Backcountry Trip Reports => Topic started by: Amar Andalkar on 03/12/04, 02:47 AM



Title: March 11, 2004, Mt Rainier, Van Trump Glaciers
Post by: Amar Andalkar on 03/12/04, 02:47 AM
With a forecast for clear weather and 8000-10000 ft freezing levels, it was again time to search for some good south-facing winter corn. David Coleman and I skinned up from the Christine Falls TH, with 2-3 ft of snow at the TH and continuous snow on the trail except for a couple of 10-foot sections. Within minutes we reached the washed out bridge above Christine Falls and so we headed up along the W side of the creek to Rampart Ridge and then into Van Trump Park. We cautiously traversed a steep SE slope at 5600 ft (lots of recent avy debris, including a major slide from earlier this week) into the Van Trump Creek valley and then out the right side near 6200 ft to rejoin the standard Van Trump Glaciers route. The snow below tree line (5400 ft) was unconsolidated mush, but above tree line there was a firm supportive crust topped by thin layer of softening corn. Nice! We skinned up to 8500 ft, the snow became slightly less consolidated higher up (i.e. closer to recent freezing levels). We skied down around 3 pm, above timberline the descent was quite fine, a patchwork of firnspiegel and soft corn, slightly sticky but nothing to complain about. Perfect for big GS turns. Below 6500 ft, we set off lots of roller balls on the steep SW slopes, but snow stability was generally good with no wet sluffs or slabs. Back down in the forest, conditions were challenging and turning was very difficult, but we figured out the trick of making very lengthy downhill traverses connected by turns only at the ends, and so we had fun anyway.  Skied back out to the front bumper of the car before 5 pm, finishing off a fine 5000 vft day.

Amar Andalkar
www.skimountaineer.com (http://www.skimountaineer.com/)


Title: Re: March 11, 2004, Mt Rainier, Van Trump Glaciers
Post by: alpentalcorey on 03/12/04, 08:35 AM
Nice report!  How about a photo?  

I know you've got one....     ;)


Title: Re: March 11, 2004, Mt Rainier, Van Trump Glaciers
Post by: Skinut on 03/12/04, 03:23 PM
We saw you  starting up the trail as we were driving by to ski to Cowlitz Rocks. You are animals! :D


Title: Re: March 11, 2004, Mt Rainier, Van Trump Glaciers
Post by: Amar Andalkar on 03/12/04, 08:22 PM
Sorry Corey, no photos exist . . . I realized near Puyallup that I had forgotten my digicam at home, way too late to turn around and get it. First time that's happened, a real bummer, especially because the last time I skied in that area was in early 1997, also without a camera. So I may have to head up to Van Trump again this spring, just to get some good shots.

Skinut, how were snow conditions near Cowlitz Rocks?


Title: Re: March 11, 2004, Mt Rainier, Van Trump Glaciers
Post by: Walt on 03/22/04, 12:20 PM
Anyone suggest or have beta on doing this tour from the Nisqually Bridge? I'm planning on making the trip from PDX soon.

tia  ;D


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