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2004 Backcountry Trip Reports => November 2004 Backcountry Trip Reports => Topic started by: Amar Andalkar on 11/28/04, 05:17 PM



Title: November 28, 2004, Mt Rainier, Nisqually Chute
Post by: Amar Andalkar on 11/28/04, 05:17 PM
David Coleman and I joined the masses heading up to Paradise on this bluebird Sunday, with high hopes for some fine powder. NWAC telemetry for Paradise showed that about 8 inches of new snow had fallen early in the day Saturday, with temps in the low-mid 20s F and very light winds maxing out at only 11 mph. A perfect recipe for Cascade cold-smoke!

We exited Longmire among the first cars just as the gate opened at 9:15am. We skinned up from the cool and crisp Paradise parking lot around 10am. Above Panorama Point, we angled left on the lower Muir Snowfield towards the entrance to Nisqually Chute near 8300 ft. About 7 others were ahead of us skinning in the same direction, so we wouldn't quite get first tracks (luckily for us, many more were continuing straight up the Muir Snowfield). We dropped in to the chute a little after 12:30pm, the snow was initially a bit dense but became lighter and fluffier as we skied down. Generally 4-12 inches of powder atop a firmly frozen rain-crust base, with numerous deeper areas up to 18-24 inches in the gully down the center of the chute. Our skis occasionally scraped down to the crust in thinner sections, but most of the time we were floating in clouds of fluff. Fantastic!

The snow remained light and dry below the Chutes as we skirted the stream along the left (east) side of the Nisqually Glacier's lateral moraine, actually this was the lightest powder of the day although the terrain is fairly flat. We skied down to about 6200 ft and then angled upward, following a skin track back up to Glacier Vista (it turned out this was from Ron J's group). Surprisingly, the snow remained light and dry all the way back to Paradise, despite the bright sunshine the cold temps had prevented any consolidation and concrete formation. Skied all the way back to the car (literally), just in time for clouds to move in and obscure the mountain completely. It was a great day, a magnificent way to end what was otherwise a bleak November for snowfall in the Cascades.

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

David rips the knee-deep fluff in the middle part of the Nisqually Chute. Click here (http://www.skimountaineer.com/TR/Images2004/NisquallyChutePowder112804-1200.jpg) for an enlarged version of this photo.

(http://www.skimountaineer.com/TR/Images2004/NisquallyChutePowder112804-600.jpg)


Title: Re: November 28, 2004, Mt Rainier, Nisqually Chute
Post by: snoslut on 11/28/04, 11:31 PM
Nice call Amar.


Title: Re: November 28, 2004, Mt Rainier, Nisqually Chute
Post by: sean on 11/29/04, 03:13 AM
I think it safe to say I am envious. I am hopefully heading to Paradice on Thursday so hopepfully the weather and snow conditions will be close to those conditions.


Title: Re: November 28, 2004, Mt Rainier, Nisqually Chute
Post by: GregSimon on 11/29/04, 11:15 AM
I love this route in the spring, but I've never done it in the fall.  How was the avalanche risk?


Title: Re: November 28, 2004, Mt Rainier, Nisqually Chute
Post by: The_Snow_Troll on 11/30/04, 04:02 AM
Well 2 weeks in a row I got to ski the Nisqually Chute under blue skies with fresh snow...  All those that followed are welcome for the trail breaking that I (we) did....it was worth if for first tracks again :)

Sorry to gloat...still smiling as I look at my pictures....


Title: Re: November 28, 2004, Mt Rainier, Nisqually Chute
Post by: David_Coleman on 11/30/04, 06:39 AM
Hey Snow Troll - whatever dude; there was only an army heading up to Muir, and the branch off to the top of the Nisqually Chute wasn't that far.  Glad you feel like you're a man and in shape  ;)


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