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2013 Backcountry Trip Reports => August 2013 Backcountry Trip Reports => Topic started by: wolfs on 08/08/13, 11:21 PM



Title: August 8, 2013, Paradise Glacier
Post by: wolfs on 08/08/13, 11:21 PM
Third summer trip this year to Paradise Glacier. Had already "used" my usual August destinations of Fryingpan and Russell back in July, since was worried that in this lean snow year those other places would be cooked by August. Paradise Glacier is still a fine destination. It is nowhere near ski from bumper anymore as was 3-4 weeks ago, but definitely over 50% JOM and the trail approach while a bit tedious at start is pretty mellow.

Tried yet another way of reaching Paradise Glacier edge. Just stayed on Skyline trail with the tourists til it was just below McClure then straight up to join the unofficial McClure/Sugarloaf ridge trail. Stepped onto glacier right at Sugarloaf. This way goes pretty fast, just hiking in trail shoes, probably faster than valley way or hugging ridge more to the E side.

[img width=1000 height=750]http://farm8.staticflickr.com/7344/9471023318_07509c5c3d_b.jpg[/img]

Only went as high as rock island today, raised tracks above that seemed denser. Also had a time constraint and Anvil slope melted out now anyway. Snow in the middle area below island was good, and raised tracks avoidable or not too bad. Looks maybe a bit dirty but it is not sticky really. Some occasional ice runnels, really no cups on these low-medium angle slopes. Steeper slopes once over the rollover on lower glacier did have cups / shelves but were soft enough for slicing them off a little. Uneven surface did lead to somewhat larger arcs and took some concentration to avoid washboard-chatter and finish off those turns.

[img width=1000 height=750]http://farm3.staticflickr.com/2832/9471023182_f28f484d6f_b.jpg[/img]

Getting off the glacier and past those waterfalls at the bottom was a little tricky. I opted to traverse skiers right, crossing alterating steep scree and steep snow to reach a finger that touched bottom finally. The mellower way over the saddle seemed to have some gaps too, but my way down was a bit miserable (lots of shifting dinnerplate rocks at awkward angle). Could then ski and shuffle a nice long stretch of snow in valley bottom to the icecaves spur trail, maybe 100vf above and 1/4 mile from Sliuskins.

Good flowers out. Plenty marmots too (on way down). Minimal bugs. While hiking the Skyline up and later down got plenty of the usual tourist questions about where I was going skiing but also got a lot of woohoos and comments that it looked like fun. And yeah, it was fun, at least 2K of descent with lots of variety in a scenic spot. And thankfully 4th crossing way avoids the mega touron chaos around Paradise proper.

(http://farm6.staticflickr.com/5531/9468240501_9059a2e80a_c.jpg)

These marmots were practicing their aggro-in-the-Alpy-C2-line skilz, I think. Dude you snaked my line!

(http://farm4.staticflickr.com/3669/9471022946_d15ffc6990_c.jpg)


Title: Re: August 8, 2013, Paradise Glacier
Post by: Fall City Brian on 08/09/13, 07:18 AM
Your comment on the last pic is remarkably accurate, and gets a laugh out loud.  Well done!


Title: Re: August 8, 2013, Paradise Glacier
Post by: knitvt on 08/09/13, 08:32 AM
Great picture of the marmots!


Title: Re: August 8, 2013, Paradise Glacier
Post by: rlsg on 08/11/13, 01:43 PM
Love all the pics.  thanks!!!


Title: Re: August 8, 2013, Paradise Glacier
Post by: all mtn on 08/12/13, 07:00 PM
- they're very social.  I  just saw one down here in the Sierra (Yosemite high country) and he took a little nap, while I was taking pics.


Title: Re: August 8, 2013, Paradise Glacier
Post by: Gary_H on 08/13/13, 10:31 PM
Nice TR and great pix wolfs. My son and I skied the Paradise Glacier on Friday, I'll take the liberty of adding our experience to your post.

We approached via the standard 4th crossing route, followed the Paradise Glacier trail to the snow. After skinning to the head of the basin and seeing your tracks, we debated our approach options. We decided to climb the lower angled approach further east. Although it involved a couple of ski carries, it worked well for us. Due to a late start and a predetermined turn around time, we concluded our climb at the 8,000 crevasse. The ski down was excellent. The sun cups were small and soft. The "humpty- Bump" section below 7,200' skied better than expected. Navigating the rocks and streams via the lower angled route was pretty strait forward. Like you reported, we pushed, poled and skated our way back our hiking boots. We encountered a similar crowd of curious marmots and tourists on our way down the trail.

Here's a few pictures from our day:
   1. Mountain goat admiring wolfs line.
   2. Brian making easy work of the "humpty-bumps"
   3. Mr. Marmot recovering from his "encounter" the previous day.

Gary


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