Turns All Year Trip Reports

2013 Backcountry Trip Reports => September 2013 Backcountry Trip Reports => Topic started by: MtnPavlas on 09/29/13, 06:25 PM

Title: 9/28 - Paradise to Pebble Cr., heavy rain and wind
Post by: MtnPavlas on 09/29/13, 06:25 PM
The PNW sure is a region of contrasts... only a few days earlier at the same place folks were enjoying some fresh (http://www.turns-all-year.com/skiing_snowboarding/trip_reports/index.php?topic=29190.0) silky snow under mild weather and now BAM... heavy rain, snow level way up at 8K and wind gusts so strong, I swear I saw the creeks flow upstream at times.

Three other folks bailed out but desperate for September turns, I stood at the Paradise parking lot on Saturday at 10 AM, ready to face whatever Rainier had in store that day, hoping it would be better than what I read in the forecast. Met three other TAY'ers just above the trailhead and was glad to come along with someone as visibility was truly poor.

At about 6500 we spotted a 50-yard patch of snow but I pressed forward, hoping to find snow just above Pebble Creek. Unfortunately, the wind gusts decided to step it up a notch, play with my ski pyramid and throw me around as if the tail was wagging the dog. By then I was also getting drenched so I decided for a retreat to the aforementioned patch. On the way down I ran into Chris, one of the other three guys, who opted for the same plan while ski marks on the patch told us the other two guys have already done so and were probably already sipping their beers in the parking lot.

Switching into boots proved more difficult than one would think, given everything was wet by now and it took me 5 minutes to drag my gloves over the wet and numb fingers little by little. Hence no photos of the misery. Burned four laps, thus accounting for my mandatory 100 turns (were the tightest ones in my life for sure ;-) and set out to chase after Chris who was long gone by now.

Anyway, was thinking about the reasoning for this nonsense TAY quest and the best I could come up with was that if I weren't "forced" to come up here, I'd be probably sitting at a computer, yawning and cursing the miserable weather. This way I got to brave the elements, have something to remember and brag about, plus I got to hear an almost-theatrical version of the story on the first recorded ascent of Mt Rainier. All in all, any day in the mountains is a day well spent.

Whadaya guys think? What keeps you coming back for turns, even though at times it seems like such a stupid thing to do?

Title: Re: 9/28 - Paradise to Pebble Cr., heavy rain and wind
Post by: r1de on 09/29/13, 07:04 PM
Good post and thanks for the report.  I had similar thoughts while slogging through hell on earth at the Tiger Mountain Enduro on the same day - "if I hadn't already signed up", "but the other guys are toughing it out", "but think of the stories to tell", ...  And honestly, it kind of sucked but some day down the road I'll probably be glad I have the memory.

Wrestling with going up tomorrow for similar TAY nonsense; if I don't, I break the streak.  But by all accounts, later in the week will probably be much better.  And if I can only go one day, which side of the scale is heavier: Protecting The Streak, or earning long, high-vis hippie pow face shots?

Title: Re: 9/28 - Paradise to Pebble Cr., heavy rain and wind
Post by: MtnPavlas on 09/29/13, 08:30 PM
Hey Bryan, was going to ask you how your enduro race went... was actually thinking of you as I was making my way up on Saturday.

I remember once I rode a night MTB marathon with a buddy of mine, and it rained so hard beforehand the clay soil wrapped around the tires so bad, the wheels wouldn't turn after only a few yards. We had to carry the bike uphill for a mile and were seriously thinking of going back down to the bar, the start of this fun race. The only thing that kept us going was the fact that the first two teams were girls and they didn't throw in the towel so obviously we couldn't either ;-)

Glad you made it and would love to hear more in person.

Title: Re: 9/28 - Paradise to Pebble Cr., heavy rain and wind
Post by: MtnPavlas on 09/29/13, 08:38 PM
But of course, the funny part is that it's snowing at Paradise like crazy and folks are posting pictures with inches (perhaps feet by now) of snow right at the parking lot and looks like they skinned up right from there. So if you end up going tomorrow, it might be a blast if the wind's not too bad.

Title: Re: 9/28 - Paradise to Pebble Cr., heavy rain and wind
Post by: tortiseshell on 09/30/13, 04:45 PM
Hey Pavlas,

Nice to meet you on the way up!  Thanks for joining us. I was one of the party with Chris.  As we headed towards Pebble Creek, Anthony and I decided to re-track down and go for the patch instead of the snow field.  Was getting too crazy and going into open exposure past Pebble wasn't appealing.  So... we did the same... struggled getting our boots on and geared for a very short but official run.  We made it back to the lot about an hour+ before Chris returned.  Hearing he retreated to the same patch and seeing your post was re-assuring.  You are right... certainly was better than staring at a computer screen and a good story while getting to know your gear in high winds and wet conditions.  Glad you got down fine and you definitely win king of the mtn and number of turns on that day!  Hope to have opportunity to cross paths and vector again. Thanks for the short but adventuresome companionship! I think we set a new bar for wet and windy...  whew!


Title: Re: 9/28 - Paradise to Pebble Cr., heavy rain and wind
Post by: MtnPavlas on 09/30/13, 10:33 PM
Hey Terry, good to make the connection on TAY now as well ;-)

Thank you for letting me trail along and even though we lost touch for a little while, it was reassuring there were others on the trail, not too far away.

Hope to cross paths again with you, guys, on a decent trip one day.

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