Turns All Year Trip Reports

2015 Backcountry Trip Reports => August 2015 Backcountry Trip Reports => Topic started by: Charles on 08/13/15, 01:13 PM



Title: August 10-12, 2015, Rainier, Spray/Flett/Russell
Post by: Charles on 08/13/15, 01:13 PM
[Moderators: this is really just snow beta so feel free to move it if desired]

My son and I spent two nights camped above Spray Park and roamed around taking in the sights. We didn't bring skis, which was a wise decision, but we did do a little (boot) skiing and got our August "turns" so maybe this qualifies as a trip report.
(http://www.sillyseattle.com/2015sprayflettrussell/1_august_turns.jpg)

The lack of snow coverage was shocking, as was the difficulty of foot travel without good snow coverage. One bonus: no mosquitoes at all, anywhere, including Spray Park. The second and third days had heavy smoke from the new Mt. Adams fire. We were wearing lightweight hiking boots which featured very poor edging on hard snow so we generally didn't go up onto the main snowfields and glaciers.

Western Flett Glacier, standard run below headwall is long gone:
(http://www.sillyseattle.com/2015sprayflettrussell/2_western_flett.jpg)

Eastern Flett Glacier between Echo and Observation:
(http://www.sillyseattle.com/2015sprayflettrussell/3_eastern_flett.jpg)

On the second day we traversed on the north side of Echo Rock over to its east side (almost no snow on the traverse, but lots of moraine ridges and debris). This is the view of the western Russell Glacier from that area:
(http://www.sillyseattle.com/2015sprayflettrussell/4_western_russell.jpg)

We then did a descending traverse east to the outwash plain at the foot of the Russell Glacier and roamed around. This is a view of the eastern Russell Glacier from a pond on the north end of the outwash plain.
(http://www.sillyseattle.com/2015sprayflettrussell/5_eastern_russell.jpg)

It was interesting to see what is usually (for me with skis) under the snowpack - mostly glacially churned rock debris - but in my opinion it's way too late to take skis to this side of Rainier.


Title: Re: August 10-12, 2015, Rainier, Spray/Flett/Russell
Post by: Lowell_Skoog on 08/13/15, 02:58 PM
Great report Charles!


Title: Re: August 10-12, 2015, Rainier, Spray/Flett/Russell
Post by: Lot 2 on 08/13/15, 03:43 PM
What would you figure off the face of the second pic - 350 vert of snow? 3 laps and it just might count.........


Title: Re: August 10-12, 2015, Rainier, Spray/Flett/Russell
Post by: Zap on 08/13/15, 04:32 PM
Great trip report and photos.

I did a trip report years ago skiing on the Whites Sands Park with my hiking boots.  ;)


Title: Re: August 10-12, 2015, Rainier, Spray/Flett/Russell
Post by: telemack on 08/14/15, 09:49 AM
Welcome back to TAY, Charles!


Title: Re: August 10-12, 2015, Rainier, Spray/Flett/Russell
Post by: PhilH on 08/14/15, 12:06 PM
Boot skiing is great fun until the somersaulting / cartwheeling starts  ;D


Title: Re: August 10-12, 2015, Rainier, Spray/Flett/Russell
Post by: Charles on 08/14/15, 01:07 PM
Quote from: Lot 2 on 08/13/15, 03:43 PM
What would you figure off the face of the second pic - 350 vert of snow? 3 laps and it just might count........

That would be a long hike for a short run with serious rock exposure at the bottom.
Quote from: PhilH on 08/14/15, 12:06 PM
Boot skiing is great fun until the somersaulting / cartwheeling starts  ;D

True, so we were very conservative in our joke boots.
Quote from: telemack on 08/14/15, 09:49 AM
Welcome back to TAY, Charles!

Thanks, but not sure how "back" I am. I'm not doing much skiing these days.


Title: Re: August 10-12, 2015, Rainier, Spray/Flett/Russell
Post by: androolus on 08/20/15, 12:57 PM
It's funny. I've skied that little patch on the flett when it looked like that...200 foot long patch of snow...with ice all around...but that was in September. The middle Russell looks like one could ski almost 200 vert. It doesn't look horribly suncupped...hmmm.


Title: Re: August 10-12, 2015, Rainier, Spray/Flett/Russell
Post by: mattd on 09/03/15, 07:32 AM
Hey Charles, its good to see something from you. This year has been incredibly bad.

If you're ever interested in doing some three pin touring let me know, I have gotten back into skiing again and lack partners for those sorts of trips. I especially miss our ski-biking.

Anyone know if higher elevations on Rainier have gotten much snow? Weather service seems to think so, but I think the Muir Camp webcam is out.

Matt


Title: Re: August 10-12, 2015, Rainier, Spray/Flett/Russell
Post by: kamtron on 09/03/15, 11:05 AM
mattd, the webcam is working and showing snow right now: http://www.skimountaineer.com/MtnWebCams/Rainier-MtnWebCams.html?size=med&telemetry=true


Title: Re: August 10-12, 2015, Rainier, Spray/Flett/Russell
Post by: mattd on 09/03/15, 04:24 PM
Thanks a bunch Kamtron, it was apparently out earlier!


Turns All Year Trip Reports | Powered by SMF 1.0.6.
© 2001-2005, Lewis Media. All Rights Reserved.