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| | |-+  Interglacier(bluebird, suckerholes, and peasoup) 6/18/08
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Author Topic: Interglacier(bluebird, suckerholes, and peasoup) 6/18/08  (Read 2069 times)

Posts: 270

Interglacier(bluebird, suckerholes, and peasoup) 6/18/08
« on: 06/20/08, 12:12 AM »

Greg, Scott and I gathered ourselves at a P and R to begin a great day out on the "Inter". With a few navigational errors getting back to I-5 S we decided this would be the end of the errors this day- we were right. We knew this as we approached the White River entrance, the drive out to trailhead the showed the full effect of the rain shadow. We witnessed cloudy skies give way to clear bluebird ones. We had made the right choice.

The forecast called for a chilly day at elevation so we came prepared for the worst and got the best. Instead of mostly cloudy and a high of 35, we received 50-55 degrees and sunny skies for most of our tour. There were occasional hiccups of clouds rolling thru the West and south of Rainier, but they mostly dissipated before reaching us on the beautiful North side of the mountain. The hike into Glacier Basin was a pleasant one with skis on packs and trail shoes on the feet. Snow is not continuous enough to warrant skinning until after the stream crossing although we were tempted to on several occasions. The trail is generally easy to follow, save a few sections damaged by the 2006 storms- keep your eyes peeled for the yellow flagging along the way.

Upon entering the basin we noted rising temps and rockfall from the slopes above. Many climbers were also working their way up to the tooth and stayed away from the obvious rockfall zones. We took a central traversing route up from 7000 feet to the tooth and noted the big crevasse lurking lookers' right of the tooth at the crest of the hill, as well as the little one opening up 50 feet below and lookers' left of the tooth. Snow felt soggy and surprisingly unconsolidated in some spots from 5,000 feet upwards, odd settling sounds emanated from each step. In hindsight we should have tried to ski the shaded spots but for fear of happening upon a crevasse underfoot we opted for the well traveled route up and down. We felt stability was not a big concern but if there had been much more warming and no cloud cover to help cool the snowpack we may have thought otherwise. The weather seemed to be in our favor for most of the trip and allowed us a cool ascent with just enough breaks to get our vitamin D fix before going back to Seattle.

We reached a high point of 9,500' after pausing below Camp Sherman for some pics. We decided to make it a quick stay up top as a lenticular was forming quickly on Rainier's summit and grey clouds were approaching from the north which forced a descent. (Pic near camp sherman below) We descended 1,000' vert and reconvened in the pea soup to talk about the rest of the descent. We decided to hunker down and see if the system that was producing graupel, snow, and rain would push through and leave us with a clear descent. We waited, and waited... then decided it was not going anywhere and an exit was planned. Luckily we could not screw it up as we had already dropped below the crevasse and there was plenty of relief with the ski tracks and bootpack to lead the way. As we snaked our way down another 1,000' we dropped below the cloud and had a more pleasurable run despite the degraded snow quality. Some pics below-

The ski out was uneventful as we enjoyed the straightline to the stream, where we creatively avoided the nasty stream crossing, climbed up a quick section of bare ground and re-skied to ski back down to the trail. Here we promptly put skis back on our backs and hiked out with grins on our faces... we had our way with the Inter.

Thanks to all for a good time.

more pics here:


* threeofus.jpg (98.71 KB, 500x375 - viewed 556 times.)

* scottshredinter.jpg (31.79 KB, 450x337 - viewed 561 times.)

* Gregrippinginter.jpg (55.29 KB, 450x402 - viewed 839 times.)
« Last Edit: 06/20/08, 12:38 AM by skierlyles » Logged
Randy Beaver

Posts: 238

Re: Interglacier(bluebird, suckerholes, and peasoup) 6/18/08
« Reply #1 on: 06/20/08, 02:30 PM »

Wow, quite a change from 2 weeks ago!

The mountain might get 'em, but the law never will

Posts: 1695

Re: Interglacier(bluebird, suckerholes, and peasoup) 6/18/08
« Reply #2 on: 06/21/08, 09:30 AM »

Chris:  Did you even mention this yesterday?   Huh   Way to go

There is no cure for birth and death save to enjoy the interval.
George Santayana
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