After countless days of snow showers with freezing levels hovering around 5000 feet we finally had a break in the weather. The forecast for Friday was partly sunny skies a welcome change from the nasty weather we had received all week. Now the dilemma was where to go, with all the new snow accumulation avalanches had become a real possibility so we (Amar, Dan and I) decided to stick to the high elevated playground known as Mt Rainier. We had two options for the day either the Muir area or the Tatoosh but after arriving we noticed that the Tatoosh was in the clouds while Rainier was in the sunshine, so it was an easy discussion. From the paradise parking lot all the way up to Muir it was constant sunshine with little to no winds, it was perfect climbing conditions.
Rainier with the line to the left of the Nisqually chute
After resting at camp Muir for around a half hour and meeting up with Eli we skinned up to Cathedral gap planning on skiing down the Cowlitz glacier then over to the Muir snowfield and finish it off with a variation of the Nisqually chute. We took in the view for a few minutes checking the climbing route up Ingraham direct (which had a few slabs) then prepared for our decent. The Cowlitz glacier had everything from grabby mank to lightly Ice crusted powder which was carvable but not much enjoyable. Then we had to do a long traverse across the Paradise glacier all the way to the entrance to the Nisqually chute. Earlier in the day I had spotted a nice skiable face to the skiers left of the chute so we took this variation instead. The snow had softened quite a bit by the time we skied the face (there was no sluff or wet slides) but grabby by the time we entered Nisqually’s Moraine, so instead of skiing down to the bridge we decided to skin back up to the Alta Vista area and back to Paradise.
Dan and Eli skiing the Cowlitz Glacier
Amar Skiing the Nisqually Chute Variation
In a perfect world, everybody would act with the correct etiquette and follow the rules. Human nature as it is= NOT GOING TO HAPPEN....no matter how many discussion on ski blogs/websites. Face reality............