I have wanted to ski this for several years. Taunting me on every drive up to Paradise. My friend Kevin and I finally decided that it was time.
An alpine start from the Longmire parking lot was the plan to get us up there before things got too cooked. We ran into patches of snow off and on as we made our way up and over Rampart ridge. We were surprised to see that the bridge was in over the Kautz which we thought was going to be one of our major challenges.
Some more off and on postholing led us to the creek crossing at Fishers Hornpipe Creek. We left the trail here and switched to skins since we had finally hit continuous snow. The skins suffered greatly as we worked our way up the valley since I think we were on fallen branches/moss/pollen more than we were on the snow.
Once we had worked our way to the flats above the head of the valley we could see Pyramid. Working our way through some cliff bands we made our way over to the SE ridge of Pyramid and started up. The snow was fairly soft by now but we didn't see much recent natural activity. We were definitely growing more cautious though as we worked our way up. It was now close to noon.
We summited right around noon with killer views of Rainier. We also spotted what looked like another ski descent of the Success Couloir! After a short breather we headed down. It turned out that just the top couple of inches was soft with a firm base. We couldn't get anything to go after several hard cuts as we headed down. Just some very light sluffs and roller balls. Fun wet skiing led us down and out to what became a death march back to Longmire.