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| | |-+  May 31, Rainier, Wilson Headwall
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Author Topic: May 31, Rainier, Wilson Headwall  (Read 4239 times)
jwplotz
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May 31, Rainier, Wilson Headwall
« on: 06/01/09, 12:18 PM »

After reading this TR http://skisickness.com/Rainier/Kautz/ I've always been compelled to ski this line.† Of course, one can say that about any trip you read on Sky's page.† There seemed to be more snow coverage on the headwall in Sky's report than there was yesterday.  Oh well, thinner year I guess.† Kyle Flick and Erik joined me for the climb portion.† We mixed it up and summitted Point Success this time, which is a cool summit and actually feels like a summit.

I entered the headwall from the Kautz Glacier side, and waited about 45 minutes for the snow to soften up, sliding in at 11.30am.† As you can tell by the photo, the line is circuitous, but where there is consistent slope, it was steep and smooth corn yielding great turns!† The traversing portions sucked badly.† The upper left snow chute connecting the upper slope to the lower ones had 6 inch frozen pennitents on steep ground.† The third and last traverse was below the Kautz ice cliff, providing some tense moments as well.† In fact, if I wasn't skiing below the ice cliff, it was below cliffs of rotten Rainier choss.

With the Fuhrer Finger becoming an alpine mogul run, it was fun to mix it up a bit, which admittedly I don't do enough of.



* wilsonheadwall.jpg (125.08 KB, 600x800 - viewed 1007 times.)

* Kylesummit.jpg (80.37 KB, 600x800 - viewed 970 times.)

* Kautzicefall.jpg (153.78 KB, 980x735 - viewed 988 times.)
« Last Edit: 06/01/09, 01:08 PM by jwplotz » Logged
Pete A
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Re: May 31, Rainier, Wilson Headwall
« Reply #1 on: 06/01/09, 12:30 PM »

nice one!  saw those tracks yesterday after exiting the FF and thought 'i wonder if those are danhelmstadter's cause he was wanting south side of Rainier pics last week'  Smiley   looked spicey for sure!

and yeah, the Finger has been getting hit hard this season by skiers...i think i counted about ten folks making turns on it Saturday afternoon and then there were probably another ten skiin' it on Sunday.

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skykilo
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Re: May 31, Rainier, Wilson Headwall
« Reply #2 on: 06/01/09, 01:12 PM »

Nice.  I still have really fond memories of the bottom skier's right slope to the Wilson being one helluva fall line.  It really puts a nice sustained finish on the route after the upper traverses. 
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Stugie
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Re: May 31, Rainier, Wilson Headwall
« Reply #3 on: 06/01/09, 05:02 PM »

Holy sh**, hella nice work!  We were with PeteA in the Finger and saw those tracks and gawked...I was actually in such awe I didn't even snap photos of any tracks.

For those unfamiliar...some of the tracks looked like this - steep slope (maybe pushing 50 degrees) to a mandatory air over crevasse to immediate stop to traverse to keep from falling into the crevasse just below the landing...

Again, mad kudos bro.
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"The mountains are not stadiums where I satisfy my ambition to achieve, they are the cathedrals; the houses where I practice my religion." - Anatoli Boukreev
jwplotz
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Re: May 31, Rainier, Wilson Headwall
« Reply #4 on: 06/01/09, 11:23 PM »

Thanks Stugie!  It was an exhilarating ski.  Did I talk with you guys on the skin up on the day prior?
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Stugie
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Re: May 31, Rainier, Wilson Headwall
« Reply #5 on: 06/01/09, 11:51 PM »

No, we were over too far I think.  We didn't see a soul until right before we crested the TG, we saw two people top out Liberty Cap via what we guessed to be LR route.  I heard ryanl skied the E Success Coulior that day...might have been him.
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"The mountains are not stadiums where I satisfy my ambition to achieve, they are the cathedrals; the houses where I practice my religion." - Anatoli Boukreev
danhelmstadter
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Re: May 31, Rainier, Wilson Headwall
« Reply #6 on: 06/02/09, 01:28 PM »

nice job! looks like great snow conditions.
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heinzsd
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Re: May 31, Rainier, Wilson Headwall
« Reply #7 on: 06/02/09, 02:47 PM »

JW nice Job,   The tracks were very impressive,  I was glad to see them make it the whole way to the wilson Smiley    That was me and my buddies that you talk to on the way up to camp trying to decide where to camp.   We set our selves up nicely to enter the finger early in the morning but the fatal flaw was that we  post holed  in the rotten breakable crust to the finger as there wasn't a boot pack yet.  Other than that we had a fantastic time on the the route and this was all three of ours first  Ski Ascent on Rainier.     
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jwplotz
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Re: May 31, Rainier, Wilson Headwall
« Reply #8 on: 06/02/09, 07:30 PM »

Congrats on your ascent/descent Heinz!  From our perch, it looked like you guys carved out a cool little bivi spot.  Gorgeous day out there!
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ryanl
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Re: May 31, Rainier, Wilson Headwall
« Reply #9 on: 06/02/09, 09:04 PM »

No, we were over too far I think.† We didn't see a soul until right before we crested the TG, we saw two people top out Liberty Cap via what we guessed to be LR route.† I heard ryanl skied the E Success Coulior that day...might have been him.

So many people up there in so many places I have no idea who was who or where they where.

-anybody reading this part of the group that left paradise just after we did,around1:30 on sat morning?

-I did see a party as I made my way up the Kautz Headwall† at around 13000' (of three or four I think) climbing either the Kautz or Nisqually around noon or so on saturday (Still haven't got my orientation on† Rainer dialed yet).† I also saw a party of 4 or 5 skiers descending from the Finger (maybe the same) around 5 pm as we crossed the Wilson Van trump divide. There were also a couple of folks making camp there as well.

Phew. Lots of people up there. It'd be nice to meet some of y'all sometime Smiley
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