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| |-+  May 2009 Backcountry Trip Reports
| | |-+  May 30, Mt Rainer, East Success Glacier Couloir
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Author Topic: May 30, Mt Rainer, East Success Glacier Couloir  (Read 3945 times)
ryanl
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May 30, Mt Rainer, East Success Glacier Couloir
« on: 06/02/09, 12:20 AM »

I wasn’t sure I was going to post something because I haven’t any photos. I forgot my camera. Oh well…gotta share. I’ll see if words can do justice.

On Tuesday Jason emailed me about some possible trips but I told him I was finito.  The Tahoma humbled me last weekend and I needed time to regroup. Then Friday morning dawned with me unable to focus on anything other than the East Success Glacier Couloir. Work that day proved challenging. By sometime in the afternoon I’d managed to convince Reed to leave Seattle with me at 9 that night for a single push. We were skinning from Paradise by 1:30 am Sat morning.

As everyone who spent anytime on Rainer last weekend can attest, the weather was perfect Friday evening. (We missed the Lenticular) Although on the warm side, the crystal clear skies gave hope that the upper slopes would be frozen. By the time Reed and I were skinning/sliding/booting up the final hardened slopes beneath the Wilson-Van Trump divide, I knew for certain that we were in for something special. We saw headlamps everywhere- up at Muir, approaching the finger, behind us on the Nisqually. Motivation filled the nighttime air.

With the route to the base of the couloir still fresh in my mind we made good time. Reed was struggling though. The combination of altitude, defunct skins (thanks to this approach: http://www.tetongravity.com/FORUMS/showthread.php?t=160482), and full on non-randonee alpine shit kicker rad free skiing jibber boots had him falling behind. We regrouped below the bergschrund and melted some snow. Reed said he needed to sleep. I empathized- last week I felt the same.

We decided that I’d go ahead alone, but that I’d leave the stove at the first decent spot along the Kautz Cleaver so that Reed could rest up in the sun and ascend at his own pace. I crossed the schrund on all fours despite the hard freeze (I’ve never been one for style) and then began to climb in earnest.

Conditions could not have been better. Perfect Styrofoam made for fast, fun, travel. I left the stove for Reed just below 11000’ at 9:30 and was standing atop Point Success by 1:30. The first two rock bands that Sky and Dave had to climb thru a few years ago were filled in. The only obstacle to a complete ski descent came at the top of the Kautz Headwall, where 15-20’ of mixed terrain had me wondering about downclimbing as I upclimbed.

If I summated at 1:30 I was skiing by 1:35. Ever since about a year ago I’ve been super freaked by sun affected slopes. I skied the top 500’ of icy/corny snow before downclimbing into the Headwall. A few hesitant turns and I realized I was sliding atop stable, beautiful corn. And thousands of feet of exposure. Life was good.

After a pitch or two I was happy to see Reed perched in the sun at 13000’. I was surprised, actually. Given what I’d seen at the bergschrund I didn’t think he’d make it much higher. Not sure how he managed, but I was more than happy to have company the rest of the way down.

Which turned out to be FANTASTIC. The ESGC is a wonderful ski. Long, sustained, predictable. Even though proper thanks extends back to Luke Edgar and Chad Kellog for their first descent, just as much goes to that guy up north for preaching the gospel of Rainer’s south side. Can’t recommend this route enough.


* IMG_5775.JPG (175.49 KB, 1000x750 - viewed 736 times.)

* IMG_5909.JPG (159.94 KB, 1000x750 - viewed 748 times.)
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Stugie
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Re: May 30, Mt Rainer, East Success Glacier Couloir
« Reply #1 on: 06/02/09, 12:52 AM »

Nice and solid work both last weekend and this past!  I think we saw you guys as you were on your way up.  We were wondering if intentions were the ESGC.  I wish we had got to see the tracks...definitely one of the few really awesome and still filled in routes! 
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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
Pete_H
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Re: May 30, Mt Rainer, East Success Glacier Couloir
« Reply #2 on: 06/02/09, 08:38 AM »

Nice Ryan! We were looking at the SGC on the way out of the Park. It looked good!
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Monika
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Re: May 30, Mt Rainer, East Success Glacier Couloir
« Reply #3 on: 06/02/09, 08:52 AM »


and full on non-randonee alpine shit kicker rad free skiing jibber boots
   
       - god Reed how do you do it in those! 

real glad Ryan you felt tons better and had such a terrific climb and ski, safely (!)
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Kyle Miller
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Re: May 30, Mt Rainer, East Success Glacier Couloir
« Reply #4 on: 06/02/09, 11:19 AM »

Nice work
That line is so sick
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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............
daveb
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Re: May 30, Mt Rainer, East Success Glacier Couloir
« Reply #5 on: 06/02/09, 11:54 AM »

Glad to see the lower two rock bands filled in! 
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danhelmstadter
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Re: May 30, Mt Rainer, East Success Glacier Couloir
« Reply #6 on: 06/02/09, 01:20 PM »

nice job Ryan!
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hedonaut
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Re: May 30, Mt Rainer, East Success Glacier Couloir
« Reply #7 on: 06/02/09, 02:26 PM »

yeah Ryan, way to catch it in primo shape--beautiful line.  i'm envious, we had some challenging conditions in Jan., and exposed rock bands too.

Ha, that proselytizer up north has apparently had his faith shaken...I hear he's starting another cult.
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jwplotz
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Re: May 30, Mt Rainer, East Success Glacier Couloir
« Reply #8 on: 06/02/09, 07:32 PM »

Dude, I have looked at this route so many times from Gauthier's guidebook!  I want to ski this one too.  Cool report as always.  Anyone want to jump on this one with me?  Please?
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ryanl
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Re: May 30, Mt Rainer, East Success Glacier Couloir
« Reply #9 on: 06/02/09, 08:52 PM »



Ha, that proselytizer up north has apparently had his faith shaken...I hear he's starting another cult.

Wasn't that the intention all along?

How high did you guys get in January? Going from Longmire is most definitely the purist way to go. Wow that's a big day!

Hope everything went smoothly with your brother....
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