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+  Turns All Year Trip Reports
|-+  2004 Backcountry Trip Reports
| |-+  June 2004 Backcountry Trip Reports
| | |-+  June 4, 2004, Sunrise-3rd Burroughs, Mt. Rainier
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Author Topic: June 4, 2004, Sunrise-3rd Burroughs, Mt. Rainier  (Read 2990 times)

Posts: 1090

June 4, 2004, Sunrise-3rd Burroughs, Mt. Rainier
« on: 06/07/04, 09:33 AM »

If at first you don't succeed, try, try again.

Andy and I had gotten fogged out on 2nd Burroughs Mountain four days earlier, but I knew that the coverage would still be good, so with a very nice forecast Matt and I headed back. We biked to the Yakima Creek draw and started hiking up it on firm snow. There had been some melting and the first few hundred feet were less well bridged (and considerably more lumpy and dirty) than earlier. After a few hundred more feet we decided to get out of the draw and onto the forest shelf where we could more easily start fishscaling. When we started reaching glades they were smooth and had frozen overnight, but just softening in the morning sun. The meadows from Sunrise to Frozen Lake saddle were similar, although it was apparent that most of the 2-3" of new snow from the previous weekend had melted and some small runnels were beginning to show.

Here's a photo of Matt striding across the Sunrise meadows:

There had been an impressively wide slide of the new snow layer (here 4-5") from the east end of the north side of 1st Burroughs, down toward Berkeley Park. The crown was near the upper lip of the slope and was at least 200 yards wide, and the slide must have occurred during in the week (Andy and I didn't see evidence of it on Monday, and the debris had undergone some melting).

We were able to find an all snow route for skiing up onto 1st Burroughs, where we rested and soaked up the sunshine and views of Rainier. The striding across the flats of 1st Burroughs was fast, and from the 1st-2nd saddle we took a look at the well filled in north slopes which run down into Berkeley Park before skiing over 2nd Burroughs. The glide down to the 2nd-3rd saddle was fast as first, then a little funky where patches of newer snow were grabby. As we skied up the slope toward 3rd Burroughs, the new snow layer began to get both deeper and mushy, so that above about 7500' there was an 8-12" unconsolidated large-grained layer on top. On top of 3rd Burroughs we took a food and nap break in the sun, which ended when the incoming weather started generating lenticulars off of Rainier and put us in the cool shadows.

We got in a few turns on nice consolidated snow right from the top of 3rd Burroughs, but as the slope curled around toward the north and dropped toward Granite Creek Park, we were back into the mush, and my test turns sent the top layer hissing down to the bottom of the steeper slope, so we opted to ski back along our tracks to 2nd Burroughs and take another look at the north slopes there. We ended up dropping into a nice run (which Ron and Jeanette call "Courage Classic") just east of the top of 2nd Burroughs and skiing it down to Berkeley Park. On our decidedly not-high-turning-performance waxless skis, the slope was steep enough to get our pulses going, and the first turns set off 1-2" hissers, but after that the snow was great for turning. Then it was just touring and a few turns back through Frozen Lake saddle and across the Sunrise meadows. The afternoon light on Rainier had become very nice despite the increasing clouds, so we skied out along the edge of the White River valley for views, then got some turns in very nicely consolidiated glades before getting into the draw for the glide back down to the bikes. The last few hundred feet of the draw were somewhat challenging with the lesser amount of snow, but I was able to ski right to the bikes (Matt, being more reasonable, opted to remove his skis where there was no longer a snowbridge). The coast down the road was, as always, a very pleasant alternative to the typical toe-scrunching returns of this time of year.

There will be photos on TAY home page in a couple of weeks, but here are some 12 second movies (~4MB, .MOV files, QuickTime should play them):
Striding across 1st Burroughs, looking at a big white thing.
Skiers point of view, turns in the forest.
Skiers point of view, gliding down the draw.
Bikers point of view, coasting down the road.

Posts: 81

Re: June 4, 2004, Sunrise-3rd Burroughs, Mt. Raini
« Reply #1 on: 06/22/04, 07:31 PM »

Those cornices look tasty for jumping off of.  
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