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| | |-+  September 2, 2010, Paradise Found!
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Author Topic: September 2, 2010, Paradise Found!  (Read 2977 times)
silaswild
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September 2, 2010, Paradise Found!
« on: 09/02/10, 08:16 PM »

Forecasts last week looked good for fresh snow above Paradise on Tuesday, and sure enough it happened, unfortunately only above 7500'.   Yesterday was foggy most of the day at Paradise as expected, and today was bluebird, also as forecast.  We started up from Paradise around 930AM with several RMI climbing groups and found the trail unusually dry for the 2.5" of rain that had fallen below Pebble Creek elevation, so my pre-retirement work shoes were a good choice for the hike.

We began skinning just above 7500' and found excellent smooth corn between 8000-9000'.  The traverse over to Muir from Anvil Rock showed too much wind affected wavy snow for the meager altitude gain, so we lapped the 2k of good snow.   As usual, timing is everything in getting September turns.  With clear nights, the corn should hold well for tomorrow and maybe even Saturday if the breeze keeps up like today.  We saw only one other skier, and heard there was a boarder somewhere up there.
« Last Edit: 09/02/10, 09:52 PM by silaswild » Logged
Charlie Hagedorn
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Re: September 2, 2010, Paradise Found!
« Reply #1 on: 09/02/10, 09:44 PM »

Great day! For September, the snow was superlative. Go get it while it's good (and before the wind starts rocking Saturday).  The 2.5" of water equivalent is up there where wind didn't rake it off, but there's a soft but supportable warming/rain crust 1-3" down. Some limited slide evidence up high, and we felt tiny settlements while skiing. That said, many slopes at ~11k looked smooth and inviting. Paradise Gl. did too; some cracks may now be buried. Signs of a crack in the snowfield near Anvil Rock.


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« Last Edit: 09/02/10, 09:52 PM by trumpetsailor » Logged

Marcus
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Re: September 2, 2010, Paradise Found!
« Reply #2 on: 09/02/10, 10:39 PM »

Faaaantastic... a beautiful sight.
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Charlie Hagedorn
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Re: September 2, 2010, Paradise Found!
« Reply #3 on: 09/02/10, 10:57 PM »

One more?


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dromond
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Re: September 2, 2010, Paradise Found!
« Reply #4 on: 09/02/10, 11:27 PM »

Silas, did I miss you guys when I was on my way down? I'm Jonathan's friend, Josh.

I just moved out here recently and when I saw the forecast I knew that it was time to bust out the skis. I left the parking lot at 7:30 and from the bottom of the snowfield to about 3/4 of the way to the camp I saw absolutely no one. It was almost a little creepy. I was worried that it wouldn't refreeze well but it was decently firm even at 10am. The corn was just ripening up nicely when I skied from Camp Muir at 11.  I can't believe how refreshed the snowfield was! Despite the wind affected areas that Silas mentioned I thought the upper section skied very nicely The middle and lower parts were stellar. I saw no tracks on my way up or down, unless I missed something. I must have passed some skiers in a group towards the bottom of the snowfield and not noticed because I saw no one carrying skis on my down hike. I was loving the skiing and wanted to head up again but my legs were fried from a too-long road ride the day before and not enough sleep. Oops.

I was thinking of heading up again, soon. I don't know how the snow up there will fare over the coming days. I'm busy this weekend. Do you all think that the snow will get wrecked more by sun or travelers? I wonder if there will be any significant refresh on Monday.

I like skiing in September.


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Charlie Hagedorn
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Re: September 2, 2010, Paradise Found!
« Reply #5 on: 09/02/10, 11:50 PM »

I hooted once as you skied by. We were ~100m to skiers left of your descent, ~800' above Pebble Creek. Great timing; things got a little slower and punchier as the sun did its work.

Another day or two of sun probably won't hurt this little dump of snow very much. With coverage as amazing as it is this year, it's very unlikely that travelers will obliterate all the good snow.

The coming weather system will change things. If you're heading up into more wintry precipitation, make sure you're fully navigationally prepared to get home in a whiteout without the aid of bootprints. If the weather turns to wind-blasted riming conditions, ski goggles can be almost essential to getting home, as the prevailing winds are generally upslope/westerlies. I didn't believe the lore about skiers winding up on the Paradise/Cowlitz in windy whiteouts until I almost did so myself. Like lots of other prominent mountains, Rainier can go from friendly to the real deal very quickly.
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dromond
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Re: September 2, 2010, Paradise Found!
« Reply #6 on: 09/03/10, 12:08 AM »

Aha. I heard that hoot! I was having too much fun to kill my speed. Being solo and having no real whiteout navigation experience I made sure that it would be clear. Also, freeze/thaw snow doesn't usually ski too well without sunshine. I use a GPS but need to do more work with a map and compass. I guess the thing to do is to make sure that you have your location and altitude down solidly if it looks like the snow or fog is about to roll in. With good vis and fresh GPS batteries it's easy to get lazy.

I loved that silky smooth surface today and it's good to hear that others enjoyed it as well. It made me think of April more than September...
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