Seeing all the bumpy reports made me suggest this option for turns starved folks. After wearing out Rainier for awhile DW and I thought we would try this for second time in 4 weeks. Lots of melt but found almost continuous snow at 5300 just off a Scott Paul trail switchback. Drizzle and whiteout caused us to up and over Crag View (level 3 out of 5 in Mounties scramble rating). More crevasses out since last time and we broke into sunshine at appr 7300'. Somewhat tricky 3 way crossing at approx 9000' then smooth sailing to caldera where we stopped at 9630. Fair amount of fresh overnite so everything was smooth. Roman wall has big openings so we just took a longer lunch break. The drop off the Squak headwall has some bare ice out now--stay to skier's left. We descended new way--right of Crag view and with only brief de-ski got down to 5110' and then 5 minute stroll to trail. Very nice option with less than 2 hour drive from north King county. Don't even consider the cover trip from Schreiber Meadow unless you like to hike a lot more.
Yes, I believe it is. We exited this drainage as mentioned at 5110 which is just before it really got deep. The trail crossed this drainage at approximately 200 feet below. Left the trail maybe 200 yards east of this on the way up and the small ridge had a faded boot/animal track to another snow finger. Of course the snow is shrinking every day there but a lot more than south side of Rainier in this elevation range. Climbing to the west side of Crag View should work by staying on available snow. Hope this makes sense. Again well worth trying.