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|-+  2004 Backcountry Trip Reports
| |-+  July-August 2004 Backcountry Trip Reports
| | |-+  July 17, 2004, MRNP - Paradise Glacier
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Author Topic: July 17, 2004, MRNP - Paradise Glacier  (Read 1729 times)

Posts: 431

July 17, 2004, MRNP - Paradise Glacier
« on: 07/17/04, 04:32 PM »

It's that time of year when finding smooth slopes, close to home, without gnarly suncups seems difficult.  With the forcast calling for a mostly sunny morning and cloudy afternoon we decided to head for the south side of the big "R".  I picked up my friend skier Renee at Krispy Cremes by 7 and we were off with an arsenal of donuts.  By 9 we arrived at the Paradise parking lot with our best wholly *@!? look at all the cars expressions.  Anyway we had bagged the Nisqually chutes, done the Muir thing, so something new was in order.  Why not the PG.  So off we were down to Edith Creek and up thru Golden Gate we go.  On the way we only encountered a couple of people so the going was fast.  We scoped some lines that could be had on our way down, with a short carry, under the Sluiskin falls almost all the way down into Edith Creek.  So we did a few zigs and zags and spied some more lines to minimize any walking on the way down.  After a little more zigging and zagging we arrived at a small snow field below McClure Rock.  After a short traverse we soon gained access to the Paradise Glacier.  The views were stunning.  Only crevasses were near the glaciers snout and they were only a foot or two wide and ran about 50ft across.  So we continued to climb on what can be described as uneven suncups, where the first inch or two was already softened on a bomber smooth base.  Renee and I were amazed how good the coverage was for this time of year.  As we ascended we noticed some people near the crevasses doing rescue stuff.  We paid no mind since it was only us and them on the whole glacier.  A little further up the snow had minimal cupping, where the first inch was corned to perfection on a smooth base.  The slope pitch was overall mellow with a few steeper sections where we could open up and there was no evidence of recent tracks anywhere.  On a down note it was already past noon and we watched the clouds roll in and sprinkle a few drops on us.  On an up note the sun remained obscured and it provided some relief from the heat.  Thinking some bad weather was coming in we decided to turn around at ~8256ft.

What can I say.  Our first run was bliss.  We carved nearly 1000ft down before we approached the group near the crevasses.  I was greeted with some hoot-in-hawlering... so I thought.  When I got close enough to hear what they were saying they were actually yelling at me and my partner to not come near that area.  Well I didn't see their name on the glacier so I said wuz up.  Apparently they were with National Geographic and were making a video/documentary about glacier travel and rescue.  Plug: the name of the video is going to be called "Split Second" and comes out sometime next spring.  Anyway I apologized and said we would stay clear before hearing one of them say they're not going to take another run are they?  Well yes off course we were.  The weather had never turned for the worse so we decided to head up again.  Once near our buckle in spot it started to sprinkle again.  Hey the sun even came out briefly.  So off we go again on another perfect run.  An effort was made to stay clear of their film area but come to find out they moved it.  Guess where?  Yup right where we had decided to come down.  This time we were greeted with laughter and apologies for them moving on us.  So we took advantage of their well stomped boot trail and watched quietly as they filmed.  Once they stopped we chatted for a while.  After watching us they wanted to borrow our gear for a run or two.  I chuckled.  One of them even asked us to help them carry some gear down.  I said only if we could get a cameo from our first encounter, which was caught entirely on film.  They chuckled.  So we said our goodbyes and headed down.  

Once below McClure we were blessed with tourists which always seem to be in full bloom this time of year.  We were even blessed with some rain too.  People starred and snapped shots as we made our way towards the line we spied earlier.  As Renee and I contemplated which way to descend we ran into a fellow named Paul. Come to find out he has skied for 100 plus consecutive months.  We mentioned turns all year which he heard of but wasn't too familiar with.  Anyway we all side slipped down a narrow ribbon of snow (I started hiking down before it turned into figure 11's in boots to an ass slide before I strapped in) and carried across a stream to the base of the falls.  Well from here our last turns were had, friends were made, and more people starred.  The only thing I had forgotten was a camera. Angry  If somebody makes it out to the PG tomorrow take some pics will ya. Smiley  When all was said and done we had ascended ~5512ft and rode/ski just over 3000ft.  A great day that I could hang my hat on. Grin
« Last Edit: 07/19/04, 12:31 AM by boarddude » Logged

You will know when Americas in trouble when the Mexicans stop coming...Carlos Mencia
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