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NWAC Avalanche
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| |-+  July-August 2004 Backcountry Trip Reports
| | |-+  July 24, 2004, Nisqually Chutes, MRNP
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Author Topic: July 24, 2004, Nisqually Chutes, MRNP  (Read 2738 times)

Posts: 366

July 24, 2004, Nisqually Chutes, MRNP
« on: 07/27/04, 05:26 AM »

Escaping the stifling heat of my non-air conditioned apartment last Saturday, I decided to head up high to find some natural A/C.  Many others had the same idea  Smiley as it took over 20 minutes of waiting in traffic to get through the park entrance.  Departing from the absolutely packed Paradise parking lot at the crack of noon, eager to reach higher ground and cooler temps, I arrived at the absolutely packed Camp Muir in ~3 hours; the slight breeze on the Muir snowfield was very refreshing, and the skinning went fairly quickly  (donned skins just above Pebble Creek).  Passed 1 open crack (~12" wide at the surface; very deep) somewhere around ~9,400-ft on the Muir snowfield.

Departed from the Camp Muir circus around 3:30 pm, jump-turning off large sun-cups.  The snow surface became much smoother around 9,200-ft making fast rippin' turns much easier.  Cutting skiers right around 8,500-ft, I ventured over to check out the Nisqually Chutes.  The top of the main chute was a sea of boulders, so I skied on by down to somewhere around ~7,600-ft (with a short rocky portage) to a lower chute I had scoped out from below, on the hike up earlier from Glacier Vista.  A short, but scary steep down-climb on loose rock and boulders led to the top of that snow-filled chute (~40+ deg. at the top, mellowing to ~30-deg. near the bottom): ~1,100-vert. ft of continuous snow down to the base at the Nisqually Glacier moraine.

The snow surface in the chute was moderately sun-cupped, but well-softened in the afternoon sun, making for some fun steep turns all the way down the chute, dodging occasional protruding rocks near the bottom.  A few more warm weather days and the lower part of this chute will likely be melted-out (if not already melted):


Hiked up from the base of the chute to a point just above Glacier Vista (~6,500' elev.), then skied the wide snow-filled gully down to just shy of Alta Vista at ~6,100 ft elev.   Total elev. hiked/skinned-up: ~5,000-ft; total elev. drop skied ~3,900-ft  Grin

« Last Edit: 07/27/04, 01:42 PM by cascadesfreak » Logged
ron j
TAY Moderator

Posts: 2602

Re: July 24, 2004, Nisqually Chutes, MRNP
« Reply #1 on: 07/28/04, 03:36 AM »

Nice report, Chris.
Looks like you pretty well squeezed the last dregs out of that line  Smiley

"When I stop having fun I'm turnin' around"
"Prediction is very difficult, especially if it's about the future." - Niels Bohr
"If a given person makes it a priority not to die in an avalanche, he or she stands a very good chance of living a long, happy life in the mountains." - Jill Fredston

Posts: 377

Re: July 24, 2004, Nisqually Chutes, MRNP
« Reply #2 on: 07/28/04, 03:32 PM »

Good time to Muir!  I'd pass out and fall over if I went that fast Cool .  Sounds like fun in the chute.  Have a good trip to Alaska!  Too bad you can't make the  Slush Cup, next year man!  

"You keep skiing, I'll keep filming"

Posts: 366

Re: July 24, 2004, Nisqually Chutes, MRNP
« Reply #3 on: 07/29/04, 04:45 AM »

Jerry & Ron- Looks like you guys had a nice line over there by Unicorn Saddle Wink  Have fun at the Slush Cup! I look forward to it next year Cool I may try to get some turns in while in Alaska, if I can find a place there that'll rent rando gear this time of year  Smiley
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