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07/25/14, 10:05 PM

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Author Topic: May 2010-11, New ski descents on Mount Rainier  (Read 2038 times)
Lowell_Skoog
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May 2010-11, New ski descents on Mount Rainier
« on: 05/25/11, 08:32 PM »

I've been in touch with Andy Bond, a guide for RMI. Andy told me about a couple of ski descents that he's done on Mt Rainier in the past year.  Andy participated in the April 22, 2011 ski descent of the Nisqually Ice Cliff described in this trip report.

http://www.turns-all-year.com/skiing_snowboarding/trip_reports/index.php?topic=20622.0

I asked Andy whether he was planning to post a trip report about his recent descents.  He said he was reluctant to post anything, but said it was okay when I offered to post a third-person report.  So here goes.  I thought these routes were newsworthy.

On May 9, 2010, Andy Bond and Jesse Dudley skied the Sunset Amphitheatre Headwall Couloir (photo below does not show the conditions of the descent).



They spent the night of the 8th at Camp Muir and climbed to the summit the next morning.  From the top of Liberty Cap, they skied down Sunset Ridge a bit before finding the proper entrance to the couloir. A few hundred feet below the top of the couloir they encountered a 30-ft cliff band that required a 60-ft rappel.  Below the rappel they skied westward to reach the main couloir.  The couloir had some good, steep powder skiing.  They skied via the Puyallup Glacier to the South Puyallup River trail and the west side road.

On May 4, 2011, Andy Bond skied the South Tahoma Headwall (photo below).



He skied to Camp Muir with a friend on the evening of May 3.  After a night at Camp Muir, Andy climbed the Gibraltar Ledges route solo to Point Success.  The headwall was rimed with a couple of short steps.  Andy anticipated two rappels and had brought two 50m ropes.  He rappeled over a 45 to 60 degree ice and rock section with skis on, then removed skis to rappel over a 25ft vertical ice section.  Below that point, the route was pretty straightforward, with sun-warmed snow and 40-degree slopes.  He skied the lower Tahoma Glacier to the South Puyalup Trail and the west side road.

Andy mentioned that when his party skied the Nisqually Ice Chute in April, their original objective was the South Tahoma Headwall.
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Amar Andalkar
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Re: May 2010-11, New ski descents on Mount Rainier
« Reply #1 on: 05/25/11, 09:49 PM »

Andy mentioned that when his party skied the Nisqually Ice Chute in April, their original objective was the South Tahoma Headwall.

Ha, I knew it!! When I ran into Andy, Seth, and Tyler at Pebble Creek on April 22, just minutes after they skied Nisqually Ice Cliff, I asked them if they'd skied the line from the summit. They said no, they'd skied from Point Success. That sounded very odd (it's not a logical place to start a Nisqually Ice Cliff descent), so I asked them what they were trying to reach. "South Tahoma Headwall?", I asked directly. I received only shrugs and silent denial in response.  Wink

Anyway, thanks for the post Lowell. And congrats on the sweet ski descents, Andy!

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gregL
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Re: May 2010-11, New ski descents on Mount Rainier
« Reply #2 on: 05/27/11, 01:38 PM »

Newsworthy for sure.

Nice work, Andy.
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