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Author Topic: June 21, 2011, Muir  (Read 1553 times)
wolfs
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June 21, 2011, Muir
« on: 06/22/11, 11:45 PM »

Summer solstice when it's sunny is just too strong a slack (non) incentive to ignore. So, sunny summer solstice snowboarding with my friend Russ, picking a destination that can be trivially booted (neither of us own a split).

Tuesday was a "free" park entrance day, which doesn't matter much for the majority of TAYers who have yearly passes. But that may have drawn out a larger crowd than normal. Lot was pretty full, and there were surely over 100 people on the snowfield during the day, a lot for a weekday. Saw maybe 15 other skiers/boarders. Most amusing was the boarder pulling both his and girlfriend's boards behind him on 7' leashes, boots strapped in. Looked like a little knuckledragger toy train chugging up the (up)track.

Approach to Pan Point hot and little wind. But that changed fast as we climbed, and by 8K was wearing shell gear hats and gloves. Wasn't exactly on a cracking schedule so didn't get to Muir til 4PM. Muir was also well packed for a Tuesday, public shelter full, counted 17 private party tents plus lots more guide groups. In distance hints of weather changing near St Helens but all stayed benign near Rainier. Saw one party of three skiers coming down Cathedral Gap, based on light packs must've car-to-carred.

Snow on way down was a large grain refrozen but not icy immediately off top. From about 9700 to 8500 it was really good, and also pretty smooth and relatively few tracks considering. But got more and more grabby below 8500. Thought briefly about Nisqually Chute, but gut was choked w debris and testing the boot pen near the top approach to it, boot pen was over a foot,  so didn't seem like good risk/reward that day. By Pebble Creek all you could do was straightline and hope your hamstrings didn't explode. Still possible to sneak around Pan Pt skiers right (Pebble Crk trail route.)

Thumbs up for Basecamp Grill. Nothing like al fresco burgers and beer after a day in the mountains. Could maybe have done without KZOK blasting out the speakers though (is that Freedom Rock??? Turn it .... off!)



First marmot of the summer



Russ cruising the best part of the snowfield



Looking back up Muir from Pebble Creek
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