telemark skiingbackcountry skiingPacific NorthwestWashington and Oregonweather linksThe Yuki AwardsMt. Rainier and Mt. Adams
Turns All Year
www.turns-all-year.com
  Help | Search | Login | Register
Turns All Year Trip Reports
Backcountry Skiing and Snowboarding

Welcome, Guest. Please login or register.
08/20/17, 05:37 PM

Support Snohomish County's
Helicopter Rescue Team
 
Trip Reports Sponsor
Pro Ski Service
Pro Ski Service
Turns All Year Trip Reports
(1) Viewing these pages constitutes your acceptance of the Terms of Use.
(2) Disclaimer: the accuracy of information here is unknown, use at your own risk.
(3) Trip Report monthly boards: only actual trip report starts a new thread.
(4) Keep it civil and constructive - that is the norm here.
 
FOAC Snow
Info Exchange


NWAC Avalanche
Forecast
+  Turns All Year Trip Reports
|-+  2011 Backcountry Trip Reports
| |-+  December 2011 Backcountry Trip Reports
| | |-+  Dec 1, 2011, Mt Rainier, Muir and Flying Jellyfish
:
« previous next »
Pages: [1] | Go Down Print
Author Topic: Dec 1, 2011, Mt Rainier, Muir and Flying Jellyfish  (Read 6871 times)
Amar Andalkar
Member
Offline

Posts: 1200


WWW
Dec 1, 2011, Mt Rainier, Muir and Flying Jellyfish
« on: 12/03/11, 09:24 PM »



Having just enjoyed a scenic day skiing from Muir on Monday (Nov 28, Muir Sunset Spectacular), I decided to head back there to enjoy more sunshine on Thursday, December 1. It hardly felt like December though, with intense sunshine and warm temps over 40 °F as I skinned up from Paradise at 10:30am. Almost empty today compared to Monday, not sure why. Except for the usual four-legged friend:



Snow conditions had changed a lot since Monday, as about 5" of new snow had fallen overnight Tuesday into Wednesday, and a period of strong winds had occurred. Things were much better on some parts of the route, worse on other parts:

*** Down low, Paradise to 6500 ft: Similar, but slightly worse. The new snow had covered Monday's light powder, but the sun had already made it heavy and slightly crusty in spots by the time I skied down.

*** Mid elevations, 6500-7500 ft: Worse, much worse in spots. The sun and warmth made for fiendishly difficult skinning up Pan Face, as my skins were glopping as bad as they ever have despite preemptively applying skin wax at the base of the slope. Ski crampons which I thought might be needed to negotiate the thin 1-4" of snow atop the frozen crust only made the glopping even worse. No way I could skin like this:



That snow was solidly attached to the skins, it needed a scraper to remove. I was forced to bootpack from 6600-7100 ft, one of the very few times I have not been able to skin the whole way up Pan Face in the past several years.

It was extremely wind scoured near Panorama Point and Pebble Creek, probably from Tuesday evening when telemetry shows winds over 80 mph at Muir. Large areas of bare blue ice had been exposed near Pebble Creek, with old raised skin tracks exposed on some slopes just above Pan Point atop the frozen rain crust:



*** Lower part of Snowfield, 7500-8500 ft: Similar, but not quite as good. Firm windpacked powder above 7500 ft, it was softer windpacked powder on Monday.

*** Up high, above 8500 ft: MUCH BETTER, surprisingly so. The old rain crust which had covered nearly 100% of the terrain above 9500 ft and about 50% above 8500 ft on Monday was now almost entirely covered in new snow, with only a few scattered outcrops of the crust. This coverage was aided by the northerly wind (the rarest of wind directions on Rainier) which was bringing even more snow from high on the Mountain and depositing it onto the upper Muir Snowfield. Ski crampons were essential up high on Monday, but not really needed at all on Thursday (even though I put them on just in case, based on Monday's experience).



Telephoto image of lenticulars on Mount Adams.

Took much longer for me to reach Muir this day, about 40 minutes more than Monday, mostly due to difficult skinning conditions near Pan Point. Saw only one other person above Pan Point, a lone skier descending around 1pm, having lost his hat to strong gusts at his turnaround point near Moon Rocks. Luckily for me, the occasional strong northerly gusts were interspersed with longer periods of near-calm, otherwise skinning up into that headwind would have been miserable.



Skied down a little after 3pm, while skies were still mostly obscured by high clouds which had thickened throughout the day. And then in the space of 5 minutes at 3:30pm as I neared Pebble Creek, the high clouds vanished and the Mountain was once again bathed in glorious slanting light and crowned by clear blue skies.


Two-shot panorama, looking up from just above Pebble Creek as skies cleared.


Large area of exposed blue ice at Pebble Creek, this was totally snow covered on Monday (see photo in that TR).

A huge alien jellyfish now hovered overhead in the skies just east of Paradise, a beautiful and complex lee wave cloud produced by the rare northerly upper-level winds. Pan Face skied OK, with carveable heavy snow, but not sweet untracked powder like Monday.



Once again I decided to linger a bit and extend the ski descent closer to sunset, although I could tell that it would not be quite as photogenic a sunset as Monday's had been.



Arrived back at the deserted parking lot just as the last rays of the sun lit the flying jellyfish:



Just another magnificent day on the Mountain.



MOUNT RAINIER RECREATIONAL FORECAST
NATIONAL WEATHER SERVICE SEATTLE WA
321 AM PST THU DEC 1 2011

SYNOPSIS...STRONG HIGH PRESSURE IS OVER THE REGION TODAY. A FRONT WILL BRUSH WESTERN WASHINGTON TONIGHT. STRONG HIGH PRESSURE WILL PERSIST SATURDAY THROUGH MONDAY. THE WEATHER PATTERN WILL LIKELY CHANGE AND BECOME MORE UNSETTLED AROUND THE MIDDLE OF NEXT WEEK.

THURSDAY...SUNNY. FREEZING LEVEL 7000 FEET.
THURSDAY NIGHT...PARTLY CLOUDY IN THE EVENING THEN BECOMING MOSTLY CLOUDY. FREEZING LEVEL 6000 FEET.
FRIDAY...MOSTLY SUNNY. FREEZING LEVEL 3000 FEET.
FRIDAY NIGHT...MOSTLY CLEAR. FREEZING LEVEL 3500 FEET.
SATURDAY...SUNNY. FREEZING LEVEL 4500 FEET.
SATURDAY NIGHT THROUGH SUNDAY NIGHT...MOSTLY CLEAR. FREEZING LEVEL 6000 FEET.
MONDAY AND MONDAY NIGHT...PARTLY CLOUDY. FREEZING LEVEL 8000 FEET.
TUESDAY THROUGH WEDNESDAY...MOSTLY CLOUDY. A CHANCE OF SHOWERS. SNOW LEVEL 4000 FEET FALLING TO 1000 FEET.

TEMPERATURE AND WIND FORECASTS FOR SELECTED LOCATIONS.

                       THU    THU    FRI    FRI    SAT 
                            NIGHT         NIGHT       

SUMMIT   (14411 FT)     11     10      9      8      6
                     NW 41  NW 72   N 65   N 46   N 25

CAMP MUIR(10188 FT)     26     24     22     22     24
                     NW 29  NW 55   N 34   N 17   N 13

PARADISE  (5420 FT)     35     25     32     27     36
                     NE  5  SW  9   S  6  NE  4   W  2

LONGMIRE  (2700 FT)     36     29     35     27     38
                     NE  4   W  8  SE  6  NE  3  NE  2


Logged

kath
Member
Offline

Posts: 192


Re: Dec 1, 2011, Mt Rainier, Muir and Flying Jellyfish
« Reply #1 on: 12/04/11, 07:04 AM »

pretty sweet photos amar ... the lenticular at sunset is to die for
Logged
Dan-Miller
5Member
Offline

Posts: 6


Re: Dec 1, 2011, Mt Rainier, Muir and Flying Jellyfish
« Reply #2 on: 12/04/11, 11:07 AM »

Amar, I'll have to say I'm just a little surprised that you of all folks, didn't clear off the lens of the Muir web cam.  I will readily  admit that I may well be somewhat unknowledgable about what that job actually entails.  But I bet you aren't! Wink

In any event, many thanks for the photos of a clear day on the Mountain.  And kudos for an outstanding photo of the fox in the parking lot.

Was it essentially harsheisen from the Paradise Parking lot all the way up to Muir?
Logged
Amar Andalkar
Member
Offline

Posts: 1200


WWW
Re: Dec 1, 2011, Mt Rainier, Muir and Flying Jellyfish
« Reply #3 on: 12/05/11, 04:57 AM »

As stated above, ski crampons were not really needed at all this time. I tried to use them briefly on Pan Face, but was forced to boot due to glopping issues. Used them above about 8500 ft just in case, but could easily have skinned to Muir without them.

Regarding the Muir webcam: the lens is not necessarily obscured at this time, so there may be no need to clear it off. It is just stuck showing an old image. The camera suddenly went offline just after its last upload at 3:17pm on November 20, and has not uploaded any images for 2 weeks since then. The cause of the failure is unknown to me. An attempt by good Samaritans to clear the camera lens just after 3:30pm on November 20 may have contributed to this failure, or it could simply be a coincidence that the failure occurred at roughly the same time. I was unable to go over and visually check the webcam on either Nov 28 or Dec 1 due to gusty winds.

In any case, I have never attempted to clear off the Muir webcam or any of the NWAC wind instruments on the same tower. When the subject comes up, I always strongly discourage others from attempting to do so, due to fear of damaging the camera or instruments while trying to remove ice and rime. That's just my own personal view on the subject.

Logged

Charlie Hagedorn
Member
Offline

Posts: 1792


WWW
Re: Dec 1, 2011, Mt Rainier, Muir and Flying Jellyfish
« Reply #4 on: 12/05/11, 10:38 AM »

When the subject comes up, I always strongly discourage others from attempting to do so, due to fear of damaging the camera or instruments while trying to remove ice and rime.

Seconded. Instrumentation likes to be left alone. (Also - sweet photos, Amar!)
Logged

skykilo
Member
Offline

Posts: 771


WWW
Re: Dec 1, 2011, Mt Rainier, Muir and Flying Jellyfish
« Reply #5 on: 12/05/11, 11:52 AM »

Am I the only UW-trained physicist whose equipment needs constant attention!? 

Y nieva aqui hoy, viva Nuevo Mexico....
Logged
Vince Lamphier
5Member
Offline

Posts: 73


WWW
Re: Dec 1, 2011, Mt Rainier, Muir and Flying Jellyfish
« Reply #6 on: 12/05/11, 06:51 PM »

Wow! Awesome photos. Someday I'll figure out how to get my images larger and be able to post more like yourself. Any advice would be very nice, but if not thanks anyways for your great trip reports.
Logged
Charlie Hagedorn
Member
Offline

Posts: 1792


WWW
Re: Dec 1, 2011, Mt Rainier, Muir and Flying Jellyfish
« Reply #7 on: 12/05/11, 07:08 PM »

It's the broken stuff that needs perpetual attention.... if it ain't broke, I try not to fix it.

Que suerte. Sólo sol y azul aquí.  
Logged

runcle
Member
Offline

Posts: 282


Re: Dec 1, 2011, Mt Rainier, Muir and Flying Jellyfish
« Reply #8 on: 12/06/11, 06:49 PM »

That "flying jellyfish" is one of the the most spectacular cloud formations I have ever seen!

Thanks for sharing.
Logged
Pages: [1] | Go Up Print 
« previous next »
Jump to:  



Login with username, password and session length

Thank you to our sponsors!
click to visit our sponsor: Feathered Friends
Feathered Friends
click to visit our sponsor: Marmot Mountain Works
Marmot Mountain Works
click to visit our sponsor: Second Ascent
Second Ascent
click to visit our sponsor: American Alpine Institute
American Alpine Institute
click to visit our sponsor: Pro Guiding Service
Pro Guiding Service
Contact turns-all-year.com

Turns All Year Trip Reports ©2001-2010 Turns All Year LLC. All Rights Reserved

The opinions expressed in posts are those of the poster and do not necessarily
reflect the opinions of Trip Reports administrators or Turns All Year LLC


Turns All Year Trip Reports | Powered by SMF 1.0.6.
© 2001-2005, Lewis Media. All Rights Reserved.