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| | |-+  December 17, 2011, Mt. Rainier, Paradise Glacier
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Author Topic: December 17, 2011, Mt. Rainier, Paradise Glacier  (Read 1955 times)
iluka
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Posts: 198


December 17, 2011, Mt. Rainier, Paradise Glacier
« on: 12/17/11, 10:36 PM »

Not sure what to expect in terms of snow conditions today, MattH and I opted to head out to Mazama Ridge with plans simply to tour out to Cowlitz Rocks and take in the great views along the way.

We arrived at 9AM to very warm temperatures at Paradise. On the climb up to the ridge, we had lots of problems with snow glopping up on the skins, but once on the ridge, the snow along the rest of the way out to Cowlitz Rocks  made for relatively fast skinning, with a few inches of warm, wet snow on top of a firm, smooth base. Given how the snow seemed on the way out to Cowlitz Rocks, once there we opted to climb up higher and see what the Paradise Glacier had to offer. The first 1000 feet above Cowlitz Rocks was in surprisingly good shape with snow that had nicely softened in the morning sun and warmth. There was either a firm, but softened surface with little new snow on it or a few inches of now softened new snow on top of the old firm surface.  Overall, lots of good turns to be had on that lower section. Above 8,000 feet was a different story with a combination of ice, sastrugi or heavy wind effect... not worth venturing beyond that point. Very good stability overall on the lower glacier. A few point sloughs seen on some steeper aspects far away from where we were skiing but otherwise we didn't trigger anything.

It was warm up there today and the snow had a pretty high moisture content by the end of the day. I would expect that if there isn't much snow tonight there will be a lot of breakable crust out there on Sunday.


* Skinning_to_Cowlitz_Rocks.jpg (133.68 KB, 1000x750 - viewed 746 times.)

* Climbing_the_Paradise_Glacier.jpg (155.23 KB, 1000x750 - viewed 744 times.)
« Last Edit: 12/17/11, 11:02 PM by iluka » Logged

Yet another trip I've skied up something I can't ski down!
FreeBird
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Posts: 398


Re: December 17, 2011, Mt. Rainier, Paradise Glacier
« Reply #1 on: 12/17/11, 11:37 PM »

Looks good!
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cchapin
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Posts: 322


Re: December 17, 2011, Mt. Rainier, Paradise Glacier
« Reply #2 on: 12/18/11, 12:38 PM »

Similiar conditions were found on the Muir snowfield yesterday (turned around near 9500 on ice and wind blown).  The crust below Pan Face and back to the lot was already 1-2" thick by 4:30.


* DSC1716-XL1.JPG (196.16 KB, 323x407 - viewed 550 times.)
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