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| | |-+  May 12, 2012, Mt. Rainier, Paradise Glacier
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Author Topic: May 12, 2012, Mt. Rainier, Paradise Glacier  (Read 1699 times)
iluka
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May 12, 2012, Mt. Rainier, Paradise Glacier
« on: 05/12/12, 10:34 PM »

Nick and I headed down to MRNP to ski the Paradise Glacier today. We figured that if snow quality was poor or avy conditions were bad, we could at least enjoy a pretty ski out to Cowlitz Rocks.

The park was collecting fees/checking passes as of 7:30AM. We arrived at Paradise at 8:15AM and found the main lot already 2/3 full. Just about everyone and their brother was heading up the Muir Snowfield while Nick and I went by ourselves down the road to Edith Creek (snow free currently) to start skinning up to Mazama Ridge. The skin from the ridge out to Cowlitz Rocks was fast. After a quick lunch, we were on our way up. Skinning up the glacier was easy as the snow was already soft by 10:30AM and provided plenty of purchase. The glacier is well filled in at present with crevasses only opening up toward its eastern aspect. There's a big bergshrund that's formed below Anvil Rock at about 8,900 feet that is easily passed with plenty of space to the climbers left.

We topped out at about 9,200 ft and enjoyed a really good ski down. The sastrugi on the upper part of the glacier have been largely smoothed out and the snow surface is pretty consistent the entire way down to Cowlitz Rocks. What we skied was probably not corn and would be best labelled as some softened snow on a firm base that allowed good turns the entire way back to Cowlitz Rocks. Things were soft even as we were ascending at 10:30 but the snow quality remained good until after 1:30 by which time we had done our initial descent as well as a second 1,000 foot lap. No schmoo or mank. No sloughs or other signs of instability on the glacier at all but lots of sloughs off steeper slopes and plenty of cornice breaks seen on the ski to and from Cowlitz Rocks.

From our turn around point near Anvil Rocks we could easily see the hordes on the Muir snowfield. Total number of other people seen the entire time we were on the Paradise Glacier: 1



* Nick_Skinnng_Up_Paradise_Glacier.jpg (194.63 KB, 1000x1333 - viewed 799 times.)

* Nick_Skis_Down_the_Paradise_Glacier.jpg (160.69 KB, 1000x750 - viewed 809 times.)

* Tracks_on_the_Lower_Paradise_Glacier.jpg (126.92 KB, 1000x1333 - viewed 801 times.)
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Yet another trip I've skied up something I can't ski down!
Charlie Hagedorn
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Re: May 12, 2012, Mt. Rainier, Paradise Glacier
« Reply #1 on: 05/14/12, 09:33 AM »

We mostly kept to the snowfield, but found some of the smooth goodness too. Hard to beat ripping corn in the sunshine.

A look into the entrance of the Chutes at ~12:15 led us to save it for another day. A group skied it at 2:15 - result was happy shouts across the chasm.

Instability Saturday seemed confined to the ~1' week-old new, most common on E-facing aspects, perhaps enhanced by windloading. A forbidden traverse through Edith Creek at 5:30 found ~1m soft moist snow. Ski cuts weren't pushing any sluff.


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* wilsonSlab.jpg (183.72 KB, 610x800 - viewed 439 times.)

* furherTracks.jpg (187.25 KB, 800x462 - viewed 446 times.)
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