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Author Topic: 5/19/2012 Mt Rainier, Muir Snowfield-2nd Tour ever  (Read 1940 times)

Posts: 278

5/19/2012 Mt Rainier, Muir Snowfield-2nd Tour ever
« on: 05/21/12, 07:02 AM »

Howdy all!

     I posted back a while ago about wanting to get into ski touring, so I started it up full blast this year.  This is my 3rd month doing TAY (2 resort skis in March/April) and my first TAY this year in May. I just moved up here finally, see this thread:

     After plopping myself down in Issaquah and training on hiking, Little Si, Mt Si, Twin Falls to Rattlesnake Lake, etc... I've finally decided I wanted to adventure out to the Muir snow field after my failed attempt on the Gib Ledges route 2 weeks ago on our climb (Crappy snow conditions). Better safe than sorry.

I'd like to start out by saying this trip has a lot of firsts for me. I'll list them below
     1.) First time to ever drive to Muir with my own car (Yes if you saw a jeep in the Paradise Parking lot with TX Plates, that was mine)
     2.) First time to ever travel to Rainier solo
     3.) First time to ever be on Rainier and not have the summit as an objective
     4.) First time to see an Avalanche
     5.) First time to drive for 5+ hours total and still have over a quarter tank of gas in my car left
     6.) First time to ski in a t-shirt
     It started with me checking the weather through-out the week and seeing that Sat/Sun would be the best time to head up there. I opt'd with Saturday after seeing it being sunny for part of the day and sunday was turning to clouds. I awoke at 5:00am packed my stuff, wanted to be out by 5:30 but got a late start from Issaquah at 6:30 (This cost me on my trip). I got suited up in my Khaki pants, my Scarpa 4 boots, a convertible long sleeve shirt that turns into a t-shirt, no gloves, glasses and my cap.

     On the way up the road, I ran into this guy, at first I thought someone lost their dog, but found out it was not a pup!

     Started out skinning out of Muir did ok, not fast not great, but took a bit to get used to skinning again since the last time I did it was in June. Out of the parking lot I headed out and went to the right not realizing that this was not the trail to pan point, so after a few minutes I noticed this wasn't right, I back trailed around the tree's onto the main trail to pan-point. I skinned up to Pan point with maybe only 1 person passing me at this point in my trip which I felt pretty good.  I got to pain point, started the skin up, but was having a hard time getting my ski's to bite on the snow with the skins so I booted up to the main skin path across pan-point on the other side of the glissade path. Left paradise at 9:30 and ended up at the top of pan-point around 10:45.

From here, I went up to the base of pebble creek, took my first break, and admired the views of Adams/Helens.

     From here, I went to top of Pebble Creek and my boots were giving me hell at 7500ft and it was about 11:30. I decided to take off the boots and was having a hard time feeling my left foot. The snow looked great, so I opted out on not heading to Muir, and taking advantage of a 2k drop from here. Took a pic of myself enjoying the day before I opted to head down.

     I've always heard you guys talk about this elusive 'corn' have no idea what it is, but if there was ever a farm field out there full of corn, I think I found it. This was unlike any resort skiing I've ever done. Ski's were smooth on top of the snow, cutting was amazing and everything was great. Well mostly, I got to some of the steeper rolls which I'm not the best skier so I had to slip down them and part of pan point. I finally made the Paradise parking lot in about 45 minutes from my decent (yes, I'm a slow skier and getting used to thing still)

     In the parking lot, while eating my sandwich I heard and saw my first avalanche

     Overall, great time. I felt kinda bad at first about turning around, but after I left, I got to chat with one of my guide friends at RMI and about 1 hour outside of Rainier I could see it socked in with clouds. Happy I made my choice when I did not being a great skier and all. I got home to my GF and we took our dog to Squak Mountain and did a 3 mile hike there and ate at the Issaquah Brewhouse (Had to turn around cause of the dog being tired :P )

     What did I learn? Skiing is painful if your boots don't fit well, I don't have the full strength of muscles that I need yet in my legs and I need to be a better skier. Next time I'll hit up Alpental and get some practice!

Thanks for reading!
ron j

Posts: 2600

Re: 5/19/2012 Mt Rainier, Muir Snowfield-2nd Tour ever
« Reply #1 on: 05/21/12, 08:56 AM »

Welcome to Mt Rainier, Brian.

"When I stop having fun I'm turnin' around"
"Prediction is very difficult, especially if it's about the future." - Niels Bohr
"If a given person makes it a priority not to die in an avalanche, he or she stands a very good chance of living a long, happy life in the mountains." - Jill Fredston

Posts: 191

Re: 5/19/2012 Mt Rainier, Muir Snowfield-2nd Tour ever
« Reply #2 on: 05/21/12, 10:48 AM »

"I got to pain point, started the skin up"

I think I've been there a few times.

Posts: 278

Re: 5/19/2012 Mt Rainier, Muir Snowfield-2nd Tour ever
« Reply #3 on: 05/21/12, 11:41 AM »

Welcome to Mt Rainier, Brian.


Mt Rainier and I are pretty close friends. I've been on her 7 times with a goal in mind and only finished it 3x. Sometimes, you never know what those women will throw at you.
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