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| | |-+  August 31, 2012 Sholes and Rainbow Glaciers
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Author Topic: August 31, 2012 Sholes and Rainbow Glaciers  (Read 2774 times)

Posts: 201

August 31, 2012 Sholes and Rainbow Glaciers
« on: 08/31/12, 10:19 PM »

Headed up with Chuck to explore the Sholes Glacier area for the first time today and was not disappointed.

We took the summer trail all the way to Camp Kiser. We had considered traversing the basin that sits to the north of Ptarmigan Ridge but there had been a near or actual freeze overnight making for very firm snow in the morning and we figured traversing the basin wouldn't be much fun. There are patches of snow along the summer trail -- some short, some long -- on both the north and south sides of the ridge.

Once at Camp Kiser we thought we could traverse across to the saddle between the Sholes and Rainbow Glaciers by sticking around the same elevation as Camp Kiser but this did not work as we ran into some steep traversing on firm snow that, in spots, was above some nice sized cracks. We backtracked toward Camp Kiser and descended about 4-500 feet onto the Sholes Glacier and then did a rising traverse back up to the saddle between the Rainbow and Sholes Glaciers. With the cool temps last night, the Sholes was still pretty firm when we arrived at the saddle around noon so we opted to take a run down the Rainbow. After walking down on the rock for a short bit, we headed down skiers left from the saddle following the glacier as it wound its way down, completing an 1,100 foot run on minimally sun-cupped snow. From the saddle, it's tempting to traverse out to the west towards Mt. Baker to try and hit the Rainbow up higher than we started and make a longer run but from below, we could see that this would just leave you on snow above rock bands with no way to connect with the glacier without taking off the skis.

After the run down the Rainbow, we skinned back up to the saddle and took a 700 foot run down the lower Sholes glacier. A bit more sun-cupped than the Rainbow but soft enough at this time of the day to ski better than it would have earlier. We did not do the upper Sholes as the south side (lookers left) had either ice showing or cracks developing and the north side (looker's right) got choked off in some rock bands.

From the bottom of the Sholes, we traversed back up to Camp Kiser and headed on out. There are at least several snow patches on the summer trail that are long enough to warrant putting back on the skis for a few turns and a faster trip out.

Too bad, I can't round up the 31st day of the month and count this as September turns.

* Morning_Views_of_Ptarmigan_Ridge_Area.jpg (161.74 KB, 1000x750 - viewed 670 times.)

* Looking_Out_Towards_Sholes_Glacier.jpg (209.4 KB, 1000x750 - viewed 758 times.)

* Upper_Sholes_Glacier.jpg (156.38 KB, 1000x750 - viewed 681 times.)
« Last Edit: 08/31/12, 10:28 PM by iluka » Logged

Yet another trip I've skied up something I can't ski down!
James Wells

Posts: 487

Re: August 31, 2012 Sholes and Rainbow Glaciers
« Reply #1 on: 09/01/12, 09:07 AM »

Thanks for the TR and photos.  Looks like a great place for September turns, and lots of snow still around compared to the typical hunt for a little patch or two.

all mtn

Posts: 462

Re: August 31, 2012 Sholes and Rainbow Glaciers
« Reply #2 on: 09/01/12, 01:10 PM »

I enjoyed reading your report ! I'm down here in the Lake Tahoe area, and our temps have come down during the past wk., as well.  No snow at all, but I'm hangin' at a river.
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