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

Welcome, Guest. Please login or register.
07/17/19, 03:43 PM

Become a TAY Sponsor!
Trip Reports Sponsor
Pro Guiding Service
Pro Guiding 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.
Info Exchange

NWAC Avalanche
+  Turns All Year Trip Reports
|-+  2001 Backcountry Trip Reports
| |-+  Trip Reports - July-August 2001
| | |-+  August 11, 2001, Muir Snowfield, Mt. Rainier
« previous next »
Pages: [1] | Go Down Print
Author Topic: August 11, 2001, Muir Snowfield, Mt. Rainier  (Read 2431 times)

August 11, 2001, Muir Snowfield, Mt. Rainier
« on: 09/16/02, 06:04 AM »

Don picked me up at about 6:45 and we arrived at Paradise just before 9 AM. The parking lot was almost full. We departed for Camp Muir at about 9:30. There were brilliant fields of wildflowers around Paradise (purple lupine, red Indian paintbrush, pink heather). We put our skis on just above pebble creek. Below us the (usually flat and snowy) surface of the lower Nisqually glacier was largely covered with black debris and completely cut up by innumerable huge crevasses. A bright, red and yellow warning sign described crevasse hazard ahead on the Muir snowfield! We were startled by the number of large bare rock piles we saw covering a significant area of the Muir snowfield above us. Don pointed out a huge pile of black dirt or glacial debris that had melted out in the middle of the lower Muir snowfield. On the upper Muir snowfield we crossed five crevasses. Each crevasse was marked with two red flagged wands. At least two of the crevasses were wide enough to present a major hazard to skiers. The larger ones were at least twenty feet deep (I could not see their bottoms). Don observed the deep blue color of glacial ice in one of them. I could hear water running far below me as I crossed the largest crevasse. We both agreed that unwanded crevasses could be very difficult for a skier to spot from above and we considered the possibility of walking part way down until we got below the crevasses.

We arrived at Camp Muir at about 1:30 PM. Don observed one group of randonee skiers hiking down with their skis on their backs, presumably to avoid crevasse hazard. We decided to ski down the wanded climbers trail until we got below the crevasses (in order to watch for the double red wands marking them). We saw only one other tele skier departing as we began our descent; we saw no other skiers on our way down. Even though it had been sunny all day with a snow level at 14,000 feet, the snow surface was crusty, irregular, and bumpy, but not significantly suncupped (very unusual for August). Don took the lead and did an excellent job of spotting the crevasses far in advance, so we could stop and cross them safely. As we got lower down, below the crevasses, we found some soft clean corn snow toward the center and west side of the snowfield. On top I thought the skiing was only fair. Lower down it was better and I had some fun turns. We took our skis off at pebble creek.

At glacier vista, we looked back at the massively crevassed, black, debris encrusted surface of the Nisqually glacier. we arrived back at the Paradise parking lot at about 4 PM. It took us about two hours of skiing and hiking to get down. For an August ski trip, the skiing was not too bad and overall it was a very interesting tour.

« Last Edit: 09/22/02, 04:57 PM by admin » 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

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.