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| | |-+  May 28th  2005, Flett /Russell glaciers MRNP
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Author Topic: May 28th  2005, Flett /Russell glaciers MRNP  (Read 3788 times)
Robie
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May 28th  2005, Flett /Russell glaciers MRNP
« on: 05/29/05, 04:08 PM »

I live in Summer Wa. in a nice house with a veiw of  MT Rainier. One can see the whole mountian my problem is that the only thing I see is the Flett/Russell glacier.Its the first thing I notice in the morning.I swear I can see ski tracks there.I can tell how much snow is there by just looking at the ribbon of snow below the observation headwall that we access going east to the Russell. It drives me nuts,nuts and nuts to see it and not be there. Its a long haul in and out of there and finding other nuts to go ain't easy . Lucky for me over the years Ive found some others who are willing to day trip it up there.
4 of the 6 of us were repeats, Jeff, Dorothea,Gary and myself.  Karin and Ken were new to this trip.
We met and left my house at 5am,did ya ever notice everybody looks kinda different that early?
The Mowich lake road is now open and as usual washboardy and dusty. the trail up to Spray park is snow free and we put on our skis and ditched our shoes,xtra clothes about 1/4 mi from the bridge entrance to Spray park. There was about the same amount of snow there as Last year on july 4th. We were lucky enough to have enough snow to skin diagonally up instead of doing the usual uproute under the Observation headwall Pretty much we skinned up to The Flett moat and then up between Echo and Obseravaton to enter unto the Russell Glacier.During all this climbing we enjoyed Light cumulus and a nice wind to wipe our sweat.We topped out at 9200' on the knoll overlooking the Mowich glaciers. The Russell headwall was tempting but we passed being low on gas and time.No crevasses were open on our route up and down the west side.We did pass by one that was working on opening and noticed another that we crossed over.  The skiing was challenging as the hot weather after the last storm had prevented consolidation.Of course different aspects skied differently with the west facing and rock shaded being the best. Days like this you do the best you can and learn new techniquues like avoiding pinwheels and slush slides. We Skied all the way back under Observation headwall and various gullys to our shoes and stashed Items.We had just a few climbers for company and noticed just a few ski tracks. One item that came in real handy was a water filter. Everyones load was lighter and there is plenty of water up there until you get out on the Russell glacier.
This trip is really best done over a 2 or 3 trip and in fact on our way out of Spray park we ran into Charles Elderidge and Vince coming in for a 2 night stay.
We finally got back to Mowich lake at 830pm. I love this trip and as soon as this cloud cover lifts sure as hell I'm gonna see those ski tracks and start on the next cycle  of going nuts!
A picture of Karin skiing the Russell http://groups.msn.com/RobiesBackcountrySkiers/backcountryskiing2005.msnw?action=ShowPhoto&PhotoID=184
« Last Edit: 05/29/05, 04:37 PM by Robie » Logged

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ron j
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Re: May 28th  2005, Flett /Russell glaciers MRNP
« Reply #1 on: 05/30/05, 02:43 AM »

Nice Trip, Robman.
I'm glad you made it in there.
How'd you get Gary to go that far from home?
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Robie
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Re: May 28th  2005, Flett /Russell glaciers MRNP
« Reply #2 on: 05/30/05, 04:18 AM »

Easy it was It was Gary Peniston not Gary Vogt!
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Joedabaker
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Re: May 28th  2005, Flett /Russell glaciers MRNP
« Reply #3 on: 05/30/05, 04:30 AM »

Great report Robie! I feel your pain and hallucinations of tracks. Not to suggest that this applies to you but, I can see myself as a deluded old man always thinking there are tracks on that hill or mountain. Hopefully I get to enjoy those moments as you did before the dementia strikes. Cheesy
Joe
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Robie
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Re: May 28th  2005, Flett /Russell glaciers MRNP
« Reply #4 on: 05/30/05, 05:50 AM »

Joe,
My dementia is going to be selective! Leaving out crappy weather,sloppy snow,bad falls,knee surgery and work!
more pictures of this trip taken by myself and Dorothea can be found at http://groups.msn.com/RobiesBackcountrySkiers/flettandrussellglaciertrip.msnw
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Mad_Dog
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Re: May 28th  2005, Flett /Russell glaciers MRNP
« Reply #5 on: 05/30/05, 07:40 AM »

Great pictures Robie, thanks for sharing  Cheesy. That's such a great area.
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Jeanette
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Re: May 28th  2005, Flett /Russell glaciers MRNP
« Reply #6 on: 05/31/05, 03:21 AM »

having been inspired by Robie's trip report, Brenda and I made a run up to Spray Park yesterday. Beautiful day. Bright sun above the bridge crossing into Spray Park. And the new snow has now become much more granular - as compared to the sticky stuff I found Sat on the Muir Snowfield. We headed to the ridge at climber right of Flett headwall and skied those steep rollovers below - excellent! This area has now become my favorite - so many options. Gotta spend a couple nights up there next time though.

Ran into Charles and Vince coming down from below the headwall. I'm anxiously awaiting the trip report of their three day adventure.  
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Mike Metz
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