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Author Topic: March 11-12, 2014, Rainier, Muir to Bridge Powder!  (Read 6923 times)
Amar Andalkar
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March 11-12, 2014, Rainier, Muir to Bridge Powder!
« on: 03/16/14, 05:12 PM »

March 11, 2014, Mount Rainier, Camp Muir to Nisqually Bridge via Pebble Creek Gully: Smooth Untracked Snow, Mostly Powder
March 12, 2014, Mount Rainier, Camp Muir to Nisqually Bridge via Pebble Creek NW Face: Powder, Proto-Corn, Windpack

Started writing a brief trip report on the evening of Tuesday, March 11, but it grew longer and I didn't finish it enough to post before sleeping and then heading back there again on Wednesday. And then I was too tired to write anymore the next evening, and then skied Crystal on Thursday too. So now that it's a rainy day, here's a belated and combined TR for both Rainier trips:

Summary: Took advantage of the two nicest days in about 6 weeks to ski twice from Camp Muir to Nisqually Bridge via relatively avalanche-safe routes, in powder conditions for a good fraction of the runs especially on the first day, with some nice proto-corn snow too on steeper sunnier aspects especially on the second day. Mostly good to great ski conditions and absolute solitude during the ski descents too, I skied the entire 6200 vert from Muir to the bridge solo on Tuesday without needing to cross another track, and quite surprisingly (given the perfect weather and excellent snow conditions) was the only one to ski to the bridge that day. Even more surprisingly, my lone track was still untouched late the next afternoon, when our group of three was once again all alone on the entire magnificent descent of the Nisqually Glacier and riverbed out to the bridge. Outstanding!


All smiles after skiing untracked powder down a NW face to the Nisqually Glacier at 4pm on Wednesday March 12.

Also observed the remnants of a truly monstrous avalanche on the lower Nisqually Glacier, well up in the D5 class, a wet slab which occurred at least several days earlier and ran from somewhere above 10000 ft all the way down to 4900 ft below the present glacier terminus, with a path length of about 3 miles. Makes the March 10 Throne avalanche at Crystal Mountain look puny in comparison! More photos and a detailed comparison with that avalanche are below.


Three-shot panorama of Nisqually Glacier (left to center) and Nisqually Chute (right center), showing a small portion (!) of the path of the older massive wet slab avalanche down low and also newer serac-fall avalanche debris up high, taken from atop the NW face we skied on March 12. (click for double-size version)



Details:
March 11: Tuesday was forecast to be the nicest day at high elevations on Mount Rainier in about 6 weeks since February 1 (an amazing day skiing all-powder from 10500 ft to Paradise), with light winds at 10000 ft and temperatures rising into the upper 20s F. Decided to head up to Paradise and Camp Muir to check out how things looked after all the recent storms and snowfall, including 13" new at Paradise in 30 hours from Sunday evening through midnight Monday after the heavy rain changed over to snow. Got a leisurely start in the morning, leaving Seattle around 7:45am. Very wintry road surface on the drive up from Longmire to Paradise, compact snow and ice, with a bit of new snow overnight all the way down to Longmire at 2700 ft.

March 12: As I was driving home to Seattle from Tuesday's trip, Theresa said she was headed to Muir the next day with Kristen and asked if I wanted to ski it again with them. Sounded good to me, the weather looked great on Wednesday too, forecast to be a bit warmer but also somewhat windier, so plans were set. Left Seattle around 7am and enjoyed an easy drive up to Paradise. The previous day's sun had made the road to Paradise very springlike in contrast to yesterday, mostly bare and dry with occasional short snowy/icy patches in shady spots.


Morning light on the Mountain above the Nisqually River at Longmire, March 12.

March 11: At Paradise the new snow was still very wintry too (loose, dry, powdery) in shaded areas when I headed up just before 11am, but already getting rapidly cooked most everywhere in the bright sunshine. A decent skin track was already in place given my late start, and it switchbacked nicely up Pan Face, with no signs of instability in the morning. As expected based on telemetry, stability appeared to be very good overall, the new snow (12-18" atop raincrust) was entirely right-side-up, falling at decreasing temps and winds after the changeover from rain to snow. Bond to raincrust appeared good when setting new skintrack on a couple of steep sunny rolls above Pan Point where the existing skin track went a sub-optimal way, not sliding out at all underfoot. Nothing really moved or slid that I saw all day, except several large serac falls in Nisqually Icefall.


Looking very wintry just above Paradise, March 11.

Regarding the issue of persistent deep slab instability: I've given it much thought over the past month, perhaps more than any other avalanche issue during the 18 years that I've been ski mountaineering, especially since skiing big open terrain is central to almost all of my trips including these two. I came to the conclusion that the likelihood of triggering that instability (and therefore most likely dying in the subsequent massive avalanche) on this terrain and this route during these days was minuscule, less than the likelihood of a fatal automobile accident on the drive from Seattle to Paradise. There's no possible way to quantify that avalanche hazard, but both of the worrisome persistent weak layers which produced recent massive explosive-triggered avalanches at Crystal Mountain 13 miles ENE of Mount Rainier (buried surface hoar at the late January crust, and depth hoar from early season at the ground) are less likely to exist in significant areas above Paradise to Camp Muir and down the Nisqually Glacier. The early season snowpack was deeper at Rainier than anywhere else in the Northwest, lessening the likelihood of depth hoar formation during the early December extreme cold snap, and the open above-treeline wind-exposed nature of almost all of this terrain lessened the likelihood of surface hoar formation atop the late January crust (despite being technically below-treeline on its lower portions, the entire Nisqually Glacier and uppermost riverbed behaves like wind-exposed above-treeline terrain due to the complete absence of trees and the frequent downslope katabatic winds during clear storm-free periods). In addition, the snowpack on the south side of Rainier is currently (and normally) about twice the depth of that at comparable elevations at Crystal Mountain, greatly decreasing the (already tiny) likelihood of skier-triggering of such instabilities. But despite all that, massive avalanches may still be possible on the south side of Rainier, as evidenced by the huge recent avalanche deposit on Nisqually Glacier.


Telephoto view from Panorama Face of Mount Hood framed between The Castle and Pinnacle Peak in the Tatoosh Range, March 11.

March 12: At Paradise the new snow was no longer very wintry, consolidated to a semi-supportable crust when we headed up in warm sunshine around 10:45am.



The previous day's nice skin track up Pan Face appeared from a distance to have been mostly destroyed by a maze of tracks of all types, and it was likely to be a frozen mess too due to yesterday's afternoon sun cooking it and today's morning sun not yet warming that WSW aspect. So I decided to set a new skin track up the south face of the SW ridge of Pan Point which gets sun exposure several hours earlier than Pan Face. Excellent skinning conditions on this 35-40 slope, 3-4" ski penetration in the sun-warmed snow, bonded perfectly to the subsurface with no slipping or sluffing. I used ski crampons just in case (not knowing what I'd find there), but it would have gone fine without them.

March 11: Above the rolls the mostly combined skin-snowshoe track continued all the way up to Camp Muir. Not very crowded today, maybe only 10-15 skiers and 1 very large RMI winter seminar group on snowshoes. Around 1:40pm there was a sudden huge roar from high on the Mountain, looked up to see a large serac-fall avalanche, among the few largest such avalanches that I've ever witnessed in 300+ days skiing on Rainier, originating near 12000 ft just west of Nisqually Cleaver and running out of sight down the Nisqually Glacier to about 8000 ft. Shot a minute of video starting just a few seconds after the avalanche began:


A large serac-fall avalanche from about 12000 ft on Nisqually Icefall, with part of the avalanche pouring over the edge of Nisqually Cleaver. View looking northwest from about 9200 ft on the Muir Snowfield, about 1.5 miles away. The voice is that of another onlooker, NOT mine. (click for YouTube video)


Arrived at Camp Muir around 2:20pm, in wonderful weather for late winter, bright sunshine, mostly calm but with occasional sudden cold NE gusts to 15-20 mph, temps around 25 F.

March 12: Not very crowded today either, maybe less people than yesterday. A large group of snowshoers pulling sleds (some group which said they were training for pulling sleds, I did not ask which group or company) was in the process of totally destroying my nice skintrack from yesterday up one of the rolls above Pan Point, while making their own lives miserable on the steep sidehill as the sleds dragged them twisting downslope, and ignoring a much easier snowshoe track ideal for hauling sleds (straight up the fall line) which already existed only a few dozen yards west. I had put that skintrack in the only good, safe, easily-skinnable spot at this time on the entire short but very steep roll (varying from 40-70 along its length, with an increasingly hazardous avalanche slope farther to the right where the angle was least but it rolls over into upper Edith Creek Basin), and the best option was for me to recut the skintrack in the same spot through their mess, aided by the sharp teeth of the ski crampons. After that, the rest of the ascent was smooth skinning.



We would see only a handful of people the rest of the way to Muir, but an increasingly gusty westerly wind (20-30 mph in the windiest spots) made it a bit chilly at times, and had already mostly filled the combined skin-snowshoe track with windblown snow since the previous 3 skiers had skinned by perhaps a half-hour ahead of us.


Two-shot panorama of the wind-filled skintrack on the Muir Snowfield, March 12.

Arrived at Muir just before 2:30pm, and decided to hang out in the public shelter to get out the chilly wind, despite the sweet sunshine outside with temps close to 30 F.



March 11: Skied down a bit after 3pm, starting down through the gap just west of the RMI hut to avoid crossing anyone else's tracks. It was variable dense windblown powder up high (mostly 2-8" deep), getting deeper at lower elevations. Stayed just to skier's right (west) of the other half-dozen tracks from earlier skiers all the way down the Muir Snowfield to stay on untracked snow.


Skiing untracked powder down from the ranger hut to avoid crossing any other tracks, March 11.

March 12: I noticed the door of the climbing ranger hut had been dug out and went over to chat, finding the RMI guides and park maintenance staff talking busily on the radio and looking through a spotting scope at an object lying in the snow far down the skier's right side of the Muir Snowfield. They had seen a skier descending that way hours earlier, and thought the object looked like a fallen body with 2 skis scattered on the slope below. I shot a maximum-zoom photo with my camera (Canon SX160 IS compact superzoom, 28-448 mm) and thought it looked like a rock, but couldn't tell for sure on the LCD display. They were worried enough that they were considering sending a guide down with a trauma kit to investigate just in case, but I ended up being volunteered for the task since we were skiing that way anyway, with instructions to wave and jump if we actually found a person lying there.



We skied down at 3:15pm after that delay, finding the snow conditions much worse than yesterday's powder on the upper Muir Snowfield, as several hours of the gusty west winds had hammered the powder into a patchwork of easily-breakable windcrust and smooth nice windpack. It wasn't terrible skiing, but required constant attention and weight back to avoid face-planting. Conditions improved significantly with more consistent snow as we neared 8500 ft and approached the object of so much speculation and interest, which turned out to be a rock as we all hoped.


An incipient lenticular cloud forming on the summit as we skied down the Muir Snowfield, March 12.



March 11: I really wanted to ski out to Nisqually Bridge to get the awesome views from the lower Nisqually Glacier and the free extra vertical, but attempting Nisqually Chute on this day was beyond my risk tolerance, solo or not. No one else had headed that way either yet this day. Pebble Creek Gully offers a safer and less steep access down to the Nisqually, with the major advantage that it faces west and northwest, thus greatly reducing the effects of the sun and also delaying them by several hours relative to the mostly south-facing and steeper Nisqually Chute. Still nice dense powder on these west and northwest aspects, with adjacent slopes facing slightly more SW already covered in lots of small rollers.

March 12: The lower portion of the Muir Snowfield to Pebble Creek was great skiing, smooth sun-softened snow with proto-corn on steeper south-facing rolls, and still some powder along the northwest sides of the rolls too.



There's a nice northwest-facing slope just south of Pebble Creek, which I'd been reluctant to ski the previous day solo given its greater steepness and the possibility of it being cross-loaded by southwesterly storm winds channeling up the Nisqually Glacier. It looked too good to pass up this day, and it delivered the goods: about 600 vert of smooth untracked powder down to the Nisqually Moraine at 6300 ft, not sun-affected despite 2 days of strong sunshine due to the very oblique solar angle on this slope.



March 11: Lots of small rollers on steep solar aspects, and some fairly large natural wet surface sluffs had occurred earlier in the day on SW slopes over 40, including down all entrances of Nisqually Chute and several adjacent slopes (even though some ran 500-2000 vert, none of them appeared to entrain the entire depth of new snow).


A bit more powder on a west aspect down Nisqually Moraine to the glacier, March 11.

March 12: There were no new wet sluffs (nor any ski tracks) visible down Nisqually Chute since yesterday, but the sunny SW slope to its south had several new wet sluffs triggered from the rocks at the top and extending down to the flats. Once again, none were deep or dangerous looking.


Four-shot panorama of Nisqually Glacier (left to center), Nisqually Chute (right center), and Pebble Creek Gully (right), taken from Nisqually Moraine on March 12. (click for triple-size version)



(Continued in next post due to TAY's 20,000 character limit per post.)

« Last Edit: 03/16/14, 06:56 PM by Amar Andalkar » Logged

Amar Andalkar
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Re: March 11-12, 2014, Rainier, Muir to Bridge Powder!
« Reply #1 on: 03/16/14, 05:13 PM »

(Split from previous post due to TAY's 20,000 character limit per post.)

March 11: The snow on the Nisqually Glacier was smooth and fast, especially by hugging the skier's left edge which had gotten the least sun. But there was something very unusual under the smooth surface: Roughly one-quarter of the lower Nisqually Glacier was covered by the remnants of a truly monstrous avalanche, well up in the D5 class, a wet slab which ran from somewhere above 10000 ft all the way down to 4900 ft below the present glacier terminus, with a path length of about 3 miles. The source location was uncertain, with no crown discernible due to extensive crevassing plus lots of more recent snowfall and serac-fall debris from above covering much of the terrain from 8000 ft up to over 11000 ft. This avalanche is roughly 5-10 times the size of the explosive-triggered avalanche of March 10 on the Throne, which was the largest slide ever observed at Crystal Mountain and classified as R5-D4. Ironically, the Nisqually avalanche may only be R4 relative to its immense path (or a very marginal R5), since it is conceivable that this path could produce avalanches several times wider and much larger in volume. It has probably even done so within the past few decades, and maybe someone out there has photos!


Four-shot panorama from the edge of Nisqually Glacier, beside the path of the large wet slab avalanche debris deposit near 6000 ft, March 11. (click for double-size version)


If I've seen any previous avalanche of this size or larger on the Nisqually, I can not recall it now. This was among the largest avalanche deposits I've ever seen, almost certainly the longest, but may not be the largest by volume. Over the years I've seen deeper avalanche deposits (50+ ft) from avalanches of 1-2 miles in length with vertical drops of perhaps 3-5000 ft in the Van Trump and Kautz drainages on Rainier, the Worm Flows on Mount Saint Helens, Avalanche Gulch on Mount Shasta, and the Devastated Area on Lassen Peak.


Towers and flow features still visible on the deeply buried avalanche deposit, March 11.

Large flow features, tall levees, and the overall form and structure indicate that it was a wet slab avalanche, but the debris itself has been covered by at least 1-2 ft of consolidated newer snow at 5000 ft and over 3-4 ft above 6000 ft, so it most likely occurred during the first warm wet period of that storm cycle (March 5-6) rather than over the weekend warm wet period (March 8-9). The fact that most features are still easily visible despite that large amount of newer snow burying it emphasizes how massive a slide it was.


Looking down along the deeply buried avalanche deposit towards the terminus of Nisqually Glacier with the bridge far below, March 11.


The end of the avalanche deposit down in the Nisqually River near 4900 ft, well below the current glacier terminus, March 11.

The photos probably fail to convey the vast scale of this avalanche deposit, so maybe this map will do a better job. Here is a comparison of the extent of the Nisqually Glacier avalanche and the Throne avalanche at Crystal, drawn based on my numerous photos of each slide:


Comparison of the approximate areal extent of the March 2014 Nisqually Glacier avalanche and the March 10, 2014, Throne avalanche at Crystal Mountain.
Note that several ski lifts shown on the 1988 Norse Peak topo map no longer exist, and several newer lifts are missing, some of which have been added for reference.


And a comparison table of the two avalanches (all values approximate, derived from my own photos and measured from the topo map):

                   Nisqually            Throne
                   Avalanche           Avalanche
                (March ?, 2014)    (March 10, 2014)
                  WS-NO-R4-D5         WS-AE-R5-D4
Crown Height:        unknown             8-10 ft
Crown Width:         unknown              900 ft
Slab Length:         unknown          400-800 ft
Slab Volume:         unknown        5,000,000 cu ft
Slab Mass:           unknown           80,000 tons (assuming density of 0.5)
Crown Elevation:    10000+ ft ??         6800 ft
Debris Terminus:     4900  ft            5950 ft
Vertical Drop:       5000+ ft ??          850 ft
Path Length:        2.5-3 miles          2300 ft

Avalanche codes:
WS-NO-R4-D5: Wet slab, unclassified natural trigger, large relative to the path, could gouge the landscape and among the largest snow avalanches known.
WS-AE-R5-D4: Wet slab, artificial explosive trigger, major or maximum relative to the path, could destroy several buildings or a substantial amount of forest.




March 12: The snow on the Nisqually Glacier was still smooth and fast on the flats near 6000 ft, with a fast cruise down along the left edge once again. The steeper south-facing aspects down to the terminus had begun the corning process after 2 days of intense sunshine, with smooth proto-corn although just a bit sticky in spots.


Skiing smooth proto-corn just below the termins of the Nisqually Glacier (the ice cave at center), March 12, standing atop my lone track from yesterday.

March 11: Snow coverage along the Nisqually River below the terminus was much improved from when I last skied to the bridge 7 times in late January, with a few feet of additional fully consolidated snow covering almost all rocks and obstacles. A few moderately-large wet slides had come down the slopes a day or more earlier, only one of which extended down to the river and needed to be crossed on the way out. Nothing worrisome at all even though it was now 4pm. The snow was fairly slow and wet along the river, but reasonably well-consolidated (no deep mush) and not unpredictably sticky (no annoying fast-slow patches).

The exit up the old roadbed at 3900 ft up to the Nisqually Bridge was also much improved since January, the extra snow making it very easy to navigate through the slide alder and the sticky grippy snow avoiding the need for skins. After about 5 minutes of skin-less shuffling I popped out onto the road around 4:10pm, and managed to hitch a ride within about 10 minutes, from a very nice hiker who was heading downhill but turned around and drove me back up to Paradise. Thanks Brian!


Easy exit shuffling through the slide alder up to Nisqually bridge, March 12.

March 12: Very similar conditions along the river to the previous day, almost no change on this part at all. My track from the previous day made for somewhat faster travel. We had gotten a bit later than the previous day due to a variety of small delays throughout the day adding up to perhaps an hour-plus, and it was just after 4:30pm when we made it to the road this time.



It was getting very late for hitching a ride, given that the road closes to uphill traffic at 4pm and the gate is locked at 5pm. We had seen several cars heading uphill as we neared the bridge, but these would be the last uphill traffic of the day. After 15-20 minutes of waiting in vain, a nice couple heading downhill finally stopped and gave Theresa a ride back up to Paradise to get her car, only to be stopped by the park ranger shortly after they headed back up. "You know the road is closed, right?" she began sternly. A quick explanation and a very nice ranger made it all go smoothly, with her mentioning to Theresa that "I saw your tracks up there, they look awesome!" and allowing us to complete our exit well after 5pm without hassle or citation. Awesome luck to cap off an outstanding day of skiing and sunshine!


Ski tracks on the glacier visible from the road at Nisqually bridge, March 12.

By the way, the exit out to the bridge should remain good for a few weeks at least, into early April or perhaps longer if we get significant additional snowfall down to 4000 ft or lower.


Good snow coverage along the Nisqually River seen from the bridge, March 12.

So sweet to get out in the glorious sunshine and enjoy fine winter and spring snow conditions for two days in a row. About 12400 vert of skiing for only 9400 ft of gain, an excellent ratio as always on the Nisqually shuttle.


Evening light on the Mountain above the Nisqually River at Longmire, with the suspension bridge at right, March 12.



MOUNT RAINIER RECREATIONAL FORECAST
NATIONAL WEATHER SERVICE SEATTLE WA
640 AM PDT TUE MAR 11 2014

SYNOPSIS...HIGH PRESSURE ALOFT WILL PREVAIL OVER THE REGION TUESDAY. THE RIDGE WILL WEAKEN ON WEDNESDAY WITH A SYSTEM MOVING BY TO THE NORTH OF THE AREA WEDNESDAY NIGHT. THE RIDGE WILL REBUILD SLIGHTLY ON THURSDAY THEN SHIFT EAST THURSDAY NIGHT. THIS WILL ALLOW A PAIR OF WEATHER SYSTEMS TO MOVE THROUGH WESTERN WASHINGTON FRIDAY INTO THE WEEKEND.

TUESDAY...SUNNY AFTER MORNING CLOUDS. FREEZING LEVEL NEAR 4000 FEET INCREASING TO 5000 FEET IN THE AFTERNOON.
TUESDAY NIGHT...MOSTLY CLEAR. FREEZING LEVEL NEAR 7500 FEET.
WEDNESDAY...SUNNY. FREEZING LEVEL NEAR 8500 FEET.
WEDNESDAY NIGHT...BREEZY. PARTLY CLOUDY. FREEZING LEVEL NEAR 8000 FEET.
THURSDAY...MOSTLY SUNNY. FREEZING LEVEL NEAR 7500 FEET.

TEMPERATURE AND WIND FORECASTS FOR SELECTED LOCATIONS.

                       TUE    TUE    WED    WED    THU
                            NIGHT         NIGHT

SUMMIT   (14411 FT)     10     10     10      5      5
                     NW 20   W 15   W 40   W 65   W 45

CAMP MUIR(10188 FT)     24     26     27     22     23
                     NW 15   W 10  SW 20   W 40   W 30

PARADISE  (5420 FT)     38     33     43     30     41
                     NE  5  NE 10  NW  5   W 15   W  5

LONGMIRE  (2700 FT)     46     34     50     35     46
                      CALM   CALM   CALM   CALM   CALM

++ TEMPERATURES AND WIND FOR THE SUMMIT AND CAMP MUIR ARE AVERAGE
   CONDITIONS EXPECTED IN THE FREE AIR AT THOSE ELEVATIONS.
++ TEMPERATURES FOR PARADISE AND LONGMIRE ARE THE EXPECTED HIGHS AND
   LOWS. WIND IS THE AVERAGE WIND EXPECTED DURING THAT PERIOD.

EXTENDED FORECAST...

THURSDAY NIGHT...MOSTLY CLOUDY WITH A CHANCE OF RAIN AND SNOW. SNOW LEVEL NEAR 5500 FEET.
FRIDAY...BREEZY. RAIN AND SNOW LIKELY. SNOW LEVEL NEAR 5000 FEET.
FRIDAY NIGHT...RAIN AND SNOW LIKELY. SNOW LEVEL NEAR 6000 FEET.
SATURDAY...PARTLY SUNNY WITH A CHANCE OF RAIN AND SNOW SHOWERS. SNOW LEVEL NEAR 5000 FEET.
SATURDAY NIGHT...PARTLY CLOUDY WITH A CHANCE OF RAIN AND SNOW SHOWERS. SNOW LEVEL NEAR 7000 FEET.
SUNDAY...BREEZY. MOSTLY CLOUDY WITH A CHANCE OF RAIN AND SNOW. SNOW LEVEL NEAR 7500 FEET.
SUNDAY NIGHT...BREEZY. MOSTLY CLOUDY WITH A CHANCE OF RAIN AND SNOW SHOWERS. SNOW LEVEL NEAR 3000 FEET.
MONDAY...PARTLY SUNNY WITH A CHANCE OF SNOW SHOWERS. SNOW LEVEL NEAR 1500 FEET.


MOUNT RAINIER RECREATIONAL FORECAST
NATIONAL WEATHER SERVICE SEATTLE WA
350 AM PDT WED MAR 12 2014

SYNOPSIS...AN UPPER LEVEL RIDGE WILL BRING DRY WEATHER TO WESTERN WASHINGTON THROUGH THURSDAY. A PACIFIC FRONTAL SYSTEM WILL SPREAD RAIN AND BREEZY CONDITIONS ACROSS THE AREA THURSDAY NIGHT AND FRIDAY. RELATIVELY WEAK WEATHER SYSTEMS COULD AFFECT THE AREA OVER THE WEEKEND AND EARLY NEXT WEEK.

WEDNESDAY...SUNNY. FREEZING LEVEL NEAR 8500 FEET.
WEDNESDAY NIGHT...WINDY. MOSTLY CLEAR. FREEZING LEVEL NEAR 8000 FEET.
THURSDAY...BREEZY. MOSTLY SUNNY. FREEZING LEVEL NEAR 7500 FEET.
THURSDAY NIGHT...BREEZY. MOSTLY CLOUDY. A CHANCE OF RAIN AND SNOW. SNOW LEVEL NEAR 5500 FEET.
FRIDAY...BREEZY. RAIN AND SNOW. SNOW LEVEL NEAR 5000 FEET.

TEMPERATURE AND WIND FORECASTS FOR SELECTED LOCATIONS.

                       WED    WED    THU    THU    FRI
                            NIGHT         NIGHT

SUMMIT   (14411 FT)      9      8      7      6     -5
                      W 45   W 55   W 30   W 55   W 80

CAMP MUIR(10188 FT)     28     23     24     20     11
                      W 25   W 40   W 25   W 40   W 60

PARADISE  (5420 FT)     50     30     44     30     38
                     NW  5   W 20   W 10   W 15   W 15

LONGMIRE  (2700 FT)     53     29     47     36     44
                      CALM   CALM   CALM   CALM   CALM

++ TEMPERATURES AND WIND FOR THE SUMMIT AND CAMP MUIR ARE AVERAGE
   CONDITIONS EXPECTED IN THE FREE AIR AT THOSE ELEVATIONS.
++ TEMPERATURES FOR PARADISE AND LONGMIRE ARE THE EXPECTED HIGHS AND
   LOWS. WIND IS THE AVERAGE WIND EXPECTED DURING THAT PERIOD.

EXTENDED FORECAST...

FRIDAY NIGHT...WINDY. MOSTLY CLOUDY WITH A CHANCE OF RAIN AND SNOW SHOWERS. SNOW LEVEL NEAR 6000 FEET.
SATURDAY...PARTLY SUNNY WITH A CHANCE OF RAIN AND SNOW. SNOW LEVEL NEAR 5500 FEET.
SATURDAY NIGHT...MOSTLY CLOUDY WITH A CHANCE OF RAIN AND SNOW. SNOW LEVEL NEAR 7000 FEET.
SUNDAY...MOSTLY CLOUDY WITH A CHANCE OF RAIN AND SNOW. SNOW LEVEL NEAR 7500 FEET.
SUNDAY NIGHT...BREEZY. MOSTLY CLOUDY WITH A CHANCE OF RAIN AND SNOW SHOWERS. SNOW LEVEL NEAR 3000 FEET.
MONDAY...PARTLY SUNNY WITH A CHANCE OF SNOW SHOWERS.
MONDAY NIGHT...MOSTLY CLOUDY WITH A CHANCE OF RAIN AND SNOW SHOWERS. SNOW LEVEL NEAR 3000 FEET.
TUESDAY...PARTLY SUNNY WITH A CHANCE OF RAIN AND SNOW SHOWERS. SNOW LEVEL NEAR 2500 FEET.


« Last Edit: 03/16/14, 05:35 PM by Amar Andalkar » Logged

lrudholm
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Re: March 11-12, 2014, Rainier, Muir to Bridge Powder!
« Reply #2 on: 03/16/14, 06:04 PM »

Cool dude!!!! I was curious whose tracks those were down from pebble creek onto the nisqually.

Hopefully they keep the gate open a little later soon with daylight savings and all that.
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Leyland
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Re: March 11-12, 2014, Rainier, Muir to Bridge Powder!
« Reply #3 on: 03/16/14, 06:20 PM »

Thanks for the nice read on a rainy evening, Amar!

I recall a larger avalanche on the Nisqually back in the mid 70's. It followed a windy weeklong mid-winter storm and ran about as far as this recent one, but not to the terminus of that time. The normal Wilson Crossing of Nisqually Glacier was covered in debris almost from one side to the other. The crown fracture ran from Gibralter to the cleaver across the top of Nisqually Icefall and looked to be several tens of feet high from Paradise.

Our group driving down passed you just as you reached Glacier Bridge Tuesday. I'm glad the authorities were so cooperative the next day!
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I feel like I'm diagonally parked in a parallel universe.
the_flying_v
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Re: March 11-12, 2014, Rainier, Muir to Bridge Powder!
« Reply #4 on: 03/16/14, 08:43 PM »

Who made those baller G turns in the first photo? Theresa?!?
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Amar Andalkar
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WWW
Re: March 11-12, 2014, Rainier, Muir to Bridge Powder!
« Reply #5 on: 03/17/14, 07:21 PM »

Who made those baller G turns in the first photo? Theresa?!?

Umm, what the heck are baller G turns?? Not sure which tracks you're asking about.

Anyway, the large-radius turns are mine, the short-radius turns at looker's left are Kristen's and those at right are Theresa's.





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the_flying_v
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Re: March 11-12, 2014, Rainier, Muir to Bridge Powder!
« Reply #6 on: 03/17/14, 07:49 PM »

Umm, what the heck are baller G turns?? Not sure which tracks you're asking about.

Anyway, the large-radius turns are mine, the short-radius turns at looker's left are Kristen's and those at right are Theresa's.




Yes, the large radius ones. Those look real nice.
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MattT
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Re: March 11-12, 2014, Rainier, Muir to Bridge Powder!
« Reply #7 on: 03/18/14, 08:22 PM »

As always a great looking trip. Thanks for the great stoke!
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runningclouds
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Re: March 11-12, 2014, Rainier, Muir to Bridge Powder!
« Reply #8 on: 03/22/14, 02:00 PM »

Amar, you are the Leo Tolstoy of turns-all-year! In my book that is a compliment. Thanks for the report.
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Floater
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Re: March 11-12, 2014, Rainier, Muir to Bridge Powder!
« Reply #9 on: 03/22/14, 05:22 PM »

Amar

Your shots of the powder were definitely not hat skiing.  I actually found some a couple of days ago and oodles of it in Montana. 

However, you are the man and do some great photography work.  How do you get all those beautiful women to pose for you?  Forget the powder.....you have it made....ghost skiing and hat skiing is for us old fogies...who are over the hill or excusme me going down the hill.

Keep up the great work.
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sipski3
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Re: March 11-12, 2014, Rainier, Muir to Bridge Powder!
« Reply #10 on: 03/24/14, 03:02 PM »

Who made those baller G turns in the first photo? Theresa?!?

Haha, Josh, I like to turn too much. Must be the Midwest slalom racer in me. Super fun turns though!

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