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NWAC Avalanche
+  Turns All Year Trip Reports
|-+  2014 Backcountry Trip Reports
| |-+  April 2014 Backcountry Trip Reports
| | |-+  April 13, 2014 MRNP, Wilson, Van Trump, & Evac
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Author Topic: April 13, 2014 MRNP, Wilson, Van Trump, & Evac  (Read 2366 times)

Posts: 47

April 13, 2014 MRNP, Wilson, Van Trump, & Evac
« on: 04/14/14, 10:06 AM »

What a spectacular day!!

We headed up about 8:30 to Glacier Vista on well frozen, well tracked snow and then dropped down to the Nisqually.  We skied across to the entrance ramp to the Wilson Glacier at 6900 ft  (thanks Amar for the beta). There was a great set of skin tracks up the gully although we did move a little farther away from the ice fall on skiers right.  The skiers who set the track to the Wilson / Van Trump Cleaver did an outstanding job.  We definitely owe them a beer.

The snow stayed firm even in the sun which was really making us drool for the upcoming corn.  The wind was light to non existent and it was perfect temperatures for skinning.  At about 11:15, we reached 8500 feet to find 3 tents (the skiers must have been climbing to the summit.  We went a little higher and decided to enjoy the sun and views and just wait for the corn.  There were two sets of tracks down the Wilson, that had to traverse  a little to avoid either the crevasses or avy danger, so we talked about a different route down.

We decided to head to the west and ski the Van Trump Glacier.  It was perfect corn all the way to 6800 feet.  We then realized we really needed to traverse  back to the Nisqually before we got too low.  The traverse back east was pretty straight forward until we got to the edge of the Nisqually (although we really wanted to ski those bowls). 

It took a little route finding exploration to find a safe way down to the river, but eventually we found an acceptable route to the river.  Fun ski to the bridge.

We hitch hiked back to Paradise and once there were asked by Ranger Mary to help evac a skier who had broken his leg.  He was just above Alta Vista.  4 Volunteers and 3 park employees headed up in snowshoes with the sled, med bag, O2, etc.  The skier had a freak accident on very flat terrain.  I think he must have just caught his ski in the sticky snow at that elevation.  Ranger Mary was outstanding.  Very professional, kept the mood light and worked in a very collaborative manner even though we were volunteers.  Before we started she told us her experience and the situation, but then said something to the effect of even though she might have the most experience, that does not mean that everything she says is perfect and is there anything we see that should be done differently.  She kept asking for our advice to keep us involved and gain consensus.  This just fit in perfectly with a Backcountry Communication Protocol.  Even though the leader may be viewed as the "expert", they should not be held as infallible and everyone should have a voice and a veto.

The injured skier had a rather painful sled ride back to the waiting ambulance at Paradise, but kept a good sense of humor during the ride.  He had a multiple breaks in his lower leg and foot.

Somehow I left my K2 adjustable ski poles in the parking lot while were were preparing for the evac.  If anyone finds them, please let me know.

Hope everyone else got to harvest some corn this weekend.


* Wilson_Fan_left_Route_up_to_Wilson_center_Nisqually_Headwall_right_1.jpg (89.67 KB, 800x600 - viewed 817 times.)

* Seracs_on_the_way_up_to_the_Wilson_1.jpg (79.62 KB, 800x600 - viewed 821 times.)

* Tracks_on_the_Van_Trump_Glacier_1.jpg (75.88 KB, 800x600 - viewed 809 times.)

Posts: 379

Re: April 13, 2014 MRNP, Wilson, Van Trump, & Evac
« Reply #1 on: 04/14/14, 11:11 AM »

Your poles were in the parking lot near the bathrooms at 6:15. I almost grabbed them, but with so many people still around I was not sure if the owner may still be around.

Posts: 47

Re: April 13, 2014 MRNP, Wilson, Van Trump, & Evac
« Reply #2 on: 04/14/14, 01:15 PM »


thanks,  I think we were still in the parking lot drinking a beer at that time.  The visitor center is closed during the week, so I hope my message to the NPS lost and found works.

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