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| | |-+  September 6, 2014 Pinnacle Glacier MRNP
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Author Topic: September 6, 2014 Pinnacle Glacier MRNP  (Read 10945 times)
kcahrens
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September 6, 2014 Pinnacle Glacier MRNP
« on: 09/06/14, 09:54 PM »

After doing the Stujack Glacier concrete last month (and an 80 mile backpacking trip earlier this week), I decided I needed some more quality in my turns this month. Heard some good things from some friends about the Paradise Glacier from last month. We thought it would be a good idea to try and hit it again, early in hopes from a good ride.

After getting a little later start that we would have liked, we got to the paradise parking lot around 10:30 or so... and then we were in for a surprise... Paradise RD was closed beyond the main parking lot... which wouldn't have been a huge deal, if it weren't a warm summer Saturday and the parking lot at paradise and the lower parking lots were completely full. In our lost state of looking for a parking spot we eye something off in the distance... a large patch of clean white snow sitting on the south side of a saddle between Pinnacle Peak and The Saddle. We decided to go for it! None of us had been up there before, but judging by the maps it looked like we could scramble up to it from the north side from the Plummer Peak Trail.

Hit the Plummer Peak Trail around 11:30 or so. The trail was super easy to follow for the first mile (if that) to the pass between Plummer Peak and Pinnacle Peak. In that mile it was clear that scrambling up the north side wouldn't be an option. We talked to a climber who was on his way back from climbing Pinnacle Peak, he informed us that there is a trail that circumnavigates Pinnacle Peak and The Castle. We decided to take that to the south side of the saddle and see if we could come back over the top to access the snow field.

Jireh and Myself enjoying the hike and views


Sure enough, we get to the back side of the saddle, scramble up and we hit the jackpot: a 10 foot scramble down to the top of the glacier.

The scramble up to the top of the Saddle (The Spire to the far right of the frame is The Castle to the best of my knowledge)


We dropped down strapped our boards and ski's on and hit it. Much to our riding pleasure, it was damn near perfect corn (only down side was the snow, especially to the west had many rocks we had to avoid). Each got two laps in then sat down and drank a good old Rainier while enjoying the bitter sweet views of a very bare volcano right in front of us.

A video of tyler getting his second lap in and Jireh hiking back up. Vimeo

Tyler enjoying the one and only Rainier


All in all a great day from my buds to take me to Mount Rainier National Park for my first time.

More pictures here

The Glacier and the View


One last picture of the views to the south: Notice Adams and Hellen's!
« Last Edit: 09/06/14, 09:58 PM by kcahrens » Logged
mikerolfs
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Re: September 6, 2014 Pinnacle Glacier MRNP
« Reply #1 on: 09/07/14, 12:11 AM »

The Glacier and the View


Looks like a great place to spend a day.  Makes me think of lining up lawn chairs at the bottom and cheering each other on for runs.  Good job with the creativity.  That would be a sweet camp spot!
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Randy
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Re: September 6, 2014 Pinnacle Glacier MRNP
« Reply #2 on: 09/07/14, 01:33 PM »

The Pinnacle Glacier is a great spot for fun summer turns and cooling plunges in the pond:  http://www.turns-all-year.com/goldhome3/hp141/

Unfortunately the "Slush Cup" became a victim of it's growing popularity -- I believe the NPS discouraged future events at some point...
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ron j
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Re: September 6, 2014 Pinnacle Glacier MRNP
« Reply #3 on: 09/10/14, 11:28 AM »

It was right kind of you guys to carve off all the sun cups on Saturday.
The corn skied quite nicely on Sunday.
Thanks !!  Grin


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"When I stop having fun I'm turnin' around"
"Prediction is very difficult, especially if it's about the future." - Niels Bohr
"If a given person makes it a priority not to die in an avalanche, he or she stands a very good chance of living a long, happy life in the mountains." - Jill Fredston
JibberD
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Re: September 6, 2014 Pinnacle Glacier MRNP
« Reply #4 on: 09/10/14, 06:27 PM »

Looking strong... and very white, ronj. Yeah!!
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-Doug O
kcahrens
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Re: September 6, 2014 Pinnacle Glacier MRNP
« Reply #5 on: 09/10/14, 06:45 PM »

Glad to help, ron j! You can see our turns and boot track in that picture pretty well!
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r1de
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Re: September 6, 2014 Pinnacle Glacier MRNP
« Reply #6 on: 09/11/14, 09:16 AM »

Great report, what a killer way to get September.  I think I'm going to have to rip off this idea and pay my own first-ever visit to Pinnacle Glacier soon.  Thanks for posting!
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-bp
thatoneguydave
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Re: September 6, 2014 Pinnacle Glacier MRNP
« Reply #7 on: 09/11/14, 12:56 PM »

Nice write up.  I love going here in August and September...sometimes October due to how quick you can get up there and it's a chill/fun few hour adventure.  Did you hike out from below the 'glacier' or go back up and around to the pass?  I had been looking for the trail out through the bottom for a few trips and finally was forced onto in August during a lighting/thunder storm.  Cuts off about 40 minutes of hiking back up and around as you can just hike straight down after skiing.  I'll see everyone at Pinnacle this Saturday for month 36 Smiley
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kcahrens
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Re: September 6, 2014 Pinnacle Glacier MRNP
« Reply #8 on: 09/11/14, 05:03 PM »

We went back up and around the south side.... we looked for a way down the northside, but it looked really steep and loose.
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Randy
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Re: September 6, 2014 Pinnacle Glacier MRNP
« Reply #9 on: 09/11/14, 06:44 PM »

We went back up and around the south side.... we looked for a way down the northside, but it looked really steep and loose.

There is a feasible route more or less directly from Reflection Lakes -- however the NPS really discourages off trail travel.  With the volume of folks that visit the area, it's all to easy to start a new "social trail"  -- Following the trail around and dropping in from above isn't that much more work.

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r1de
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Would it still be "in"?
« Reply #10 on: 09/23/14, 09:53 AM »

Great report, what a killer way to get September.  I think I'm going to have to rip off this idea and pay my own first-ever visit to Pinnacle Glacier soon.  Thanks for posting!

Hi guys, I'm just wondering if anybody has an update on the conditions for this little patch.  If it's a true "glacier", then it should be existent year-yound, but I'm not sure how much it dwindles or what kind of shape it can deteriorate to.

If this is it I'm seeing center-frame:

http://www.rainiervisitorguide.com/rainiercamera-tatoosh.html

then it looks like there's a bit there still.  I'm considering taking a look this week, and bailing to Muir if it looks like it's not worth the hike anymore.

Thanks for any advice.
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-bp
thatoneguydave
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Re: September 6, 2014 Pinnacle Glacier MRNP
« Reply #11 on: 09/23/14, 10:30 AM »

R1de,

I was there just barely over a week ago and it was still there and worth it if your looking for some quick turns, nice scenery along with a short hike.  It's always there and is probably at it's smallest right now.  I go every August/September looking for some solitude and some turns.  The approach is really easy...hike up the pinnacle peak trail, hook left at the pass and drop in between pinnacle peak and castle peak.  Most likely you'll be the only on the glacier with a view of Rainier to yourself.  The echos are really awesome in there too.  I have a photo, but it looks similar to the ones posted in the original trip report.

- David
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r1de
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Re: September 6, 2014 Pinnacle Glacier MRNP
« Reply #12 on: 09/23/14, 10:55 AM »

High-5 David, sounds like just what I'm after.  Thanks much.
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-bp
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