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Author Topic: April 3, 2015, Rainier Nisqually Chutes  (Read 1839 times)

Posts: 71

April 3, 2015, Rainier Nisqually Chutes
« on: 04/06/15, 11:46 AM »

We left Seattle Saturday morning at 6:30am stoked to go ski in the Tatoosh. We saw Amar's trip report and thought we'd find some good snow, and with Hwy 20 opening we figured we'd have the place to ourselves. We were right.

Driving into the Tatoosh parking lot we were stricken. Weather on Rainier looked clear and glorious, and the Tatoosh was a bit socked in by rain clouds. The initial approach hill was completely barren, so we drove up to see if the road was open. It was not, but the road was clear of snow, so we opted to continue to Paradise to get some snow. Figured there will be lots of opportunity to walk to snow this year, might as well take advantage of skinning from the car while we can!

A few dozen other cars in the parking lot at 9:30ish. We were skinning just before 10am, and made it to the base of Pan Point by 11am. The snow was amazing people. Powdery, light, and crystalized - I haven't seen sparkly snow all season!

Following an excellent skin track, we were able to skin all the way to the top of pan point. It took us a while with a few newbs and a couple hard switchbacks, but we took a rest at the top to enjoy the views. Clouds stayed to the south and never really impeded on our day!

We climbed up onto the snowfield - again following an excellent skin track - and cut over to the chutes at 8k. We entered from the high point around 8200'. Dense clouds came in and delayed our departure, but we were skiing down by 2:30pm.

Snow was definitely a bit manky - heavy and dense - but we got in some great turns. Even late in the day nothing seemed to be sliding, even with a solid ski cut. We skied down one at a time to be on the safe side, but never saw anything other than a few pinwheels. Watch out for chunks though, a few of us fell victim to those under the fresh snow!

Consistency changed near the bottom with a fresh crust on pow, making for some interesting and grabby turns. But we made it safely to lower pebble creek and climbed up to Glacier Vista without incident for a straightforward ski back to the car. A single party of three went before us and put in a great skin track up to glacier vista. Thanks guys!

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