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+  Turns All Year Trip Reports
|-+  2015 Backcountry Trip Reports
| |-+  September 2015 Backcountry Trip Reports
| | |-+  Sept 5th, 2015, Mt. Rainier, Camp Muir Powder
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Author Topic: Sept 5th, 2015, Mt. Rainier, Camp Muir Powder  (Read 2053 times)

Posts: 18

Sept 5th, 2015, Mt. Rainier, Camp Muir Powder
« on: 09/09/15, 01:34 PM »

CLICK HERE FOR VIDEO: Muir Powder September 5

My son Alex (15) and I are on our first year's quest of TAY and although it has been the roughest snow year I can ever remember, we have been trying to make the best of it.  July/August was taken care of in a double-down run at midnight under the full moon.  Video from that trip here: July31-Aug1 Full Moon Turns

We could see from the Muir cam that things were definitely filling in after last week's storm and decided it was time to get September turns in the books.  What we didn't expect was that this one run would give us better powder turns than we saw through almost all of last winter.

We made a 10:30am start from the Paradise parking lot and hiked up through the meadow trails which were covered with a light dusting of snow.  The white snow contrasted beautifully with the red huckleberry leaves.

Topping out above Pan Point, it was obvious that more than a few inches of new snow awaited us and the possibility that the sun was actually shining above the low cloud deck gave us hope.  To our amazement, we found that Pebble Creek was actually frozen which made an easy crossing.  Climbing up the headwall of the last permanent snowfield showed at least 2 inches of new over the old very dirty snow.  Skinning began here.

As we entered the whiteout of the cloud deck, snow began to fall.  First gently, then more earnestly.  It was filling in previous tracks as we passed Anvil and the sun was teasing through the layer.  Two sections of rocky trail required short portages but didn't require all that much effort.  As mentioned in previous posts, several crevasses have opened up right next to the climbing trail but they are well marked with crossed wands.  The whiteout intensified but we just kept our heads down and trudged upwards while giving encouragement to the handful of skiers flying by us.

We reached Camp Muir in a blizzard.  After seeking shelter in the public hut for a quick nap and a bite to eat, it was time to go.  Just as we were gearing up, the sun broke through the clouds and the summit revealed itself with all of it gleaming new white mantle.  We quickly dove into the ankle-deep powder knowing that this would be our only shot with visibility.

Lower down on the snowfield, we were careful to avoid the crevasse zone and hugged the rocks on skier's left for most of the run bouncing between there and the climber's trail as visibility dictated.  We both experienced several bouts of vertigo, especially when traversing.  Keeping each other close and taking things slow proved to be the best method.

Reaching the end of the permanent snowfield, we quickly transitioned and began hiking down.  Although we had seen over a hundred individuals on the way up, not one soul was encountered on our entire decent.  Using the dying light reflected by the surrounding fresh snow on the rocks, we made it almost to Alta Vista before we had to pull out the headlamp and finish the hike.

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« Last Edit: 09/09/15, 01:51 PM by bropka » Logged

Posts: 699

Re: Sept 5th, 2015, Mt. Rainier, Camp Muir Powder
« Reply #1 on: 09/09/15, 02:13 PM »

Thanks for the great video, you are on a worthy adventure with your young son, and what great luck to have a little fresh  in September for the worst snow year in years, hope this is a harbinger of the year ahead!
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