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| |-+  April 2017 Backcountry Trip Reports
| | |-+  April 9, 2017 Nisqually Glacier, Mount Rainier
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Author Topic: April 9, 2017 Nisqually Glacier, Mount Rainier  (Read 1308 times)

Posts: 227

April 9, 2017 Nisqually Glacier, Mount Rainier
« on: 04/10/17, 06:08 PM »

Beautiful day on Mount Rainier! Four of us, KJB, DaveTheHuman and Efree skinned up to Camp Muir in mostly sunny conditions. There was easily more skiers on the Muir Snowfield than snowshoers. This is something that I've found particularly interesting as of late. 6-8 years ago on any random Sunday there was always way more people hiking and snowshoeing than skiing. Funny how things change!

We departed Camp Muir at 4pm and proceeded straight to the Nisqually Glacier. I'm not exactly sure of our entry elevation onto the glacier but it was probably around 9500 - 9000 feet. The glacier was in prime skiing condition. With the ~8 inches of fresh snow that fell on Friday night down to at least 3500 feet, the snow on the glacier where it was not wind effected was awesome. We noticed that we encountered way less wind effected snow on the Nisqually descent than on our Muir Snowfield ascent.

On our way up to Muir we heard and saw the usual serac fall in the afternoon sun on the upper Nisqually which created a large powder cloud from the relatively small avalanche that was triggered by the serac fall.

Overall the Nisqually was a great choice for this day as everything was filled in nicely. The cold temps helped keep the snow very stable. The snow quality itself however was highly variable at different elevation bands due to wind depositing and/or wind scouring. The sun seemed like it might have been a slight factor too.

We skied to around ~3800 feet, the Nisqually Bridge. Opting for staying skiers right of the river as we had left one vehicle at the parking area adjacent to the bridge. There was only one small sketch area that we had to navigate right before we got to the bridge, but we did not have to de-ski. My general advice for anyone skiing to the bridge over the next week or so is to stay skiers left of the river, and walk across the bridge if going to the parking area.

Thanks to the excellent crew, you guys were awesome!

photos from KJB's camera
« Last Edit: 04/11/17, 01:53 AM by mosetick » Logged
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