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| | |-+  May 2, 2017, Little Tahoma via Paradise
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Author Topic: May 2, 2017, Little Tahoma via Paradise  (Read 1264 times)

Posts: 21

May 2, 2017, Little Tahoma via Paradise
« on: 05/06/17, 08:08 PM »

Tuesday provided sweet enough weather to comply with a skier's summit up to 10,900ish feet on Little Tahoma. This trip was the only time this season that I got out with my regular touring partner of years past, JTurn. He is eyeing a cycling journey down to Panama so we knew our window was small. Originally, Glacier Peak was circled in on the calendar for an approach via White Chuck River on 5/2, and a summit and exit the following day.  With last minute forecast models showing a strong chance of precip  on 5/3, we decided to put all our energy into a single day somewhere else.   As it turns out, the 3rd was an awesome day around the Puget Sound. I wonder if this extended up into the alpine region.

Anyway, Little T is a Spring skiing icon and we were stoked to give it a shot.  We pulled out of Seattle around 4:45a and were skinning 3 hours later.  Thanks to a convincing post by Amar, we chose the low route, sowing together the lower glacier moraines of Paradise, Ingraham, and Cowlitz.

A breakable raincrust covered Skyline ridge delivering slippery skiining conditions.  Upon gaining the ridge, JTurn realized that his sunglasses had fallen out and went for some early turns down the entire Skyline ridge.  The sunglasses rescue mission coupled with pockets of difficult visibility delayed our progress, and we began our ascent up to the Whitman glacier at 11a. A bit of steep, loose skinning turned into a 600' bootpack slog up to the Whitman.  By 1p, we gained the glacier and began the rally to the summit.  Just before 3p, we hit the snow summit ramp and booted up to the skier's summit around 10850'.  A lingering veil overtook the sun, and we knew it was time to descend.  Somewhat variable corn turns followed down the entire Whitman glacier. After traversing the lower Cowlitz and climbing the 1000' up to the presiding ridge, we were able to skate and ski back to the car by 7:15p.  Rain drizzled down on top of us for the last few minutes.  We were in the exact same spot as 12 hours before with the same exact weather having felt that we had accomplished much and nothing at the same time.  A ceremonial stop at Dennys on the way out made the day whole.

I'll try to get some photos up on here. For now, words is all I have.
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