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| | |-+  May 22-23, 2017, Mt Rainier, Thermogenesis
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Author Topic: May 22-23, 2017, Mt Rainier, Thermogenesis  (Read 9943 times)
pdale22
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May 22-23, 2017, Mt Rainier, Thermogenesis
« on: 05/25/17, 06:12 PM »

On May 22-23 Aaron and I set out to try to climb Liberty Ridge, and take a look at skiing Thermogenesis. From what we have heard Thermogenesis gets climbed on occasion, but hasnít been skied yet. It is an aesthetic line, though has some obvious huge objective hazard hanging over it, making it a true roll of the dice on dodging stuff coming off the Willis Wall. Our theory was we might be able to ski the sides/walls of the chute and avoid some of the objective hazard.

We left the White River Campground on Monday afternoon and had a pleasant skin and ski to Curtis Ridge via St. Elmoís Pass. Despite the sun and high freezing levels we had a nice breeze to keep us cool on a hot afternoon. For anyone interested, we were able to start skinning about one mile from car on the trail to Glacier Basin, though it is melting fast. The snow on the lower part of the Interglacier was deep isothermal mush, and clearly wasnít getting much of a freeze over the previous few nights. We felt bad for the IMG climbing team headed towards Liberty Ridge that we passed just shy of St Elmoís as they were knee deep in mush in places. After chatting with the IMG group for a bit, we continued on to Curtis ridge where we camped for a very warm evening on a patch of bare rock next to the typical entrance onto the Carbon Glacier.

Tuesday morning had us moving out of camp just before 5:30AM behind one other group of three from the Jackson Hole area who were also planning on climbing and skiing Liberty Ridge. We owe them a few beers for their trail breaking efforts on the lower part of Liberty Ridge, thanks guys! After skinning up the Carbon we found an easy bergschrund crossing at 9200 on the west side of Liberty Ridge. Here we were passed by a group of three rando race guys doing a speed climb of Liberty Ridge and ski descent of the Emmons. They were really moving on their light gear and quickly overtook the Jackson group of three ahead of us as well. We also owe them beers for breaking trail up the upper half of Liberty Ridge. We experienced everything from breakable crust low and chalky pow up high on the climb of Liberty Ridge. We didnít encounter any ice we werenít able to avoid, and the bergschrund above the Black Pyramid was passable with a few feet of vertical neve snow climbing, and skiable without rappel on the descent. In general conditions seem very good on the route right now. We made it to the top of Liberty Cap in about 6 hours, and started skiing down around noon.

After skiing a little over a thousand feet of chalky pow toward the top of the black pyramid we veered skierís right and entered the Thermogenesis route. As we changed to a more easterly aspect the snow transitioned pretty quickly from chalky pow to slightly over-ripe corn which was also fantastic skiing yet didnít want to entrain much with each turn. Here we entered the part of the run with the severe overhead hazard and we leap-frogged pretty quick down the route. On the skierís left wall of the chute (east facing) we found fantastic corn, and on the skierís right wall (NW facing) we found nice preserved powder, that became hot pow for the last 500 or so feet. The runnel in the middle was a couple feet deep in places, but non-existent in others and was easily crossable. We bounced from the skierís left to right sides back and forth down the route avoiding minor cliff bands here and there that we had spotted the afternoon before from camp. Upon reaching the bergschrund above the Carbon at the base of the route the bridge we thought we had spotted the day before turned out to be a no-go, so we quickly traversed skiers left out of the debris fan of Thermogenesis and found a rock outcropping to hide out beneath and build an anchor to rappel over the bergschrund. We did a 15m or so rappel and then zig-zagged between crevasses on the upper Carbon glacier while skiing back to our up track, and then took it back to camp. After snacking and admiring our tracks we packed up our overnight gear and slogged across Curtis Ridge and the Winthrop Glacier back to St Elmoís, from which we enjoyed a sticky run through Glacier Basin and down the trail. 30 or so minutes of walking had us back to the car a bit before 6PM to enjoy some cold beers.

Thermogenesis turned out to be a great run with a surprising amount of fall line skiing to be had. If you can stomach the objective hazard it is certainly a few thousand feet of fun.


* lib_ridge_up_thermo_down.jpg (81.13 KB, 783x441 - viewed 5565 times.)

* thermo_route.jpg (160.46 KB, 709x779 - viewed 4457 times.)
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hedonaut
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Re: May 22-23, 2017, Mt Rainier, Thermogenesis
« Reply #1 on: 05/25/17, 06:28 PM »

niiiiiiiice.
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toddball
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Re: May 22-23, 2017, Mt Rainier, Thermogenesis
« Reply #2 on: 05/25/17, 06:30 PM »

Nice work!

Here we were passed by a group of three rando race guys doing a speed climb of Liberty Ridge and ski descent of the Emmons. They were really moving on their light gear and quickly overtook the Jackson group of three ahead of us as well. We also owe them beers for breaking trail up the upper half of Liberty Ridge.

https://www.instagram.com/p/BUc-KXJAMaN/
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kamtron
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Re: May 22-23, 2017, Mt Rainier, Thermogenesis
« Reply #3 on: 05/25/17, 07:38 PM »

Well done! If you've got more pics, we all want to see  Cool
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swaterfall
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Re: May 22-23, 2017, Mt Rainier, Thermogenesis
« Reply #4 on: 05/25/17, 10:02 PM »

So that's what you guys were up to. Cool!
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Norseman
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Re: May 22-23, 2017, Mt Rainier, Thermogenesis
« Reply #5 on: 05/26/17, 06:15 AM »

Woah. Heavy line, gentlemen! Holy shit! Please put up more pics if you took them.
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Charlie Hagedorn
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Re: May 22-23, 2017, Mt Rainier, Thermogenesis
« Reply #6 on: 05/26/17, 08:33 AM »

Aha! It has been done. The claim of a first descent can no longer motivate people to ski in there.

Congratulations on picking off one of the last unskied big lines, but more, we're very glad you came home. There's a reason it's been so-long unskied.
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river59
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Re: May 22-23, 2017, Mt Rainier, Thermogenesis
« Reply #7 on: 05/26/17, 11:05 AM »

Got damn! That's a helluva line. Nice one fellas.
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Peter_For_Scale
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Re: May 22-23, 2017, Mt Rainier, Thermogenesis
« Reply #8 on: 05/26/17, 11:06 AM »

Aha! It has been done. The claim of a first descent can no longer motivate people to ski in there.

This
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Stefan
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Re: May 22-23, 2017, Mt Rainier, Thermogenesis
« Reply #9 on: 05/26/17, 12:45 PM »

whoa
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Jason_H.
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Re: May 22-23, 2017, Mt Rainier, Thermogenesis
« Reply #10 on: 05/26/17, 02:10 PM »

Damn. That's rad. I only tried once in march and it was half hearted. Way to slay a very cool route. This and the Cryogenesis route are both burly. Glad you made it safe and wow...I used to have nightmares about skiing that route Wink
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eduardo blanchard
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Re: May 22-23, 2017, Mt Rainier, Thermogenesis
« Reply #11 on: 05/26/17, 02:15 PM »

Chapeau gents. And yes, show us some pics!
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mosetick
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Re: May 22-23, 2017, Mt Rainier, Thermogenesis
« Reply #12 on: 05/26/17, 09:30 PM »

That is a seriously radical line!! Congratulations to you both! And I'm glad you both got down safe. Way to time the conditions! I'm truly impressed. Can't wait to see a couple pics too.

Looks like Lowell is going to update the history books now.
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danpeck
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Re: May 22-23, 2017, Mt Rainier, Thermogenesis
« Reply #13 on: 05/26/17, 10:20 PM »

Yes!
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jtack
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Re: May 22-23, 2017, Mt Rainier, Thermogenesis
« Reply #14 on: 05/27/17, 06:30 AM »

That's some bold work, nice! Phew!
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pdale22
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Re: May 22-23, 2017, Mt Rainier, Thermogenesis
« Reply #15 on: 05/27/17, 07:52 AM »

Hi guys, here are a few other photos Aaron took, and he is trying to get some more from gopro video. As soon as the weather ceases to be good...


* leaving_camp.jpg (120.74 KB, 600x800 - viewed 3190 times.)

* upper_bergshrund.jpg (158.46 KB, 600x800 - viewed 3168 times.)

* climbing_above_thumb.jpg (164.67 KB, 800x600 - viewed 3159 times.)
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shred
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Re: May 22-23, 2017, Mt Rainier, Thermogenesis
« Reply #16 on: 05/27/17, 08:17 AM »

Baller!! Can't wait to see the POV!
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ryanl
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Re: May 22-23, 2017, Mt Rainier, Thermogenesis
« Reply #17 on: 05/27/17, 09:07 AM »

 I don't know what's crazier, skiing that line or that there were three parties with skis on Liberty Ridge at the same time. " Well done fellas! Heckuva an accomplishment
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NickM
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Re: May 22-23, 2017, Mt Rainier, Thermogenesis
« Reply #18 on: 05/27/17, 02:40 PM »

Thanks for all the photos!  Getting some serious 'fear-of-missing out' not living in the PNW this year.  Great to hear about so many skiers on the north side, and that the guided sloggers, on the most revered guided trip in the country (?), got sloppy 9th's to a bunch of skiers' booter.
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tabski
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Re: May 22-23, 2017, Mt Rainier, Thermogenesis
« Reply #19 on: 05/28/17, 03:36 PM »

Balls to the (Willis) wall.
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mtcunner
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Re: May 22-23, 2017, Mt Rainier, Thermogenesis
« Reply #20 on: 06/05/17, 06:33 PM »

niiiiiiiice.

I'll second Wehrly on this one.

NIIIIIIICE!!!

Or perhaps a more appropriate response to this TR:

YOU GUYS ARE MY GOD DAMN FAWKING HEROS!!

Second ever descent of the Therm??
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Lowell_Skoog
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Re: May 22-23, 2017, Mt Rainier, Thermogenesis
« Reply #21 on: 06/09/17, 03:20 PM »

Second ever descent of the Therm??

First descent. See this page for details:

http://alpenglow.org/ski-history/topos/mt-rainier.html

If you have any corrections, let me know.
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