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| | |-+  June 17 and 18, Emmons, Mt Rainier
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Author Topic: June 17 and 18, Emmons, Mt Rainier  (Read 3298 times)
Splitter
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June 17 and 18, Emmons, Mt Rainier
« on: 06/19/06, 08:40 PM »

I always wanted to ski Rainier.  I am a bit surprised (yay!) that my wife was willing to do it with me.

Arrived at Camp Schurman Saturday afternoon in calm sunny weather.  I set the alarm for 4:00 but forgot to turn it on.  We ended up leaving camp about 6:00.  The weather was still good on the way up with some high clouds drifting through early and lower clouds building in the valleys as the day went on, building to the top of Steamboat Prow towards the end of the day.  Gusting wind started somewhere around 12,500 and was worse as we climbed, maybe a steady 40 at the summit.  There were only two sketchy crevasse crossings.  It would have been possible to avoid both of them.  We met a climber coming down who had collapsed one on the way up (no injury).

The skiing was not good for much of the descent.  The snow was something like frozen whitecaps. I found some smoother patches that were fun for me (but not my wife) even though they were firm and still somewhat bumpy.  We ended up recrossing one of the large crevasses and used the rope for added comfort.  Around 12,500, I really started to have fun and my wife began enjoying it below about 10,500.  The last bit down to camp was really great corn.  After breaking camp, the little part of the Emmons before going up to the Interglacier was excellent too.  Climbing back up to Camp Curtis at about 9200 feet we arrived on the Interglacier in a cloud.  The soft surface snow was like iced corn, about 3 inches of soft (kind of sandy) on a firm base with no grabbiness.  We had about 1500 feet of incredible skiing, despite limited visibility.  Skiing out Glacier Basin was extremely runnelled and suncupped, no fun with a heavy pack.  The windfall has been cleared from the trail.  The bare patches start pretty soon after leaving the basin.

Camp Schurman to the summit and back to the car at White River TH in 14 hours, then mexican in Enumclaw.

I seem to have classic mountaineering memory.  I know there was suffering involved with this trip, but less than 24 hours later, I am thinking of all of the lines left to explore.


* steamboat-sunrise.jpg (97.2 KB, 1000x750 - viewed 660 times.)

* morning-start.jpg (93.97 KB, 1000x750 - viewed 659 times.)

* at-the-lip.jpg (98.18 KB, 1000x750 - viewed 651 times.)
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Paul_Russell
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Posts: 236


Re: June 17 and 18, Emmons, Mt Rainier
« Reply #1 on: 06/19/06, 08:48 PM »

Nice job, and congrats to you and your wife!  thanks for the great photos and trrip report.  I remember doing the ascent and ski via the emmons 2 years ago with my ski partner from glacier basin.  great trip!  although i recall the ski conditions were pretty mixed then too. 
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Zee
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Re: June 17 and 18, Emmons, Mt Rainier
« Reply #2 on: 06/19/06, 09:02 PM »

Great job! I've done it twice- both in early June and I've found the best skiing to be when there's a 12,000' freezing level with a noon or 1pm descent. 
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Splitter
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Re: June 17 and 18, Emmons, Mt Rainier
« Reply #3 on: 06/19/06, 09:47 PM »

Paul and Zee,

Thanks for the feedback!  I'm curious to go back...maybe not all the way to the summit.  But possibly within a 1,000 feet of the crater rim.  If one was lucky enough to get the conditions, it would be a really great ski!

Next time we'll be checking for higher freezing levels and hopefully not be so driven by the logistics of getting a permit.

Robin (Wife of Splitter)
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cascadesfreak
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Re: June 17 and 18, Emmons, Mt Rainier
« Reply #4 on: 06/19/06, 10:35 PM »

Nice work!  I think I saw your tracks on the Emmons from Steamboat Prow on Sunday (also watched a skier descending the Emmons while at the Prow, or maybe that was your party?).
« Last Edit: 06/19/06, 10:46 PM by cascadesfreak » Logged
Zap
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Re: June 17 and 18, Emmons, Mt Rainier
« Reply #5 on: 06/19/06, 10:45 PM »

Yes, mountaineering memory seems to afflict most of us and it gets worse as you become a senior citizen.  Wink The snow conditions you encountered reminded me of our descent from the summit a few years back - crusty wind rippled surface for the top 500', then firm windblown for 2000' then perfect corn for another 2500' then a slush cup to the basin.  But the view of sunrise the morning of our ascent stays with me on those early morning climbs.  Congrats to you and Robin for sharing that adventure.

Zap
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Splitter
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Re: June 17 and 18, Emmons, Mt Rainier
« Reply #6 on: 06/19/06, 11:25 PM »

Cascadesfreak,

As we were coming down, we saw people standing on the prow.  I was thinking 'are they watching us watching them?'  We were a party of one skier and one boarder.  There was a group of 4 telemarkers about an hour behind us and another skier and boarder a little behind them.  It looks like you had some sunny turns at the top.  The Interglacier has had good conditions two weeks in a row.

Picture of prow and others: http://www.msnusers.com/EmmonsJune16and172006/shoebox.msnw?action=ShowPhoto&PhotoID=10
« Last Edit: 06/20/06, 07:06 PM by Splitter » Logged
iluka
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Re: June 17 and 18, Emmons, Mt Rainier
« Reply #7 on: 06/20/06, 02:19 AM »

Regarding the questionable memory of some suffering along the way... some friends of mine have a great classification scheme for their climbs or bc ski trips:

Type I Fun: Fun while you're doing it... fun in retrospect
Type II Fun: Not fun while you're doing it... but a fun experience in the rear view mirror
Type III Fun: Not fun while doing it... and not fun in retrospect

Great trip... nice TR
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Yet another trip I've skied up something I can't ski down!
cascadesfreak
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Posts: 366


Re: June 17 and 18, Emmons, Mt Rainier
« Reply #8 on: 06/20/06, 11:55 AM »

Splitter, thanks for the photo link of the perspective of the Prow from the Emmons.  There was another group of skiers at the Prow while we were up there, which may be the ones standing on the closest edge of the Prow.  The group I was in are probably some of those 'dots' on the background skyline  Smiley  The upper Inter Glacier definitely had excellent sunny turns  Cool
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