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| | |-+  June 28, 2003, Nisqually Couloir, MRNP
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Author Topic: June 28, 2003, Nisqually Couloir, MRNP  (Read 6175 times)
MW88888888
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June 28, 2003, Nisqually Couloir, MRNP
« on: 06/29/03, 06:29 PM »

Sean, a friend from Colorado, was in town looking for some big vertical.  He'd been reveling in the late skiing afforded by a particularly good season in CO and had the June bug bad.  I smiled and nodded at all the usual places as I listened to his latest exploits in the Forest Lakes bowl in the Indian Peaks - cranking out 1,000 vert runs that left him craving for more.  I knew exactly where that sparkle in his eyes came from - sparkling creamy June corn - and so I'd show him some of the goods that keep on giving here in the PNW, even this close to July 4th.

I figured we couldn't go wrong with a run up to the Muir snowfield.  Hell, everyone has to do it at least once - this would be a first for Sean - and because Sean was on a weekend affair, it would be the easiest in and out ski around.

The weather could not have cooperated any better.  Bright blue skies and very warm 85 in Seattle and not a cloud to be found.  We left the parking lot and 50 feet from the trailhead we hit continuous snow.  I could feel Sean's happiness radar starting to quiver and come alive...only 4,450 more feet to climb!  We scoped out the Nisqually Chutes on the way up looking for new terrain that I hadn't skied, but all the lines from early June were questionable.  Only the big couloir remained in...somehow this wasn't a dissappointment!  Once we reached Pebble Creek we ventured far left along the Muir snowfield and scoped out the lines that were in question...nope, their time had passed.  We took care of some outstanding business on some rocks by the chutes and for a moment I almost had Sean talked into skiing the Chutes twice.  But cooler heads prevailed and we trudged off toward Muir.

The visit at the top was fast, yet relatively quiet considering the parking lot, and we left around noon.  After a little chop on the upper snowfield, we found tasty smooth snow and delightful skiing along the right margin of the snowfield.  

The couloir entrance definitely had a pucker factor going.  The top had melted out since early June and the entrance now seemed steeper .  This created tasty exposure as you worked your way out into the chute.  OH BOY!  What a blast!  We ate all our corn and some mashies, too, delighting in the smooth harvest.  The walk back up to Glacier Vista was well worth it.  The cruise back to the car passing 100s of tourists and odd balls was even worth it.  The look on Seans face as he looked back up at Mt Rainier, happy with a 4,500 ski day under his belt, that was certainly worth it!

Sample Pics:
http://groups.msn.com/MCSAWashington/nisquallycouloir62903.msnw
     
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wolfs
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Re: June 28, 2003, Nisqually Couloir, MRNP
« Reply #1 on: 06/30/03, 05:07 AM »

What's your estimate of how long any entrance to the chutes will last, or for that matter the snow in the chutes proper? I'm hoping to get my yearly July 4th Muir run in, and the chutes seem to always be the best option for avoiding wasting vertical traversing on the descent. Is it possible (even if unpleasant) to downclimb the choss to bridge a section if it's out of season? I've never had to try that.
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MW88888888
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Re: June 28, 2003, Nisqually Couloir, MRNP
« Reply #2 on: 06/30/03, 11:43 AM »

Send me your e-mail and I'll forward you a photo of the couloir if you'd like.  Or better yet - is the SKi Route photo page up and running yet?  I could post there!

There will be snow in the chute proper for many more weeks.  The entrance is the iffy part.  I'd say another two weeks and you'd be scrambling.  This wouldn't be too bad - maybe?  Unless a monsterous cliff gets exposed.  It's my first year here so I'll ask for general comments from those who know the area better.  

The snow finger we skied in early June could have been skied but you'd need to launch a nice rodeo 540 over a rock band to start (really, just a hop, quite doable)  I would highly expect to ski the main chute without deskiing July 4th.  And if the entrance gets any smaller, it'll be that much more fun!    

Hey - let's try inserting a photo..with Charles new 'how-to' instructions
*4jK0fNFitM3UbyK80fgtI886ZXq4g/belly%20010.jpg" alt="" border="0" /> 
« Last Edit: 06/30/03, 05:48 PM by MW88888888 » Logged
ron j
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Re: June 28, 2003, Nisqually Couloir, MRNP
« Reply #3 on: 06/30/03, 04:39 PM »

Not sure why your pic's not coming up in your post, MW, but the url is there in the properties, so I went and looked at it on msn.  Thanks for putting it up.  I'm thinking there's still a week or two left.
It's still looking a lot better than the dog leg we had to negotiate when we did it in 2001 on July 8th:

As soon as you or Charles figures out why your shot didn't come up and get it fixed I'll take this one back off.
« Last Edit: 06/30/03, 04:41 PM by ron_j » Logged

"When I stop having fun I'm turnin' around"
"Prediction is very difficult, especially if it's about the future." - Niels Bohr
"If a given person makes it a priority not to die in an avalanche, he or she stands a very good chance of living a long, happy life in the mountains." - Jill Fredston
MW88888888
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Re: June 28, 2003, Nisqually Couloir, MRNP
« Reply #4 on: 06/30/03, 05:56 PM »

Ron - you rock.  Thanks for checking up.  The key I have found to make the picture work for me:

1.  I opened the picture in the destination host site (the large picture, not a thumbnail).  I created a 'new window' to have both the TAY and host site up for my convenience.
2. I right clicked on the picture to bring up the Properties of the picture.  Under properties I copied the address only up to the .jpg and pasted this btw the Html tags on the TAY site.  Only copying up to the .jpg was the key, there was some misc garbage after the .jpg that messed the picture up.

Now, before Charles the Destructor swoops in, perhaps you can delete your fine shot.  But to be honest, l thought the contrast is fantastic to see the start of the couloir from last year compared to this year.  Yes, indeed, it would appear it will remain skiable for some time.  
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ron j
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Re: June 28, 2003, Nisqually Couloir, MRNP
« Reply #5 on: 07/01/03, 01:00 AM »


Hummm.  That's interesting.  I just right click on the viewed picture; click Properties; highlight and copy the ENTIRE url (including the unintelligible garbage after the ".jpg") and then paste it over the "URL" that appears after clicking on the image icon.  
Did you copy the url of the thumnail or the viewed picture?

At any rate, I agree, it is quite useful to see the stark contrast between the entrance in different snow years.
I've never done this run more than once a year before.  But now I'm getting an itch to do it again after following you guys down it early in June.  Who knows;  with the heat we've been having it could look worse than the 2nd pic this weekend!  
I may go up if the weather's good and do it again and get a 3rd shot from that same spot on Pan to compare to the others.
Maybe, if we're really good, Charles will leave these alone until we can get another shot this weekend to compare to the other two for a few days.  It could be useful to to have a feel for the relative rate of meltout towards the end of the easy access to the entrance.
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"When I stop having fun I'm turnin' around"
"Prediction is very difficult, especially if it's about the future." - Niels Bohr
"If a given person makes it a priority not to die in an avalanche, he or she stands a very good chance of living a long, happy life in the mountains." - Jill Fredston
ron j
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Re: June 28, 2003, Nisqually Couloir, MRNP
« Reply #6 on: 07/07/03, 10:06 AM »

Thanks for indulging us, Charles.
Finally made it up there yesterday.  Here's a shot from about the same location:
*!V8ZiEKqP2rI1i4r17Swpjg*OPM*FjnrDw*YFE1A/P1006017.jpg?dc=4675429322442389170" alt="" border="0" />
Still obviously quite skiable and still a blast and a lot better than when we skied it in the earlier pic.
That's our regular TAY poster, Ivo from Florida, on the left and his Bellevue buddy Peter.  Great boarders and really nice guys.  We had a great time.  
Markharf was along too and he promises to use his exemplary TR writing skills to crank out a great report of the trip as soon as Robie gets done with him today.
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"When I stop having fun I'm turnin' around"
"Prediction is very difficult, especially if it's about the future." - Niels Bohr
"If a given person makes it a priority not to die in an avalanche, he or she stands a very good chance of living a long, happy life in the mountains." - Jill Fredston
Charles
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Re: June 28, 2003, Nisqually Couloir, MRNP
« Reply #7 on: 07/09/03, 06:20 AM »

I have not been keeping up with all of the posts, and I had NO IDEA that all this funny business was occurring. But be sure, the Destructor shall visit his wrath upon this post!

Actually, I added the three photos to the Nisqually Chutes thread in the route photos section. Hopefully I got the photo locations correct. Nice job, MW88888888 and ron j, the comparison is useful and striking.

I will eventually delete the 2nd and 3rd photos from this post, but keep the link to the route photos thread.
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Charles
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Re: June 28, 2003, Nisqually Couloir, MRNP
« Reply #8 on: 07/09/03, 06:45 AM »

Ron, I finally found markharf's TR, and that led me to your photos, where I found a photo that was taken from the same location as your 2001 shot. So, in the Nisqually Chutes route photos thread, I changed your 2003 shot - hope that is OK.
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