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| | |-+  July 12, 2003, Van Trump Gl, MRNP
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Author Topic: July 12, 2003, Van Trump Gl, MRNP  (Read 2685 times)

Posts: 236

July 12, 2003, Van Trump Gl, MRNP
« on: 07/13/03, 11:17 AM »

Found a willing  partner (victim?) to ski the Van Trump Gl on Sat. As I turned into the Renton Park N Ride , a mass STP bikers whizzed by -- hmmm, maybe they have the right idea, as I got questioning looks at the skis strapped to my rack.

But the day looked promising with nice views of the mountain on the drive.  Arrived at the Christine Falls TH by 9:00, and with mild temps, enjoyed a nice hike past Comet Falls, through blossoming avalanche lilies and the fresh smells of summer, to the end of the trail in tennis shoes at about 6000' before putting on boots.  Great views of Rainier in swirls of high clouds -- looked up to the impressive hanging Kautz ice cliff, always reminded of the appropriate naming of Camp Hazard.

From there, hiked to 7000' before putting on skis.  Ascended without seeing anyone the whole way --  until we could peer over Cushman Crest to the multitudes on the Muir snowfield in the far distance.  Nice to be alone.

Snow seemed decent on the way up.  Some small suncups and dirt, but no pollen.  We decided to go up to the far right, rather than the central Van Trump gl, in order to ski the Turtle below Camp Hazard.  Arrived at our high point, about 10,500 at around 2:30.  By now clouds were building and visibility was becoming a question.  Saw some climbers coming up the Wilson, and another party coming down from the Kautz, glisading by.  Nice to have skis.

With a break in the clouds, we started down.  Now I've come to learn that the definition of "good" snow can quite subjective.  But my expectations were appropriately low, and I was surprised to find "good" skiing through the small sun cups -- think soft bumps in the lift area.  Was glad to be on my T1's.  After pausing for the clouds to clear again, we descended in consistent conditions, improving somewhat mid-way down, before hitting a bit grabby snow below 7000'.  We managed to ski continuously to near 6200' for a +4000' run.  The dirty snow made for nice views of our turns above.

Back to the cars by 5:30, and drove through pouring rain for awhile on the way home.  We had been luck with the weather today.  A nice trip and "good" snow to end the great season!

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