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NWAC Avalanche
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| |-+  July-August 2003 Backcountry Trip Reports
| | |-+  July 31, 2003, lower Paradise Glacier area
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Author Topic: July 31, 2003, lower Paradise Glacier area  (Read 2621 times)

Posts: 1090

July 31, 2003, lower Paradise Glacier area
« on: 08/02/03, 07:38 AM »

Two backcountry skiers I know, one experienced and one novice, wanted to get in some summer skiing and, perhaps, start their own year-round skiing streaks. We spent two days camping on the east side of Mt. Rainier, acclimatizing and trying to stay cool in the deep green swimming holes of the Ohanapecosh River. The big day arrived with more sunny skies but cooler temperatures, and we drove up the Stevens Canyon road as dozens of RAMROD riders enjoyed the long coast down. The abundant avalanche lillies of 10 days earlier had disappeared along the 4th Crossing trail to Mazama Ridge, replaced by a profusion of lupine and Indian paintbrush, and we made good time considering the numerous interruptions necessitated by rest, "power pill", and potty stops. The snowpack had retreated from near the Stevens-VanTrump Memorial to the entrance to the lower Paradise Glacier valley, ~6200', but there was good cover from there.

Once upon skis, the experienced skier took off, but it became apparent that the novice skier didn't really know how to make waxless skis climb. A little instruction in stomping and edging fixed that. Unable to contain their excitement, the two skiers headed up the first hill and made several runs on slightly suncupped but unrunneled snow (I had, somehow, neglected to bring my skis and so was relegated to the role of photographer). Eager for more downhill action, we made our way farther up the valley, dropping our packs where the snow began bridging the creek. The waterfall area a little farther up the valley looked like it only had a few more days of continuous snow remaining. The two skiers made about a dozen runs each; focussed mainly on speed, they neglected to make any turns, so it is debatable whether they satisfied all of the traditional criteria for a streak-countable ski trip, but they did log a fair amount of vertical.

Here's a photo of the novice skier on his first run:
« Last Edit: 08/02/03, 07:44 AM by admin » Logged
ron j
TAY Moderator

Posts: 2600

Re: July 31, 2003, lower Paradise Glacier area
« Reply #1 on: 08/02/03, 08:48 AM »

Looks streak-countable to me.  At least they're not sitting in the car drinking beer!  Grin
That's cool, Charles.  It's also impressive that you got them in there, especially the mini-dude, without a modicum of complaining.
Glad to see # 2 is well on his way to enjoying the backcountry.  Well done.

"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

Posts: 617

Re: July 31, 2003, lower Paradise Glacier area
« Reply #2 on: 08/04/03, 04:31 AM »

I'm impressed, and yes, it does count as a streak-countable ski trip.  Let's face it, kudo's, to the kids for going that far and having a great time.  Shoot, this past weekend, I was wanting to "whine" about the time I hit the Stevens-Van Trump memorial until I remembered that your two BC skiers made it all the way back in there. Keep up the good work, you've only just begun to scratch the surface.  Grin

There is nothing worse than refusing to learn: this is where old age begins.

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