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Mt. Rainier ski touring photos : Grand Park, Lodi Creek, Berkeley Park, Mt. Fremont
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This is a gallery of ski touring photos which appeared on the Turns All Year home page in the past. Thumbnail images on this page can be clicked to view the full-sized photos, and lead into a slide show sequence for the gallery. The photos are from a backcountry ski touring trip to Grand Park and Mt. Fremeont, via Lodi Creek and Berkeley Park on the north side of Mt. Rainier National Park. The clouds parted in the afternoon and Mt. Rainier emerged in all of its glory.
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The complete version of this photo gallery is now available on Turns All Year CD-ROM. Below you can view thumbnail photos from this gallery.

Turns All Year CD-ROM contains over 180 photo galleries, containing more than 3200 full-sized photos, from backcountry skiing and snowboarding trips in the Pacific Northwest.

from May 17, 2004:
Grand Park to Mt. Fremont via Berkeley Park, Mt. Rainier, May 12, 2004
Forest near Lake Eleanor
Forest near Lake Eleanor
Cloudy Grand Park
Cloudy Grand Park
Lodi Creek and Skyscraper Mountain
Lodi Creek and
Skyscraper Mountain
Berkeley Park, 2nd and 3rd Burroughs Mountain
Berkeley Park, 2nd and 3rd
Burroughs Mountain
Mt. Rainier emerges, from Mt. Fremont
Mt. Rainier emerges,
from Mt. Fremont
Inter Glacier and Steamboat Prow
Inter Glacier and
Steamboat Prow
Mt. Rainier and Winthrop Glacier
Mt. Rainier and
Winthrop Glacier
Mt. Rainier and Winthrop Glacier closeup
Mt. Rainier and Winthrop
Glacier closeup
Cowlitz Chimneys
Cowlitz Chimneys
Winthrop Glacier and Inter Glacier
Winthrop Glacier
and Inter Glacier
Skyscraper Mountain
Skyscraper Mountain
2nd Burroughs Mountain from Grand Park
2nd Burroughs Mountain
from Grand Park
Sunlit Grand Park
Sunlit Grand Park
Mt. Fremont from Grand Park
Mt. Fremont from Grand Park
Mt. Rainier slopes from Grand Park
Mt. Rainier slopes
from Grand Park
Mt. Rainier from Grand Park
Mt. Rainier from Grand Park
Mt. Rainier and Grand Park
Mt. Rainier and Grand Park
Live and dead trees in Grand Park
Live and dead trees
in Grand Park


Photos by Charles Eldridge

Associated trip report: FS 73 road was drivable to within 1.5 miles of the Lake Eleanor trailhead, and then there was continuous snow except one short carry right at the beginning. The snow was firm and fast, with the overcast day and the low freezing levels recently. Good travelling up through the forest, across "Grand Parklet", and up through forest and glades to Grand Park. There were some older ski tracks as far as the far side of Grand Parklet, but they diverged and I didn't see them after that. The cross-country skiing across Grand Park was enjoyable and fast, with a skim of frozen new snow and a smooth surface (with scattered small pockmarks). As always, finding a way to ski down from the south tip of Grand Park to the edge of Cold Basin was challenging with all of the tight trees, and in my excitement at finding some nice leads through the trees I ended up out in Cold Basin. Back to the route of the trail, the snow was pretty nasty in the dense trees leading into the Lodi Creek valley, but that soon passed and the skiing was good on the firm skim of new snow up into Berkeley Park. In a few places (tending to be shaded) the supporting curst was week, and this revealed a snowpack of 2" of crust over 4-10" of large granular snow.
   I stopped for lunch in Berkeley Park, hoping that the rare sucker holes in the overcast would grow, but instead the clouds descended and began to spit graupel, so I rested in some trees and waited. It worked! At about 2:30 much more blue sky started appearing, so I fishscaled east up out of Berkeley Park and then skied up south-facing slopes on Mt. Fremont. I was hoping that there would be continuous snow over to the lookout tower, but the open west slopes were very bare, so I went to the top of the snow (7000') and took in the views. The clouds toward Rainier had mostly disappeared and the lighting on the mountain was beautiful.
   The run back down into Berkeley Park was on very nice corn, and I found a little gully which put me back at Lodi Creek below my lunch spot. From there, it was mostly gliding and some striding, with a little bit of climbing, to get back to the edge of Cold Basin. I tried to keep skis on to get back to Grand Park, but it wasn't worth the effort in the tight trees, so I booted about 300' of the climb. Overcast conditions had begun to return, which meant that the snow in Grand Park remained fast as it had only gotten at most 3 hours of sun. The worst snow of the day was on the little run down from the north edge of Grand Park, where the shaded edges of the glades had a stiff layer of newer snow, but the opposite edges had good corn. I was able to ski right down the creek almost to Grand Parklet and avoid most of the bumpy dirty forest snow. After Grand Parklet there are a lot of glades in the forest and so the return ski to the road was pretty good, and the ski down the road was mostly fast.
   I think that if the day had been sunnier, or the freezing level had not previously been so low, the snow would have not been nearly so good, because the surface crust would not have kept the skis out of the unconsolidated snow underneath.
    Charles

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