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Skiing photos from White River, Glacier Basin, Inter Glacier, Mt. Rainier
Turns All Year: Previous Home Page Galleries
This is a gallery of backcountry skiing 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 skiing trip to Glacier Basin and the toe of Inter Glacier (Interglacier), out of the White River valley on the northeast side of Mt. Rainier. Cool and stormy late May weather had deposited up to 8 inches of new snow, and we had good skiing runs in the not quite powder snow.
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Turns All Year CD-ROM

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 June 7, 2004:
Glacier Basin, Inter Glacier toe, Mt. Rainier, Washington, May 28, 2004
Skinning above Glacier Basin
Skinning above Glacier Basin
Andy, first run into Glacier Basin
Andy, first run
into Glacier Basin
Andy, first run
Andy, first run
Andy, first run into Glacier Basin
Andy, first run
into Glacier Basin
Andy, first run
Andy, first run
Andy, first run
Andy, first run
Andy, first run into Glacier Basin
Andy, first run
into Glacier Basin
Skinning for a second run
Skinning for a second run
Pt. 7571 and upper Glacier Basin
Pt. 7571 and
upper Glacier Basin
Charles, second run into Glacier Basin
Charles, second run
into Glacier Basin
Charles, second run
Charles, second run
Charles, second run
Charles, second run
Charles, second run into Glacier Basin
Charles, second run
into Glacier Basin
Skinning toward Inter Glacier
Skinning toward Inter Glacier
Skinning, with toe of Inter Glacier
Skinning, with toe
of Inter Glacier
View back down Glacier Basin
View back down
Glacier Basin
Rainier view from below Glacier Basin
Rainier view from
below Glacier Basin
Skiing the trail
Skiing the trail


Photos by Andy Palunas and Charles Eldridge

Associated trip report:  With the terrible forecast, Andy and I were having a hard time getting motivated for our annual multiday ski trip scheduled for the Memorial Day weekend. We decided a better alternative to spending time wet, in a tent, on the snow, was to do some "blue tarp car camping" and day trips from there. We were lucky to get a last minute reservation at the Dalles campground along highway 410, and even luckier to be able to change to a riverside site when we arrived (beautiful campground, but the highway noise is pretty loud unless screened by noise from the White River). We established occupancy in our site and then drove to the Glacier Basin trailhead at the end of the White River road in the park.
   It had snowed overnight and was snowing as we started hiking the trail to Glacier Basin, and with drip from the trees we quickly got wet. There was scattered snowpack along the trail at first, but after about 2 miles the snow became much more continuous. Approaching Glacier Basin (~5800'), there was 2-4" of new snow, and we skinned the "winter route" along Inter Fork into the basin, looking for a snowbridge. We didn't find one, so had to stay climber's right of the stream, skinning across bare dirt covered only in the new snow in several places (south aspects were very melted out everywhere). We stopped for lunch just above the camp area (~6000'), enjoying the warmth of the sun sneaking through thin spots in the clouds, and hoping that there would be more clearing so that we could continue higher. That never happened - snow showers alternated with bits of weak sun for the rest of the day - and we decided that with the new snow and bad visibility, Interglacier might not be the best idea. In addition, good sized slides had been coming down, some gouging into the old (wet) snow underneath the new, and running long distances. Instead, we crossed Inter Fork (all bridged here) and skinned up a north-facing ridgelet to the base of the cliffs which lie below the slopes of Mt. Ruth. Significant slides had come down in the draws on either side of us, so we did a run back down into Glacier Basin near our up track. The snow, 6-8" of new at the top, skied much better than we had expected - not quite powder, but not glop or cement either. Good enough for another run, especially since we had a skin track set.
   By this time, a couple of parties had broken trail up to Interglacier, so we skinned up to the toe of the glacier (~7000') for a last run. We met a Mt. Rainier backcountry ranger on skis, who suggested that it would be a good idea for people to start using the summer trail route into Glacier Basin down below (our tracks had led the subsequent parties to also take the winter route, and he was concerned about "resource damage"). The skiing back from the toe of Interglacier to the camp area was not nearly as good as our earlier runs. It had become very overcast, with blowing snow, and the new snow was starting to get a breakable crust. Back near our lunch spot, we looked at the map to try to find a skis-on route back to the trail, and decided to try a little draw which descends NE from a pond near the camp sites. This was a great find, open, with plenty of snow, and leading right back to continuous snow on the trail. We were able to ski farther down the trail than I've ever been able to do.
    Charles

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