Home > Trip Reports > April 12, 2003, Paradise-Mazama, Again?!

April 12, 2003, Paradise-Mazama, Again?!

WA Cascades West Slopes South (Mt Rainier)
Posted by Skinut on 4/12/03 9:09am
When the weather is rough. the tough ski Mazama.
Robie, Bob, Paul, Adam, David, Elvira and I skied from Paradise parking lot down the road in driving rain. Skinned up the Tourist Route to top of Mazama Ridge. The snow was crusty and breakable, especially around the trees, our tracks from two days ago clearly visible and set in cement. Higher up the rain turned into snow. We decided to try the backbowl as the group's abilities ran from "never telemarked before" to "still learning" to "expert". It was Robie's first BC trip after knee surgery and we wanted him to take it easy. The backbowl yielded surprisingly good snow.The many rain runnels and our tracks from Thursday were covered with several inches of snow that could almost be classified as powder, or at least NW powder. Excellent for the "never telemarked before" people, almost like a groomed downhill slope. Light snow showers alternated with warm sun. A group of expert skiers came down and climbed the far eastern ridge of the southfacing slope of our bowl for a steep and long run. We'll have to do that some day soon. A good time was had by all with beginners making good progress. By the time we skied back down to the road, the snow on the west face of Mazama had turned into heavy cement making it hard to ski for everybody. Even the group of expert skiers who sped past us had some good crahes due to the heavy snow and flat light  ;D.
On the way up the road we observed some snowshoers  coming down the steep slope above the road, releasing avalanches ending in the ditch. A prime place to get buried! We ended the day with more driving rain in the parking lot. Great trip, though I could stand a change of scenery.
Just missed you  :D   We climbed up above McClure Rock, hit a white out, skied down, down into Edith Basin all on excellent snow then down the D slope across the creek from Mazama in unpredictably breakable crust and decided not to go up Mazama.  Today (Sunday) we hit that wedge area on Mazama between the trail up and the slopes above the Paradise Valley Road and did 3 runs (Me, Regine, & 2 kids) and then did the 1st glade run above the PV road--great snow today!  Saw Ron & Jeanette heading for Castle and late saw lots of nice tracks at Castle, snow must have been good there as well. abc

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2003-04-12 16:09:13