Home > Trip Reports > April 13, 2003, MRNP Tatoosh - Castle Saddle

April 13, 2003, MRNP Tatoosh - Castle Saddle

WA Cascades West Slopes South (Mt Rainier)
Posted by JMor on 4/13/03 9:57pm
With warmer temps in the lowlands and the freezing level being somewhat higher than we would like, we were forced to head towards higher elevation in hopes of finding some good snow at Paradise.  Seven of us headed toward Tatoosh today in hopes of finding something to €œwrite home€ about.  The gate at Longmire opened at 9:30 and our gang, Skip, Chris, Ingrid, Kam, Jerry, Ron and myself, met at the Narada Falls parking lot.  It was 32 degrees with sun breaks and 4 to 6 inches of new snow from the night before.  We booted up the Narada face and headed towards the Castle saddle.  Temps were warming throughout our climb, and we could only imagine the snow turning heavy.  A few skiers ahead of us had a little trouble with the softening snow.  Arriving at the Castle saddle there was evidence of surface sliding around the base of Castle, which had occurred, from snow sliding off the top Castle.  We dug a snow pit to see what had changed since the last week.  The top 4 to 6 inches of new heavier snow on top of the rain soaked 6-inch crust, below that everything was fairly consolidated.  During our snow evaluation the skies clouded over, the temps dropped, the winds came up, and it started snowing like a mid winter snow storm.  It actually felt like we were in a January blizzard.  Good news, the snow firmed up and we had an additional half-inch to inch of new snow in that period of time.  The skiing was fantastic as we made our way off the saddle.  Our arrival back on the Stevens Canyon road was greeted with warmer temps, sun and great skinning conditions back to Narada.  We all skied the Narada face, were chased by some of our own large snow spirals, and Chris unleashed one small surface slide, all in all it was a great day, with new snow and great skiers.  Ron will have some pictures available soon.
Nice run down on the trip, Jeanette.
Yep it was classic mixed bay of mountain weather, that's for sure.

Jerry took this classy shot of Castle:

Seems like it outta be on the cover of a coffee table book somewhere.

There's a few more action shots of the gang at:
That Jerry and I managed to get.

Kam shot a pretty cool viddy of some of us coming down a couple of the lower pitches.  For those of you with high speed connections (it's 40 mb) you might enjoy it.  Download the "Skiing the Tatoosh" viddy at:
This is the viddy that gave "Rock Star" Swenson his name!

Nice stills, excellent video! Great work and it looked like a decent day on the Tatoosh! Thanks   8)

Thanks for the kind words, Paul.

Gosh, Jeanettte, I wish I could have been on your trip! Sounds like you had great snow and a great time. I have yet to do this tour, and also the Narrada Face, this year. So much to ski, so little time!

excellent, but the Sunday before that up track was about 18 inches deep.

Skinut we did have a very good time, although the weather turned on us in a very short time.  You would have enjoyed the tour with us, we thought about you, had talked about doing Foss Peak, but didn't quite get there because of the change in weather. And as you say " so much to ski, so little time."

md2020, I'm sure that you had some deep snow the previous week, but for us "old timers" it's always much better if we can drop in on someone else's uptrack, just like we did over on Edith Creek. Maybe one of these days we'll run into you.  

no, the uptrack was already there for us too. I would never be gung ho enough to be the first to leave the Narada Falls parking lot.

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2003-04-14 04:57:47