April 28, 2001, Chinook Pass
WA Cascades West Slopes South (Mt Rainier)
7 of us Tacoma Mountaineers parked at Cayuse Sat morn in windy conditions with intermittent snow squalls and sunshine. Talked to dot road crew (always friendly). They are trying to open Chinook pass by next weekend May 5. Walked up the road to 1st switchback and skied up right hand gulley to quickly access false summit of Naches. Conditions were wind hardpacked to icy. Back bowls were socked in so we skied back as wind stayed steady, traversed back and dropped into little Tipso lake bowl. Here we found water saturated snow not the corn that we had hoped for. Skied on to the west aspect glades where snow was managable but character building. Last run was from top of glades down North aspect to PCT summer trail and beyond for 3 of our party who chose to continue on into the "Valley of no return" American river headwater. Anyway they did return and we all did a ascending traverse to the south for the run out to Cayuse which was pretty good as the snow was hardening! up. Good day /good skiing/Lousy snow. Oh yes as we got back to car there was a note on it "You will have to exit through Packwood as there is roadblock near Greenwater for the Desparados who stole boxes of dynamite,crashed truck and are now on foot in the area". We confirmed this with Dot road crew guy and drove home to Sumner/Tacoma via Packwood and Skatecreek rd.