Home > Trip Reports > April 6, 2003, MRNP Edith Creek, Mazama

April 6, 2003, MRNP Edith Creek, Mazama

WA Cascades West Slopes South (Mt Rainier)
Posted by JMor on 4/7/03 7:58pm
Ron and I and Maureen and Darryl went to Paradise, calling ahead and finding out that the gate would open at 11:00. The good news, 18 inches of new snow!! With designs of several different favorite ski slopes, We started out by the Paradise Inn and headed towards €œBundy€™s Blunder€ via Edith Creek. Our parking lot fumbling paid off once again as we were able to follow a group ahead of us that did a great job trail breaking in the new 18 inches. Arriving at our first €œfavorite,€ we dug a snow pit to find 18€ of new snow over a 4 to 6 inch ice layer. Six inches from the surface was another thin layer of light crust, possibly from sun exposure and then overnight freezing. Even though the skies were cloudy, you could definitely feel the solar effects of the sun on the snow, as the snow was heavier in some spots and lighter in others. Due to the amount of new snow and the warming areas we stayed to the lower angle slopes. Skied down to the lower Paradise Road, took a left towards Reflection Lake. Found a couple of really great slopes on the way, skinned up to the Mazama Ridge and had our way with those before heading back to Narada Falls where we had left a car. Skied the Narada face in the steep and deep. Dropped Darryl and Maureen off at the Reflection Lake switch back on the way back up to Paradise for the car, so they could ski the face again. On our way back down to Narada, you could see where the solar affect of the sun had warmed the snow just enough to set off lots of surface slides all along the steeper chutes and gullies on the Tatoosh. Arrived back at Narada just in time to watch Darryl release a small surface slide. Nothing too large to worry about, just a little attention getter. All in all the skiing was great ;D
The nice trail was made by search & rescue looking for 3 lost snowshoers who spent the night out--turned out they were up near Glacier Vista. abc

Sounds like you had a great time. Other folks who were out the same day, same area, reported snow was very crummy. But then, the day before when I was out ("giving blood"), I thought snow was good, and all my sign-ups hated it.

I'm glad you enjoyed the uptrack we made! It was pretty heavy work!   ;D  The three lost guys had no snowshoes or skis, just postholing!.  They got lost in the fog Sat. afternoon and ended up on the slopes below Glacier Vista above the Nisqually glacier.  They managed to dig a snow cave using a ski pole and faired the night without injury.  The searchers that found them reported numerous shooting cracks in the soft slabs on the steep slope below glacier vista, but luckly no slides.

we skied the bowl up near Castle Peak in the Tatoosh both Sat and Sun and the snow was excellent. Better on Sun with the low snow level and overnight dump Sat night. We figured Mazama Ridge area wouldn't be as good as the north facing Tatoosh slopes. One of the best days of the season.

Yeah, Sunday was a worthy ski day.
Here's a shot of Mad Dog skiing across and uptrack similar to the one that Randy made (thanks Randy!):

Mad Dog: You write a nice report! It makes me wish that I'd have been there. Looking forward to skiing the Tatoosh with you guys in June or so...Greg Lange

Randy, thanks for that great up track to our first destination.  Sure glad we were able to fumble around in the parking lot long enough for you to do all the dirty work.  

Greg, will look forward to skiing with you soon.

md2020 sounds like you had a great time over on the Tatoosh.  Did you have any trouble with the surface releases that were happening later in the day?

no trouble with the surface releases, since we stayed mainly in the moderate sloped parts of the upper bowl and never really got much warming at that elevation and aspect. We did see one surface slide come down from steep snow running up the side of Castle Peak, caused by a skier who had climbed for some steep turns. Stayed in the trees on the way down and away from the steep open parts of the lower bowl-snow was much heavier down there.

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2003-04-08 02:58:20