Home > Trip Reports > August 11-12, 2001, Flett glaciers, Mt. Rainier

August 11-12, 2001, Flett glaciers, Mt. Rainier

WA Cascades West Slopes South (Mt Rainier)
Posted by ema on 9/15/02 10:05pm
Headed up to the north side of Rainier this past weekend to ski the Flett glaciers, watch the meteor shower, and goof off. On the approach in Sat. afternoon we ran into countless day hikers, each one trying to come up with something witty to say to us, from 'you're being awfully optimistic aren't you?' to 'you should have snowboards man!'

We camped at the toe of the Flett glaciers, next to Cat Eye Lake, buried the assortment of Rainier, Guiness, and Fosters cans in the snow and went up for some pre-dinner runs, The longest run we got was probably 1500 vert, but the snow was for the most part nice and soft with the runnels and suncups being relatively minor. That night we caught the meteor shower until the moon rose and made things too bright...so much so that I considered a moon light ski, but sacked out instead. The next morning was so warm that the snow was still corn, so before the morning coffee and breakfast I grabbed my skis and got in some early morning turns. After breakfast we took off for the glacier between Observation and Echo Rock at about 8000ft. We had excellent corn all day and found a few 500-700 vert. foot shots that were around 35-40 degrees and were in great shape. Then finished off the day with a couple nice long cruisers back down to camp at about 6500 ft. It also looks like the north facing slope off Ptarmigan Ridge just above Observation Rock had some really clean steep 500 v.f. shots down onto the Russell glacier, which was pretty heavily crevassed.

There are spots on the glacier that have melted out to bare ice, so in a couple more weeks it might be wise to bring an axe and crampons to hike up the glaciers, but as of now we managed just fine hiking up in running shoes and ski boots. If you are looking for late season turns this is the place to go.

Pete Alderson

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2002-09-16 05:05:16