August 13-14, 2002, Spray Park-Flett Gl., Rainier

8/13/02
WA Cascades West Slopes South (Mt Rainier)
25627
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Posted by Charles on 9/10/02 9:42pm
Danny and I hiked in over Knapsack Pass (very little snow left), through upper Spray Park, and up a ribbon of snow toward the eastern lobe of the Flett Glacier. I dropped off my overnight gear (no stove, no tent) at about 7000', where we could see Jaydee, with whom we hoped to hook up, on the western section of the Flett. By the time we climbed to the 7500' crossover (extensively melted out), Jaydee and Seabury had already disappeared into the meadows of Spray Park. The steepest section of the Flett, right next to Observation Rock, was completely isolated from the rest of the run by a rock band, and the top half was mostly old snow/ice. Danny booted about half way up that section and skied down to the rocks, and then we both skied down to Cat-eye Lake. The snow was very good between 7500' and 7000' on this hot sunny day, but dense old ski tracks for the next 500' to the lake made turning less enjoyable.

These turns made for Danny's 106th consecutive month of skiing, surpassing Jaydee's 105 months and giving Danny the longest known consecutive month streak in Washington. Danny celebrated with a dip in Cat-eye Lake. Danny then headed down toward the Wonderland Trail, and I skied back up to 7500', crossed over to the east, and skied up to 8100' near the Russell Glacier (which was very extensively melted out). I hiked around the red cinders area a bit, then skied the 1000' run down the eastern Flett - excellent corn, continuous, with a small section of dirty old snow near the Russell. At camp I was treated to a balmy evening, a beautiful sunset, the twinkling lights of the Puget Sound metropolis, and a nice show from the Perseid meteor shower.

The next day dawned clear and warm, and I lazed around camp until it got uncomfortably hot, then proceeded to do 5 runs on the eastern Flett. The steepest runs were the shortest, the longest runs were less steep, but all were on very nice snow. I picked up my overnight gear and then skied the ribbon of snow back to the Wonderland Trail at the top of Spray Park, where hoards of mosquitoes tried to suck me dry as I changed into hiking shoes.

There are photos from this trip here.

Charles

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august-13-14-2002-spray-park-flett-gl-rainier
Charles
2002-09-11 04:42:02