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February 16, 2003, Paradise, MRNP

WA Cascades West Slopes South (Mt Rainier)
Posted by ron j on 2/17/03 12:42am
A strange snowpack kept the bc skier quartet of Robman, The Dutchess, Mad Dog and yours truly in the fresh snow on low angled and/or well anchored slopes around Paradise throughout the day.
Here's a shot of Dorothea having her way with a slope off the Lunch Counter above Paradise:

Our snow stability assessments and pits confirmed the NWAC's forecast with regard to snow faceting above the crust (6 - 12") below the freshies but nothing below that was moving anywhere that we saw.
Additional shots of the snow conditions can be had at:
where wuz you guys?  We skied, west low anle slopes of Mazama Ridge, then 9-1-1 the steep southeast-facing slopes in the back bowl, and finally the steep west facing slopes above Paradise Valley Road (twice)?  Couldn't get anything to sluff even with a party of 4!  Saw Bud on the front of Mazama; lots of people camped above the back bowl skiing the bowl.  Went up today, but the gate hadn't opened by 11:30 and they said it could be an hour or more more (broken  plow); so we went home. abc

Proly the reason you missed us was because of our unusually spartan and athletic, secret lunch stop (burgers and beer at the VC  ;D ).

I was up camped with seven buddies of mine on Mazama Ridge for all three days of the long weekend....had a great time...vastly different ski conditions each day.  Saturday the steeps were unbreakable crust, really stable, lower angle had mixture of a couple inches over 'zipper' crust. Sunday was much better, steep lines on Mazama still stable until late-afternoon when the hasty pits I dug started to show some isolated pockets of windslab and occationally poorly bonded new snow to old. Nice to run into you Andy...I think we spotted you and Regine skiing 9-1-1 and headed back up to the top of the bowl and took a couple laps on it after you were done. Sunday was the best day...due to the 18" or so that fell overnight and the fact that the plow breakdown kept day-trippers from getting an early start on the powder :)  We packed up and dumped our overnight gear near the Paradise Valley Rd and  yo-yoed the freshies on the west side of Mazama Ridge before heading for the parking lot just as the crowds began to arrive.  
Had a lot of fun exploring the terrain off the backside of Mazama Ridge...never really spent much time around there, but I'll definitely go back.

PS-  in case y'all had've seen my posting under the 'trip partners wanted page', my friends and I still have at least two spots open for our week long stay at the Fairy Meadows Hut in the Selkirks March 22-29th.  Let me know if you're interested in joining us.

-Pete 'Bud'
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Wow. Eight of you.
Quite a gaggle of skier/campers you had there, Bud.
It sounds lie you're really getting the lay of the land up there, too.  Good on ya.

Regine caught up with me to bypass me to do 1st tracks in 9-1-1 (she usually lets me do some ski cuts first); I let her ski all the way down and then layed tracks to skier's left of hers; lots of fun, just used 3 pins, no cables.  Were you guys the group of four that skied down next (with the excitable young woman)?  :) :)abc

yup, that was us :)  the 'excitable' ones who were hooting and hollering at the end of the run.  
Lots of great terrain in that bowl...can't believe I haven't made it back into there before.  

Reply to this TR

ron j
2003-02-17 08:42:23