February 17, 2002, Paradise, Mt. Rainier NP

WA Cascades West Slopes South (Mt Rainier)
Posted by ema on 9/11/02 8:53am
Longmire gate opened at 9:00 a.m. sharp. The weather was broken clouds, poor visibility from the Muir snowfield to the top, (forecast was for deteriorating conditions later in the day), stable snow conditions, and a very light dusting of new. With designs of a Nisqually chute to bridge ski, we quickly changed our minds as we got our first peek of the Nisqually Glacier moraine with the wind scoured surface and visibility quickly disappearing. It was a challenge to get to the base of Panorama point in the total white out conditions, not being able to see more than a ski pole length away. Since we had left our traverse poodle home, it was, extend the ski poles to their furthest length, take a stab in front, then to the left, then to the right, and move cautiously ahead avoiding the looming edges on top of Alta Vista. We made our way across to the Edith Creek drainage for the return to the parking lot by The Paradise Inn. Ron consulted with his GPS often, and we carefully navigated our way back to the car. All and all it was a good day, lots of chuckles, practiced the basics of side slipping, wedge skiing, skiing so slow you are hardly moving, but feeling like you are skiing at mach 3, then, while standing still, falling over like a couple of drunken sailors, finally getting THREE consecutive turns on the Northeast side of Edith Creek, where we happened to find the best light and ski conditions for the day. We encountered all kinds of snow conditions, from wind scoured areas, frozen glazed sections, crust traps, occasional velvet areas, white out and flat light. Other than that, it was a perfect day :-)


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2002-09-11 15:53:50