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WA Cascades West Slopes South (Mt Rainier)
Posted by Onward. on 6/13/23 12:27pm

Left the car at 5:45am and topped out at Steamboat Prow around 11. A leisurely break before dropping in around 11:30-11:45 allowed us to enjoy watching about 30 climbers ahead of us going for the big summit on this absolutely gorgeous day with bluebird skies and virtually no wind. 

The ski down was pretty suncupped but after the first 500' or so of largish cratery cups it rode better than expected; at least on splitboards. I thought our timing was good, the snow was just getting grabby/sticky as we reached the bottom of our descent next to the river. Another hour or two later and the bottom half of the run would have been a lot slushy-er so the early start helped a lot. There were probably 20-30 skiers behind us on the route who may have had less desirable descent conditions.

Snow starts about a mile from glacier basin camp but skinnable consistent snow doesn't start until after the camp wherest breaking out of the trees. At that, you'd have to find a spot to cross the river to start skinning there. We chose to take the climbers right trail until it met up with consistent snow maybe .25-.50 miles further/higher. On the descent we rode as far as we could and easily forded the river. 

The route will probably be "worth it" for many of us only for another week or two, depending on your level of commitment to shenanigan skiing or if you're climbing the big hill. It's already past its prime for many of us with the low snowpack and suncuppery. 

Beautiful day with bomber views. 


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2023-06-13 19:27:47