July 15, 2001, Paradise Glacier, Mt. Rainier

WA Cascades West Slopes South (Mt Rainier)
Posted by ema on 9/15/02 9:54pm
Overcast skies prevailed as we entered the Park at the Nisqually entrance. Entered the clouds on the way up to Paradise at about 3,000 msl. Arrived at Paradise to fog and visibility of about 100 feet. Hoping to climb above the tops of the clouds, our equally divided (both by gender and binding persuasion) party of 6 loaded up and headed for the Cowlitz Rocks area with hopes of legendary turns. Following the Paradise Ice Caves trail, we encountered what we were reasonably sure to be continuous snow (still only had about 100 ft vis) where we put our skis down and started skinning. Climbed, on instruments, to the upper end of the lower Paradise Gl between the base of Cowlitz Rocks and the Upper Paradise Gl. Still in the soup, the general enthusiasm for climbing the surrounding slopes were soddened by the low vis, misting rain and light winds, with temps in the low 40s. A consensus poll revealed a unanimous yen toward retreat mode. Rigged for silent running (downhill mode) we set off down through the fog of the lower Paradise like a family of baby ducklings. The legendary turns gleaned from the first roll alongside the falls made the entire trip worth the effort. Managed to ski back out to within 521 ft (according to Mr. Garmin) of the Stevens/Van Trump monument.

All in all a good day on Mt. Rainier. Some exercise, great company and a few turns. What else could we ask for on a July winter day in Seattle? Predictably, there wasn't much to see in the pictures in the way of skiing, so I omitted a pic link. Maybe photo op conditions will be better next time.

Ron Jarvis

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2002-09-16 04:54:53