July 21, 2010, Mt Rainier, Paradise Glacier + Muir

7/21/10
WA Cascades West Slopes South (Mt Rainier)
4709
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Posted by Amar Andalkar on 7/22/10 11:44am
Not wanting to waste a beautiful sunny day without skiing, I took a leisurely afternoon trip back to Muir via the same route from 4th Crossing, my 3rd time up this route in 6 days (see ).

Still skinnable and skiable on continuous snow from within 30 yards of the road all the way up to Muir, but melting fast down low, and only continuous by following a finger of snow well right of the trail -- there will be short but unavoidable gaps in the snow soon. Still plenty of snow along the crest of Mazama Ridge, but the topmost stones of the Stevens-Van Trump Monument at 6050 ft are now melting out. Left the car at 12:30pm, reached Muir via Paradise Glacier near 4:30pm, and then decided to skin up the ridge at right to the top of the snow. Walked over to Muir Rocks (Point 10188) and relaxed in the sun on its narrow summit, overseeing the hubbub of activity at Camp Muir about 100 ft below. Sunny, warm, and almost no wind at all, just an occasional puff -- so nice that I stayed almost an hour up there.

Skied down at 5:30pm, the Muir Snowfield is becoming somewhat rough and suncupped above 9000 ft, no longer very good skiing, but the Paradise Glacier is still mostly smooth and nice corn. Crevasses are opening in the usual spots, but the hazard for those on skis remains minimal. Great snow conditions despite the late hour, fast corn, not sticky or mushy at all. Below the toe of the glacer, suncups are growing in the lower basin especially below 6500 ft, but the traverse back across is still easy and not bad at all. Skied down from Mazama Ridge and back to the top of the steps at 4th Crossing by 6:30pm. Still a totally worthwhile trip, even just for the nice snow on Paradise Glacier, and it should stay that way for a while longer.


Sweet evening turns on the Paradise Glacier.

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july-21-2010-mt-rainier-paradise-glacier-muir
Amar Andalkar
2010-07-22 18:44:37