July 7-8, 2006; Emmons Glacier, Mt. Rainier

7/15/06
WA Cascades West Slopes South (Mt Rainier)
6650
1
Posted by David_Coleman on 7/13/06 8:53am
After an excellent day skiing the SW Chutes for the 1st time on Adams last Thurs., I convinced Amar to head back north to ski Rainier from the top.  Our friend Paul Belitz had a 1-way ticket to San Diego, so our plan was to meet him at Shasta for a little skiing.  We made contact via cell in Glacier Basin, saying we'd be heading south by Sunday or Monday.  Left car Friday morning after lucking out on a camping permit for Shurman.  Reached camp in early evening hours under clear skies.  Left camp around 6:30 Saturday morning for the slog up.  Interesting crevasse crossing around 13,200' which may not be in within the next week, despite reports on Rainier climbing page.  If this is case, the route will require an extensive traverse around the gaping crevasse that exists adjacent to the bridge.  Bergshrund crossings were straightforward, but somewhat sketchy on the descent since they consisted of short (10-15') steep headwalls having received limited sun & were thus icy. 

Summitted in just under 7 hours & were the only ones on top after 1pm.  Winds were in the 15-20 MPH range.  At around 3pm, we began our descent.  Skied off the true summit and into the crater (which proved to be the best snow on the entire descent).  After cranking a few turns, we straightlined it towards the vicinity where climbers crest the Emmons.  Exiting the crater at it's perimeter proved to be somewhat tricky with the moat & associated overhang along the rockband.  The top few hundred feet of remaining descent consisted of variable snow conditions (from windbuffed to very short lived sections of hardpack).  After personally sidestepping a portion (eventually straightlining) of the icy bergshrund, sidestepping the tricky bridge crossing at 13k was the only remaining spicy section.  We had debated the huck method on the way out, but decided against it.

Remaining descent was cruiser, with exception of dirty snow/ice patches just above the main corridor.  Skiers right of the corridor bootpack provided some of the better snow on the route.

As indicated above, route may be close to changing above 13k.  Enjoy.

Yeah, dudes! I'm bummed I couldn't come along, but I'm glad you made it.  :)

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july-7-8-2006-emmons-glacier-mt-rainier
David_Coleman
2006-07-13 15:53:28