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june 18, steamboat prow

Posted by allyson on 6/19/06 1:57pm
cass, kelvin, justin, kam and i headed down to rainier sometime around 6:30 on sunday morning.  after some dilly-dallying in the safeway in enumclaw, where we purchased gummi bears and admired tabloid pictures of a deadly manfish, we finally arrived at the white river cg around 9:00.  and in the parking lot, who did we run into but the likes of amar!  we decided to join forces, and headed up the glacier basin trail. 

the trail climbs gently, beginning at 4300' and popping out a few miles later in the basin around 5500'.  we debated heading up towards ruth, then decided to continue towards the inter glacier.  there was another ski party in front of us, and an easy skin track to follow, so skinning up was smooth.  visibility on the way up was pretty good.  occassionally, we were fogged in by clouds, but they moved in and out quickly enough.  we spotted some large holes in the middle of the first incline, at about 7700'.  steering clear, we continued climbing up climbers' right.

there were quite a few climbing parties out there, training, setting up camp, and glissading down.  up higher, at about 8000' we watched a party glissading right over a section of sketchy small (yet visibly open) cracks!  yikes.

we continued cruising slowly to the top, staying above the clouds moving in below.  we topped out at 9650', to one of the most spectacular glacier views i've ever seen.  the emmons is monsterous!!!  the route up was completely visible, and looked to be in good condition.  after a short break in the sun, we began skiing down a bit before 4pm.  the snow up top was smooth, sweet corn.  we took turns taking pictures of each other before getting swallowed up in the cloud layer around 9000'.

the next 1900' or so, we skiied down in complete whiteout.  fun!  ::)  the snow was still fabulous, but we stayed close to the uptrack to avoid the holes below.  around 7100', we came out of the cloud bank to the lower part of the glacier.  we grabbed a few more turns before reaching the crossing point of the river.

some crossed by log bridge, others, by leaping, and me, by plowing tractor-style through the water.  (but my socks remained dry!).  :)  there was enough snow on the trail to ski down probably another 1/2 mile and 200vf beyond the river crossing, and some of us chose to do that too.  we finished the hike down, arriving at the cars by 6pm.  so much more fun coming down!!  thanks for another awesome day guys! 
Nice trip summary Allyson!
author=allyson link=topic=4964.msg20907#msg20907 date=1150779476">some crossed by log bridge...
With some attempting the crossing without taking off the skis; glad you didn't fall-in Kam, especialy since the 'rescue rope' was in your pack  ;D
Other trip photos posted here

Heh. I contemplated that very log, but instead tried a jumpover crossing that was a failure before I even started. (Tried to toss my skis over first, but the current caught one of them and took it for a little ride. I then had to plunge thru where it came to rest, good cross spot or not. Soggy! Good thing I was five minutes away from being allowed to take em off.)

Ruth was good. Actually I think it makes a pretty good up-route because the slightly meandering nature of the fall-line provides a natural and direct skin route, and in those snow conditions doesn't really matter if you're on established track or not. Did not seem slower; I saw your group over on Inter at the time I topped out Ruth at about the same elevation, and from there it would be a quick deskin and two minute traverse onto the main route just below Camp Curtis.

It was nice and quiet over there, no one was on Ruth, everyone was on the Inter, there were just two sets of recent other tracks. I took one run down the big diamond on the eastern face near the uptrack for about 1200 feet, great snow that was kinda firn/speigel/corn mix, no cups and just the slightest of runnels. By then the clouds had billowed in and whited out the re-ascent to Ruth. The second run down I took the Dogleg, which I haven't run before because I have previously gotten to it just a little too late in year. It was mostly whiteout, but one good thing about the Dogleg is that as long as you take the right compass heading immediately off the top, the fall-line on that side will suck you right into it and you just have to make sure to stay high and right when reaching the chute itself, so you can stay out of the debris runnels. Descending in the whiteout like that was interesting, it made the run feel nice and LONG. Snow stayed good until the very bottom of the apron out of the chute.

it was a nice day.  thanks for the company everyone.  here are some photos:

more photos...
1. Kelvin
2. Inter Glacier
3. Allyson
4. Little Tahoma
5. Justin and Cass
6. The Mountain
7. Justin
8. Amar

author=cascadesfreak link=topic=4964.msg20914#msg20914 date=1150782634]. . . crossing without taking off the skis . . .

When are you jibber dudes gonna learn to stay in the park?  ;)

Had marathon Father's Day duties Sunday, but we went to Interglacier yesterday - on the way down, we traversed far skier's left in the bottom bowl (Glacier Basin?) and found continuous snow down to the trail, making the log crossing unnecessary. Don't know if it really saved any energy, but the linked snow patches from the real trail (on the small ridge up from the creek) should last for a week or two.

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2006-06-19 20:57:56