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June 3, 2001, Castle/Pinnacle Peak, Mt. Rainier

WA Cascades West Slopes South (Mt Rainier)
Posted by Zap on 9/15/02 8:53pm
Jill, Dale, Hillary and I arrived at the Paradise lot with the plan of returning to ski the Nisqually Chutes but the snow and clouds changed those plans. Met another mountaineer who heard from the ranger that the cloud layer broke at 9000 feet. Nobody in our group expressed any interest in climbing 4000 feet in a snowing whiteout up the Muir Snowfield. Sometimes, we actually do what really makes sense - go lower. We arrived at Reflection Lakes and noticed only one other vehicle with rock climbers. There was a beautiful "sucker hole" as we started the skinning. On the ascent, we expeienced sun, snow, clouds and whiteout conditions. The top was partially socked in as we started our descent. Conditions were 3 inches of heavy new snow on a firm base. As we descended the steep gullies we triggered small sloughs that cleared the path for the following skiers. It was not worth a return climb.


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2002-09-16 03:53:35