March 3, 2002, Cowlitz Rocks, Mt. Rainier N.P.
WA Cascades West Slopes South (Mt Rainier)
Sparkling spring day leisure start and skinning by 1000, snow still firm and lots of tracks on Mazama ridge from folks having fun on Sat. T-shirts and sun screen on the lower Paradise no wind and the snow softening up sweetly made for a easy ascent up to the saddle. A few sluffs on south facing slopes hard crust under the one the three inches of soft. By all appearences a firm crust from the rain last week even up to 7,000. Upper Paradise Glacier quite skiable with snow a bit more crusty on southeast facing aspects above 7,000. Snow setting up a bit heavy on the way out down low all in all A painfully pretty day to be out.