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March 8, 2003, Paradise, MRNP

WA Cascades West Slopes South (Mt Rainier)
Posted by Andrew Carey on 3/8/03 10:44pm
50 inches of new.  NWAC said avy danger was high moving to extreme.  So what's a bc fellow to do?  Lined up the skis: Sumo-3 pin, Superstinx 7tm, Mito 3-pin, Excalibur Plus 3-pin, and Pavo-3 pin.  Chose the Pavo for fun, off we went. Fortunately some snowshoers were breaking trail down the Paradise Valley Road on Mt. Rainier (Their trail was more than knee deep!  Then up Mazama Ridge we went taking real care in route finding.  Huge cornices had formed since last week; snow was real deep and uneven.  Could skin around in light powder and hit wind affected powder and have trouble even moving.  First run down was fun--never saw anything below my knees, often waist deep in powder.  Couldn't parallel cuz the snow would build up in front too fast; tele knee-boot chasers worked till I'd hit a gully full of light powder and sink to chest deep.  Then the no-wax pattern came in handy to climb out.  Second run, we could see and feel the slabs started to form.  We high-tailed it out.  Every creek bed had fractures along the terrain break.  Looking up from the road one could see fractures at every bench break. Little slides onto the road.  It was snowing with new, heavy snow, maybe rain on the way.  So we headed to our cabin and later went for a hike in 2 feet on new. Spent the night and skipped the bc today--conditions extreme. abc

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Andrew Carey
2003-03-09 06:44:13