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May 11, 2003, Muir

WA Cascades West Slopes South (Mt Rainier)
Posted by Rickster on 5/11/03 6:24pm
I spent the night in the parking lot- to get an early departure.  But I guess the Longmire gate is not closed any more??  Woke up to cars coming into lot, got up, did breakfast and hit the snow @ 7:30, air temp 30 degrees, typical frozen, & boot tracked.  Skinned to below Pan Pt., Crampons up- could have booted it up existing holes; but that isn't any fun and since I carried them I had to use them???  There was a couple inches of light crystaline snow on top of hard pack all the way to Muir, got there just after 11:00, BS'ed with some climbers that had to go back to camp early, tried to phone Mom on Mom's day, could hear but not talk.

Snow field was in pretty good shape- not too many tracks at least not yet- there were bunches going up as I was headed down.  Skied down where I climbed, snow drasticaly changed there and then to slush & mush, mostly followed my tracks to keep speed up- sorta my initial plan, just didn't expect it to be that soft so early.  Got back to Paradise at 12:05 to see the parking lot filling, air temp 54 degrees (in lot),felt warmer- lots of sun, the van was nice and warm.  Great views fom below Muir, as encountered from other trips the 10,000 foot level seems to atract the clouds- so best views were below.

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2003-05-12 01:24:09