May 5-6, 2001, Paradise, Mt. Rainier
WA Cascades West Slopes South (Mt Rainier)
It doesn't take much of a trip to qualify as a backcountry ski trip for me, Charles. Even driving to the trailhead and sitting in the car drinking beer and watching the rain qualifies as far as I'm concerned. Eric, Jeanette, Maureen and I were all right there at Paradise with you this weekend, however. We were all part of the 13 person instructional staff that put 21 hopeful ski/snowboard glacier travelers through their crevasse rescue paces Saturday and Sunday on the Nisqually Glacier. It was the field trip for the Ski/Snowboard Glacier Travel/Crevasse Rescue course conducted annually by the Seattle Mountaineers. Theres nothing quite like going into a crevasse with all your ski gear and pack on except maybe watching the look on someone's face as they go over the edge of the abyss with hopes that their instructors and training partners are doing everything right. Fortunately, true to form for this annual event, we returned to the Paradise parking lot with the same number of souls as what we left with, and with 21 more glacier travelers with a new appreciation for the challenges of extracting themselves and each other from the icy grips of crevasses. Great fun and adrenalin rushes were had by all.