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Muir Snowfield Classic

WA Cascades West Slopes South (Mt Rainier)
Posted by nlaroche on 9/28/22 12:52pm

In the hopes of rounding out our first full year of turns, we loaded our skis on our packs and set our sights on Camp Muir. Conditions were perfect for walking, with sun shine, light winds, and temps in the mid 50s. We even had the privilege of meeting a fellow TAY user on the way up (VertVoyager if I’m not mistaken) and talked skiing the world—plus legends of small plane landings on local volcanoes, look it up!

 We took things slow so we could soak in the last bits of summer, taking a little over 5 hours for the slog to Muir. Once on top the views were unobstructed aside from the billowing smoke of the Goat Rocks fire. We spent maybe an hour up top polishing off some Goldfish and Snickers before gearing up for the rough ride down. 

The first 1000’ or so was natures version of Olympic moguls, waist deep sun cups were on the menu—which we saw coming considering they were plainly visible from the parking lot. Once we got through those the next challenge was avoiding a section full of runnels and dirt—so we down-climbed some scree to make life easy. After that though, things got better and we enjoyed ~1000’ of decent turns to Pebble Creek. Switching back to trail runners we hustled down the trail to Paradise enjoying the glow of the sun passing behind Rainier. We wrapped up the day with a rolled ankle 100’ from the car—on pavement. All-in-all, a very classic September day at Paradise, and 12 months in the bag!

Hiking to Muir


View from the top


Camp Muir Hang


Rough Patch


Thanks for the enjoyable TR; your writing is nifty and your knees must be steel.!

Your second & last photos show much lower hanging fruit for a possible TAY twofer.  There is still a fairly large snowpatch in the big gully between Pinnacle & Plummer peaks.  About half a mile up the Pinnacle trail, it turns left at a big rock and passes a couple small forested benches.  Make a slightly descending SW traverse for a few hundred yards to the big gully. Looks like maybe a couple hundred vf at ~30 degrees.  Avoid the lower gully's gorges & brush. 

Much appreciated, vogtski!

We noticed that patch while we were climbing—thanks for the approach tip! Planning to ski the Tatoosh next Spring, hopefully the entire ski traverse when it’s a little more filled in.

Thanks for the status report and nice pictures; hopefully the ankle feels OK by now.  Looks gnarly up there but there is a hope that we'll get some freshies in October.

Hi Gary.  Looks like the approach could be a mile one way?  Looking for very short approaches; it's kinda hard to walk a month before a hip replacement.  tx

A mile one-way sounds about right, allowing for weaving around brush & boulders.  I'd guess about 700 vf on the approach, maybe a hundred-fifty feet uphill on the return.  The sun doesn't hit the patch until late, so it's probably quite firm with a lack of runout...

Maybe someplace with snowmaking like Hood Or Whistler?

Best wishes on your surgery!

Here's a recent photo of the Pinnacle-Plummer patch from above:


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2022-09-28 19:52:00