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Naches Peak - Chinook Pass

WA Cascades West Slopes South (Mt Rainier)
Posted by TooSlim on 6/4/23 8:17pm

Arrived at the summit at 7 AM and parked at the westside lot (MRNP side). Looking up at the bowls above Upper Tipsoo, the snow had melted out enough that many of the normal ski lines didn't have entrances with continuous snow on them, especially the ones near the top.  

The skin up to the ridge above Upper Tipsoo was on firm, refrozen snow. I neglected to bring ski crampons so ended up booting the last part to gain the ridge. No matter, the south aspects are patchy snow with nothing continuous, so I boot-packed all the way to the skier's summit. The east bowl was slush by the time I made my descent. I decided to walk out the PCT back to the highway rather than skin back up to the top and walk back down the ridge to a place where there was a decent entrance to the west bowls above Upper Tipsoo. Still lots of snow on the PCT side so the walk out was a combo of steep side-hilling and bushwacking. 

Bottom line: Entrances to the west bowl are melting fast, the south aspect and ridge is melted out, the east bowl is still skiable, the PCT route is a swack, the views of Big R are stunning and I'm grateful I can still do this silly stuff at 65 years old. 

Hey, thanks for the update on Chinook pass.

If my memory is still good, that was the first place I ever used skins.

My guess is you will have a long time to be grateful !

Robert, I hope so. If my memory is still good, Naches Peak is the first "bigger" objective I did on skis. 

Thanks for the report; you are an inspiration!

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2023-06-05 03:17:09