Nisqually near-Chutes

WA Cascades West Slopes South (Mt Rainier)
Posted by telemack on 9/22/20 10:53am

Thanks to the apocalyptic weather, I found myself with a small TAY window for September.  I whittled down the time commitment by booking a cabin at Gateway Inn in Ashford.  Great location and I got 3 hours extra sleep.  The hike from Paradise was nice and cool; mist and cloud ceiling were a bit ahead of the forecast.  Instead of staying on the trail to lower Muir I cut left just above Pebble Creek, descended a bit, and got onto a couple of patches with substantial snow.  I booted then skinned for 3 runs.  The top of my patch was flat and capped by a beautiful cascade.  On my second run I skied the longer tongue to looker's left, nice and steep, ending before the snow turned to rocks and the waterfall reappeared.  

Crowds were mellow, since it was a week after Labor Day.  I had some outstanding company part of the walk:  a lady from Kelso who will ski her 70th season this year (she was not skiing yesterday); Regina and Andy Carey, legacy TAYers and Ashford locals; Tashi, a wonderful young Shepani from Lynnwood hiking in sandals before her shift at the wild Berry Nepalese restaurant in Ashford.  I had wonderful conversations, on my way to solitary turns, within view of the walkers, with mists and sun breaks all day.

I got 1300' of turns for 3500' of vertical gain.  Resurrecting the "Joy-O-Meter":  1300/3500 = .37, or 37%.  A Joy-O-Meter value of 100% means you would be on snow from the car or trailhead, and would get 1 foot of ski descent for every foot of ascent.  A 0% value means you took your skis for a walk and either found no snow, or found snow but did not put skis onto it.

156 months (13 years) of Turns All Year!  It keeps us out of the bars until a couple of hours after dark.... I predict Mr. Rolfes will continue his streak....

you sir, are inspiring. Thanks for the report and congrats on THIRTEEN years! I think 37% is pretty darn good for this time of year. Good work!

Good on ya, Mack!  Stories like this are the lifeblood of TAY and is what made me start wanting to carry skis thru the summer.  Thanks for sharing!


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2020-09-22 17:53:11