WA Cascades West Slopes South (Mt Rainier)
Posted by Bryan on 7/25/20 9:25pm

Waiting about a month for the carbon river road to open, we made the annual trek up through spray park onto the Russell glacier. 
It’s been a good year, because the Russell snowpack is holding up like it is the end of June.  We were able to skin from 6k with two small carries.  
We started skiing from 9100 feet right below the Russell headwall- snow looked dirty.  We were able hook up 4 slopes with a few boot packs before traversing over right below the Flett headwall( I’ll add my gps tract if garmin’s website starts ever working again). 
Skiing was fantastic- firm corn with very manageable minor suncups.  Couldn’t believe it was the end of July!!
The walk out was long as usual......


Hey , thanks for the effort !

Lots of memories of that tour. The real trick is to hide a can of pineapple slices and beer in the last stream before the switchbacks up to

Spray park! Makes the walk out so much more pleasant.

When I lived in Sumner the view of that area would just drive me crazy!

You’re a wise man!!

The walk out is a bit easier when the turns are good. 
Even the small sun cups were soft yesterday 

It was excellent on the 26th as well. Very satisfying day. Full length Russell descent (the top, where the cups turn into dirty bathtubs, was worth it for the views, if not the skiing), plus Flett headwall and below. Very shreddable. Good ski/hike ratio, and road in good shape too. I was surprised to see only two other skiers on this perfect day. (Maybe a few others sneaked their turns in while I was on the far end?)

Bryan, must have been the three of you we crossed paths with right after getting onto the Russell. We decided to traverse from there and loop behind Observation Rock to gain the top of Flett headwall. Not the most efficient route but we made it and the headwall was great! We followed your skin tracks all the way out to the trail with a couple carries, so that was nice to be able to ski down that far.  Great day for it!

20.7 km, 08:06:54

Mmm pineapple. Real nice composition on that last pic. 

Thanks for the pics and intel. We made our way up on Sunday and the skiing was fantastic! Took a similar route looping around O' rock but in the future would cross over on the North side around 8000 to gain the Flett headwall. Russell glacier is holding up beautifully & is worthy of laps. August corn

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2020-07-26 04:25:09