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September 16, 2001, Observation Rock, Mt. Rainier

9/16/01
WA Cascades West Slopes South (Mt Rainier)
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Posted by ema on 9/16/02 12:55am
My compulsive nature required me to put in a trip this month. Ron J's Pinnacle Glacier trip (see last week's report) had its attraction, but I wanted a long walk on this beautiful, late summer day in the mountains. I overflew Rainier a week ago in a commercial airliner (it seems much longer than just a week). The N side looked to have reasonable cover around Observation and Echo Rocks. So, I drove to Mowich Lake (about 10 miles of dirt road; the Park Service is now enforcing its entrance fee here). I hiked over Knapsack Pass and continued through Upper Spray Park to large snowfield between Observation and Echo Rocks. I skinned to the edge of the Russell Glacier and took a run (600vf). As expected it was fairly awful (the surface was cleaner than the Muir snowfield had been two weeks ago, but there were large, hard suncups and several runnels). I was not tempted to traverse over to the steeper part of the Fett Glacier to the W. I returned over Knapsack Pass. It was an enjoyable day (10 miles, 4000vf), but not much for skiing. Pray for snow (and other things).

Brent H

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ema
2002-09-16 07:55:18