Steamboat Prow/Interglacier

WA Cascades West Slopes South (Mt Rainier)
Posted by Zack Wentz on 6/20/20 12:48pm

Went up to the Steamboat Prow to ski the Interglacier and Glacier Basin on 6/19 with Daniel Peck.

We departed the parking lot at 8:30am. Temps were warm in the parking lot, with clear skies overhead. We carried skis until approx. 5,700ft on the Glacier Basin trail. Skinning was generally consistent here except for a few short (50ft long) patches of dirt. 

Above Glacier Basin Camp, coverage was quite consistent if you stay low in the valley (looker’s left) of the lateral moraines. We enjoyed consistent skinning from here onward up onto the Interglacier.

We made it to the Interglacier around approx. 11:30am. Snow conditions were generally approx. 10-15cms of extremely wet, hot pow. Surface conditions are consistent, with very few sun cups. The warm day provided very soppy snow quite early, as the snow was already moist-wet beginning around 10am. We explored the looker’s left side of the upper Interglacier thinking we may find some cooler snow, however a breakable sun crust on this slope made skiing difficult on the descent.

We skied from the Steamboat Prow at approx. 3:00pm; snow conditions for the descent were wet, hot sticky pow. Where there weren’t ski tracks the surface conditions were generally consistent, with easier travel offered with more sustained and steep pitch.

On the descent, we skied below our boot-skinning transition, reaching approx. 5,400ft where the snow immediately shifts to dry trail. 

All in all, was a great day to be out, and great weather to check out conditions on Mt. Rainier.

Glacier Basin from Lateral Moraines


Lower Interglacier


Upper Left Side of Interglacier


Dan w/ the Emmons Behind


Steamboat Prow


Trees Below Glacier Basin Camp


Any indication of or concern of cracks beginning to open anywhere?

We dropped in about 130 or so.  Wasn't really any better.  Legs tired from the ascent and tele skis made for semi-survival skiing esp. the lower slop. Still a great day in the mountains with my son and his friend.




No visible cracks or sags at least as I saw things.

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Zack Wentz
2020-06-20 19:48:51