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Billygoat

Rainier in April

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More on the nature of the Ledges. A section fell away long ago and what was left was a 45 degree slope leading up to a headwall on your right. The wall has no cracks suitable to protect the route with gear. The snow is what makes the traverse safer, as you can use an axe to self-belay that tough but short section. When we crossed it, there some some snow, but it wasn't very well consolidated and I remember thinking that I didn't want to yard with much force on my axe shaft- it would just break out. Once past that section the "ledge" is wider, albiet still sloping, but the snow is such that here you can put in pickets or flukes, if you like. We placed three flukes on the last rope length to the base of the chute, just because it was kind of steep and we could. We placed three flukes on the exit chute, although I would have have been happier to lead that section with four or five. I am sure plenty of parties do not place running belays at all, but that is what we did.

 

Tomcat had this awful story about a friend of a friend who got avalanched in the chute and unfortunately he had to tell everyone just before we did the pitch, so everyone was all nervous.

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Sounds like the South side gets a lot of wind (duh) which is a good thing to consider.

 

Does anyone think there might be a usable boot pack to Muir at that time of year (on average)?

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if the weather/conditions are at all conducive to climbing there ought to be a boot track, but someone has to put it in (you just might be the lucky one) grin.gif also the snowfield is usually not too bad.

 

 

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Billygoat said:

Does anyone think there might be a usable boot pack to Muir at that time of year (on average)?

Personally I wouldn't plan on it, because it is usually windy there (clearing and depositing snow). Been up there plenty of times at that time of year and at best there would normally be intermitten boot paths, covered packed down areas that will almost make you trip when going though foot deep snow. That time of year you can run into ice nubbles, wind deposited snow, deep snow and or slush all in about 100 yards.

TTT

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TTT is right to say don't plan on it. However, if you wait until a time when it hasn't snow for a week and a half, you stand a very good chance of finding hardpack most of the way though there'd still be some snowplowing somewhere, in all likelihood. And long high pressure periods like that probably happen on average of three or four times every winter.

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these guys are right that you should not count on it (although a few days after a dump should allow for relatively easy conditions imo). but perhaps a more relevant question is: wth does TTT do on the muir snowfield in winter! (just teasing).

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So I've never been successful in the winter but I have climber Rainier a few times. The winter attempts were enough to put a healthy respect for the storm potential in my fear centers. One night I stood at the Anvil and watched the lenticular lap up and down about a thousand feet in moments. One minute Cathedral rocks were there, the next they weren't, the next moment.......

Short days and at least a little post holing can be counted on. Skiing isn't always fun but I will probably never go up there without skiis again. Debate it all you want guys. Most of the time, I have way more fun than the people I see without skiis. Pump those legs on some hills. You might want to run around that island once a week or so.

We'll have a blast.

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Last winter there were times when you could barely boot down the Muir snowfield without falling down, let alone ski down it. I remember looking at a snow board track that had wipeout marks every 20 yards or so. I think the fellow finally gave up and walked down. There were sharp sastrugi mounds with ice in between. The horror.

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Two winters ago I side slide down hard ice rom the bottom of the Muir snowfield to Panarama point. I was so tired from using the same muscles, I couldn't ski the wind blown powder from there down. I should have saved my strength by putting on my crampons and wandering down to where I could actually ski.

About ten years ago, I was up on the Muir snowfield in a whiteout and couldn't even see my feet at times. It was really wierd to be skiing alon and get engulfed in a white out before I could stop. It is like falling through a cloud. Of course, most of my life has seemed like that but you know what I mean..............

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I'm about ready to abandon tele skiing in favor of snowboarding or randonee. My tele boots won't fit crampons (I don't think), so this setup is out for a trip up Rainier. I can use a snowboard with my plastics but couldn't skin up unless I spring for a split board (unlikely). I can do it all with an AT setup but I cringe at the price. So in the end I'll probably just walk up and down again. I skied up to Muir once with really crummy non-alpine touring skis: not that bad on the way up, but getting down took exactly the same amount of time, what with falling down every 20 yards and struggling back to my feet again. Walking instead would probably have saved energy.

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Why not take skiis up to muir in april anyway? Even if there is a good boot track to follow uphill, it is not likely to last with the unstable weather that time of year. Now, going downhill, once past pebble creek, there is no 'stairway to heaven' to screw you up on the way down like in summer. Snow goes all the way to the parking lot. Why not take advantage of a nice ski (tele) ride down? cheeburga_ron.gif

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Billygoat said:

BD Sabertooths are made to fit Tele boots.

Yeah and the toes keep the puncture wounds shallow.

I used Lowe foot fangs with Asolo Snowfield boots. Now I will use my M-10s with Merril super comps. I also went to shorter skiis for ease of turning. I just love telemarking and the flexibility it gives me in the mountains up and down.

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Mike_Gauthier said:

hey mtn-mouse are you recommending tele skis? did you hear that ted wants to take up snowboarding, he's been trying to get one of my old ones... the_finger.gif

 

 

Ted and I tried following you up the snowfield last year in deep snow. Can't imagine not having something to float on. It hurts just to watch Ted on tele skiis. Need to get him on something else. Those split snowboards might just do the trick. Short aren't they? like less that 100cm?

 

I heard you were supposed to be in the mtns this weekend. Can't fake it now that you've posted here! grin.gif

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Bug said

II just love telemarking and the flexibility it gives me in the mountains up and down.

 

Bug, I have some old SMC 12 pointers (thats cause I am old too) and have used them on snowpines ok. Have you used anything like that on the new plastic T2's? And how is climbing with T2's as compared to Koflachs etcc.? wave.gif

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mtn_mouse said:

Bug said

II just love telemarking and the flexibility it gives me in the mountains up and down.

 

Bug, I have some old SMC 12 pointers (thats cause I am old too) and have used them on snowpines ok. Have you used anything like that on the new plastic T2's? And how is climbing with T2's as compared to Koflachs etcc.? wave.gif

I haven't used plastic Tele boots. Too cheap. But the only pons I was able to get on my tele boots were the ones with bales. As far as hiking in tele boots with rigid crampons vs koflachs with rigid crampons, there wasn't any difference except perhaps if it got a lot colder. My feet have good circulation and that is usually not a problem for me. The points stick out past the tele toes anyway and I haven't done any front pointing on the routes I was willing to ski. So basically, the tele toe has no bearing on the performance when you have crampons on.

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