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Safe (Forest?) Ski Tours


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I am going to start pulling my hair out. I am home and the weather is like, well, WA winter weather. With the avy forecasts predicting certain pain and death does anybody have any favorite ski tours they would like to share that stay in trees or on safe terrain? A moderate amount of remoteness is a major plus.



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Thanks Dave! Is the route up Lichtenberg that you speak of to follow the ENE trending forested "rib" that is comprised of "squiggly" topo lines on the map and descends towards the NW corner of the lake? Looking at the map and sat photos that appears to be reasonable.

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if you take the 'winter' route in.

What route is that?

I've been down the Christine Falls trail in the autumn, and got the distinct impression that the step from below to above the falls would be a difficult barrier in snow. I asked a ranger once, and got the response that yes, it's hazardous to approach Van Trump Park from the Christine Falls area in the winter. Perhaps this was yet another "Don't do that, it's too dangerous" standard Ranger warning. I'll get the map out and look, but if you have a standard winter approach I'd like to hear of it.

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The route above Christine Falls that I've been on in the winter...follows the regular trail. The only time I've been up there in the winter is after things have mellowed out...and we're walking/skiing/snowshoeing over tons of debris. Wouldn't wanna be in there during a high avi period, such as now. Maybe I'm a wuss...


Now...MisterMO mentions a "winter route." Can you share that beta with us?


I know there's a winter route up Granite Mtn (not a ski trip), that avoids all/most of the avi chutes. Was totally news to me, as many times as I've been up there. Maybe MisterMo has something like that up his sleeve??

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The winter route in is well described in Ted Mueller's old book, Northwest Ski Trails. It avoids the avalanche prone slopes near Comet Falls just below the park itself and is a very safe route. I'd be suprised that if Rangers didn't know of it; it was in common use for years and years..........maybe it's just their standard position.


Anyhow, (using the 7.5 minute Mt Rainier West quad) from the Christine Falls trailhead ascend following the left side of Van Trump Creek. At about 4200' the creek and its drainage make an obvious right turn; at this point climb NW away from the creek to reach the top of Rampart Ridge in the flattish area at around 4800' Follow Rampart Ridge NEsterly past a short steepish section to where the timber begins to thin, then follow open slopes and benches east of the ridge crest to where a crossing to the east may be made of the obvious stream gully...into Van Trump Park itself. In very extreme conditions this gully crossing could pose some slight avy hazard, but I've never seen it. It's only maybe a hundred feet or so deep if you cross at the best point.


Above this point the skiing is safe, obvious, and generally less wind blasted & superior to that above Paradise. Fine skiing can be had all the way up to 10,000' or so.


Coming out it's suprisingly easy to be led astray on the flat part of Rampart Ridge; it's a good place to pay close attention.


It would also be super safe and feasible to go in Rampart Ridge all the way from Longmire but that would add quite a bit to the trip.


Hope this helps. Enjoy yerself. Feel free to PM me if you want more info.

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Anybody tried to the terrain up the Beverly and Standup creek drainages in the Teanaway? It looks like you can string together treed areas to get pretty high. I remember being able to stay in trees (or flat terrain) all the way up to Navaho Pass and on to the Navaho Peak summit with careful navigation. Has anybody explored this area in the *winter*?? I know it is very popular in the spring...

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