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pete_a

Fresh tracks on rainier...barely...

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Despite the fact that the cascades didn't get a whole lot of snow late last week, I still had to go see if there was anything remotely skiable on the south side of rainier. Better terrain probably could've been found up around the north side of Baker, but for a lazy day in the sun, goofing off on the lower sections of the muir snowfield is just fine by me.

Saturday morning there was still a couple inches of snow covering the rocks below Pan Point and higher up the trees were plastered with ice, but above 8000ft there was very little new snow.

The portion of the muir snowfield just above Pebble Creek had between 3-6" of new snow, just enough to smooth over the suncups and cover the old neve. It only offered 500 vertical feet of skiing but after doing four laps on it I was pretty happy, I've definitely had better ski days in October, but I'm not going to complain. After months of skiing progressively dirtier and harder snow it was nice just to make a few turns on the fresh stuff.

Doubt much of the snow is still around after the sun this weekend....by late saturday afternoon much of the new snow had melted off.

Pray for snow!

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amen brother pete!

i'm with you, bring on the snow. i hear, however, that the long range forcast for october includes sun and warmer than normal weather...

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Yeah Mike, I saw that long range forecast and figured I better go get some turns while I could.

Just have to settle for rock climbing in the sunshine for a couple more weekends I guess...

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Are you one of those "turns-all-year" types? See web page (interesting cult). I tried skiing and/or boarding 1,000 vertical every month a year ago, but it got real thin in September. Aside from humping up skis to 9,000 on the Muir snowfield -- and having to deal with a lot of smart-ass comments from descending hikers and climbers -- where else can you go to get your verts?

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Its pretty easy to ski year round as one can still get good backcountry turns in August, a good spot to hit is the Flett glaciers on the north side of rainier, or up around Coleman Pinnacle near Baker, and typically by late October you can ski about 2500 v.f. continuously on the muir snowfield. And if ones backcountry options are really limited in September, or you're just feeling lazy, you can ski lift-served groomed slopes at Timberline at Hood all summer.

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