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iain

[TR] Mt. Rainier- Fuhrer Finger 7/15/2006

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Climb: Mt. Rainier-Fuhrer Finger

 

Date of Climb: 7/15/2006

 

Trip Report:

Well it's late in the year for this stuff, but we still wanted to ski even if it was pushing the issue, and I had backed out earlier of an offer to do this.

 

We left the zoo of the paved tourist trails and skied down the Nisqually, skinned up to the Wilson, and camped around 9200'.

 

Nisqually:

approach.jpg

 

a nice campsite:

camp.jpg

 

Next morning was an easy crossing to the finger. The finger was nice and solid. At the top of the finger, climber's left on the Nisqually looks to be a desperate affair these days. We cut hard right, to the middle of the upper Nisqually. This makes for a nice skinning slope, but it was bulletproof so out came the ski crampons. After awhile we got sick of skittering around on steep snow-ice above some very large holes, so packed the skis and threw on the spikes. The skis made a nice windsail on the back, but it's an easy slog to the summit from here. Chilled out on the summit for a bit, got nice and cold.

 

Top:

top.jpg

 

The ski down started on some sweet 3-D rime ice that lasted for a good ways. There really is nothing sweeter than jump-turning rime ice with a large pack at 14k'. This gave way to some softer stuff thankfully, and the Nisqually ski was actually pretty fun. We could open up the speed a bit, which was good for crossing a few of the crevasses. It can be a little tricky picking out the route down through the seracs to find the finger again.

 

NP weaving through the upper Nisqually:

fuhrer3.jpg

 

The finger itself was okay at the top but got ugly in a hurry. Big suncups and dirty snow, with large boulders in the snow, and above your head at times. There is also a sweet waterfall in the constriction to sideslip through as rocks tumble over your head.

 

Entering the finger:

fuhrer2.jpg

 

The start of some dirty fun:

fuhrer1.jpg

 

I'd call it done for the season for skiing. It was a lot of fun though, and it's nice and direct.

 

Gear Notes:

Skis, of course. A few cliff-climbing snaplinks.

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There really is nothing sweeter than jump-turning rime ice with a large pack at 14k'.

cool.gif sounds like great fun from this vantage point. Even better if you get to follow it with dirty suncups and waterfalls. Ah, to ski the alpine in July!

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So perhaps this mythical Iain exists. Sweet pictures...so skiing is kaput for summer 06....both you and Sky have declared it. Someone post another ski mountaineering TR and prove them wrong wink.gif

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We went to go climb the finger last weekend. Decided climbing it (or, more so, descending it after the sun hits areas around it) was a serious risk. There's no way I'd climb it this summer! (I've done it before and it's a great climb - just not worth risking you and your partners lives over. I'd be like slowly walking across a firing range! Well, OK, not that bad, but ... (If you're up for it, it'd be safer to climb the Kautz now.)

 

Iain, nice pics! Looks like a fun one and sounds like a great climb. Nice work.

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