Jump to content

[TR] Mt. Rainier - double barrel Emmons ski 8/19/2009


Recommended Posts

Trip: Mt. Rainier - double barrel Emmons ski


Date: 8/19/2009


Trip Report:

After hearing a few reports of fresh snow high in the hills I couldn't resist the seductive seed of an idea -- and if you are going to go this time of year -- you might as well go high - my option was obvious...




Climbing the snout of the Interglacier was somewhat intimidateing as rocks shot by (mostly small ones) the glacier was smooth hard ice for at least a thousand vertical feet, a fall needless to say would have severe consequenses as one would gain high speed on the 30degree tougne.


I set up camp around 530 at Curtis high camp, and enjoyed the incredible views sweetened by solitude and dark chocolate.


Got going around 6 in wensday morning, and enjoyed low traffic low down on the route -- most of the climbing parties had left Camp Sherman much earlier and were already high on the mountain. There were several sections of exposed glacial ice in this lower section -- but the way was never hard to follow. I put a foot through into a hole on the corridor -- as I strayed from the pack a little tacking up...


As I ascended - evidence of the snowstorm began to reveal itself --first in tinny patches here and there >>> until elevation brought me to a thick carpet of perfect white.




Above 13,000' the snow got a little icy - in various forms, rime sustrugi, ice crust, frozen ocean wave sustrugi mildly remeniscent of mid-winter Shasta... But the sun and windless warmth of the air did it's work, and much of the ice softned as the day wore on.


Columbia Crest was crowded, it looked like the DC was seeing quite a bit of traffic too.




I survival skiied down the ocean wave sustrugi off the cone -- and I actually hit a stash of shin deep powder hidden in the waves of ice... Then I choose to take a bit of a traverse to the upper Winthrop to gain better snow quality -- snow here was as good as it gets -- infact the snow for the entire upper and mid portions of the route was excellant. I skiied with a smile down to about 10500 where the first sections of exposed glacial ice were, packed the skis and headed up for another lap.


The snow and snow bridges were softening, but not to the point of becomeing a major concern. All of the people I met en-route were polite and aware of proper ediqutte, it was nice to exchange a few words with people so stoked to be on the mountian.


The second time I gained Columbia Crest I only saw a couple climbers, and they soon departed leaving me alone on the summit in the wayneing day. I skiied down pretty much the same way I did before. Unfortunatly my helmut camera ran out of memory, or the batteries died... Some shadows were creeping up from the depths of the ice, and I skiied in a pleasant mix of sun and shade. I was able to "ski" the ice sections -- and skiied down to the camp Curtis area.




Quickly packed camp then skiied the upper third of the Interglacier, then switched to crampons for the focused descent of 1000+ vertical feet of ice -- and mostly ice it was, a few patches of snow or snice in areas, but for the most part the interglacier sported hard smooth ice. My weapons were dull mismatched aluminum crampons (I broke one of my camp nano-techs on Baker last month) Not used to downclimbing low-mid angle ice - I played around with several tequniques, finally setteling on reverse front pointing useing my axe as a cane. Fortunatly very little rock fall occured as I downclimbed the ice.



Enjoying Dusk at camp


Link to comment
Share on other sites

  • Replies 9
  • Created
  • Last Reply

Top Posters In This Topic


You are a true cascade hard Manimal. Next time I watch your totally awesome and riveting video I'm going to put my skis on in the living room and pretend it's me.


"I skied with a smile down to about 10500 where the first sections of exposed glacial ice were, packed the skis and headed up for another lap." Like I said...

Link to comment
Share on other sites

Join the conversation

You can post now and register later. If you have an account, sign in now to post with your account.

Reply to this topic...

×   Pasted as rich text.   Paste as plain text instead

  Only 75 emoji are allowed.

×   Your link has been automatically embedded.   Display as a link instead

×   Your previous content has been restored.   Clear editor

×   You cannot paste images directly. Upload or insert images from URL.

  • Create New...