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[TR] Rainier - 10,500 to the Nisqually Bridge 4/10/2016

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Trip: Rainier - 10,500 to the Nisqually Bridge


Date: 4/10/2016


Trip Report:


Cell-phone selfie cruising down the Nisqually Chutes


Quick conditions report for Muir (and a little above), Nisqually Chutes, and the Nisqually Bridge.


  • Christian and I wanted a quick, but fun conditioner in a short amount of time so we headed to Muir this morning (Sunday) to do a quick speed ascent.
  • Started skinning up at 9:08 AM, me in shorts + t-shirt, perfectly comfortable. Snow was a little hard, not too bad.
  • Partway up pan face I took a hard left to head toward the Pebble Creek summer route. I think it cost me time and was more uneven elevation gain/loss-wise. For the ascent, I think it's probably most efficient to stay to the ridge on the right and swing around left a bit later, losing almost nothing in elevation at any point.
  • Just over 2.5 hours later I was at Muir. Snow was already getting pretty soft all the way up, so I imagined down low it was going to be heavy/grabby.
  • Saw a group of 3 boarders who had just come down the ID from the summit, then took Cadavar gap. They said it was still in with a new path around the big crevasse we jumped last weekend, and a few more openings. They gave the ID 2 more weeks.
  • Ran into another friend who had done the Gib Ledges the night before, no real surprises on that route either.
  • Christian had been scoping a line above Muir. A steep chute to climber's left of the guide hut that started at about 10,500ft. He immediately started heading up that way toward Gib Ledges. I followed and we took off down the chute, which felt about 40 degrees-ish. This was a trip highlight, very fun, steep, with great snow.
  • Snow continued to be kind of awesome, great corn that allowed for speed. Viz/depth perception was perfect - blue bird day. We kept up speed all the way to the Niqually Chutes entrance where we ran into our other buddy.
  • The chutes were similar great corn, but starting to get a little tracked and a few, fairly large wet slide debris piles. Ryan was there yesterday and said these were new (from yesterday).
  • Ryan and his buddies were headed to the bridge, so Christian and I decided to head down as well as we'd never done it + it won't be in much longer. The promise of a shuttle to Paradise from he or his GF sealed the deal.
  • Snow started to get heavy/grabby halfway to the bridge from the base of the chutes, otherwise snow had been awesome all the way until this point.
  • Only had to stop/hop a couple times down low, including a pivot move over a boulder near the bridge. Christian only took his skis off 1x for that boulder, so he walked about 5ft, skied the rest.
  • Overall a pretty fun, quick day back on Rainier.



Splitboard descent video illustrating conditions from ~10,500ft to the base of the chutes.



About to drop into the steep chute skier's right of Muir, toward the Gib Ledges entrance, around 10,500ft.



Looking up toward Gib Ledegs from the drop-in point.



Entrance to the Nisqually Chutes. First time for me dropping in.



Large wet slide avy debris in the chutes. Recent slide (yesterday).



Wet slide #2 in the chutes.



Picking up speed at the base of the chutes, heading toward the Nisqually Bridge (~4200ft)



I refused to take off my board, so I pivoted on these boulders and used both my poles to hop on a few incline spots. I paddled like I was in a canoe to keep speed with both poles.



The famous bridge, where everyone pulls over and gets a picture next to the waterfall. I'm surprised more people aren't killed by distracted motorists in that spot. Or are they? Haven't looked into it.



Christian learning the hard way that showing no bare leg gets you nothing.



Amber saving us by shuttling us back to my car at Paradise. Pink line is a guess at our line.



Our tracks up/down from 5500ft (Paradise), to 10,500ft, to 4200ft.







Ignore the pink line above, this looks better.



Site / Instagram

Edited by lukeh

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