Forums Trip Reports April 25-26th Mt. Rainier Fuhrer Finger
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    christoph benells
    717 Posts

    I was resisting the urge to blog about this one but since the TR’s on here are getting fewer and fewer this time of year I thought i’d share.

    There are not many good action shots due to several reasons, violent winds and altitude sickness up high, too good of snow to stop in the middle, and fog in the lens on the glacier. If you want a better idea of the run check Ben and Saign’s report from a month ago. They had better snow and a go pro, Ben even throws a (BS) 360 with the overnight pack!


    We got to the Paradise parking lot, dazed and confused with blurry eyes, (cause the sun was so bright :doobie: ) at 2pm on the 25th.Trad Brad, in a classic Tele skier move forgot his poles. Tele skier’s and people from his native land of Idaho, are crafty folk. he fashioned ski poles out of bamboo wands, duct tape and orange peels.

    Photos by Ryanirv

    Polypro and shorts, He was also a member of the much loved climbing club the Mountaineers.

    The poles broke after 5 minutes.

    We crossed the nisqually glacier in scorching hot conditions, avalanches poured in a constant stream from both sides of the basin. A huge serac tumbled off the Nisqually ice cliff and produced a huge cloud of white.

    We decided it would be best to wait until the sun went down a bit to ascend out of the basin.

    We had a nice little bivy around 9,000 feet, drank a rainier beer, relaxed and melted alot of water.

    A 4 am start, and a beautiful full moon.

    The mountaineers would be proud.

    At 13,000~ feet ryan got some altitude sickness. he huddled in a bivy while me and Brad went up the upper Nisqually. It was some slow moving up there.

    We finally decided to turn around about 200 feet away from the crater rim. the violent 60-70 mph gusts and the quickly forming lenticular cloud scared the crap out of me. The weather report called for increasing clouds, followed by days of low pressure. The top of rainier is no place you want to be in conditions like that. The decision for me was easy, turn around now, get an awesome 9,000 foot run, and not have to huddle in a snow cave for days with nothing but a foam pad and some gel packets.

    The snow up top was a nice smooth windbuff. I am a master at windbuff, i studied for years on Dave’s Run at mammoth mountain. In the coulior itself it was nice corn, about 4 inches deep.

    I’ve been riding this super-light setup the last couple of weeks. 13-14 Rome whiteroom (7 lbs), Raceplate bindings (2 lbs?) and gecko mohair skins (1.5 lbs) and tlt-5’s. The rome board rides pretty sweet, don’t get me wrong i still love my venture, but it sure is nice having that extra weight off my feet.

    It’s true- Hard boots give you bad style, but guess what? Rainier don’t care and NEITHER DO I!

    I gave brad my poles for the way down. See GOATROTT, tele skiers and splitboarders CAN get along. We are all one in the mountains.

    The snow down at 6,000 feet was sticky and wet. even though there was enough snow to get the 10,500 foot run, it would not be worth it. we skinned up and ascended out of the Nisqually basin and then completed the ride back to the paradise parking lot.

    There we were bombarded by tourists. Where did you snowboard from? What are the ropes for? How long did it take you? They were dumbfounded.

    Thanks for reading folks. The volcano riding season is just getting started, and those who didn’t get enough winter still have a couple of months to get up to oregon and washington!

    330 Posts

    Rad report Chris.

    To bad you had to turn around early. Props to Brad for Skinning the lower with only an ice axe.

    Ryan Irv
    12 Posts

    @christoph benells wrote:

    Trad Brad, in a classic Tele skier move forgot his poles.

    In true Idaho fashion though, he was more upset about forgetting his trusty bandana.

    I’m just glad his crampons stayed on, especially since the strap “didnt fit quite right”.

    675 Posts

    Nice trip and write up… Drinking Rainiers on Rainier, that’s awesome! :thatrocks:

    551 Posts

    @christoph benells wrote:

    See GOATROTT, tele skiers and splitboarders CAN get along. We are all one in the mountains.

    Haha too funny! I’m laughing too since one of my best backcountry friends is a tele skier and thinks goat rot is a douche.

    Looks like a fun time too! Good call turning around, huddling in snow cave with a couple of gels for days on end = not good times. Way to get after it on the big volcano.

    86 Posts

    Another epic TR… :thumpsup:

    I am just now starting to dabble with Rainier. Early season I skinned up to the glacier view point and headed back due to heavy snow and flat light. Looking to do more up there this spring.

    85 Posts

    As usual, Chris brings the humor. The teleskier pole commentary is comedy. This time of year is brutal to be away from the volcanoes. Keep on posting the stoke. The jealousy eventually subsides.

    700 Posts

    “It’s true- Hard boots give you bad style, but guess what? Rainier don’t care and NEITHER DO I!”

    I think the TRs from this time of year are often the best of the season! Nice work. Can’t wait to get out there and do a volcano tour!

    474 Posts

    really well done guys

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