There is still a shit ton of snow in the PNW. Most of the snow we were on above 9,000 feet was new snow that had not gone through the proper freeze-thaw cycles yet to be conducive to fun snowboarding.
If you read my last TR you may remember it ended with a gangster smashing up my car. I haven't fixed it yet, so i had to:
First I had to ride the #12 bus (12,000 riders weekly) and I don't think people understood why I was walking through downtown Portland with a mountaineering bag and snowboard. Then I rode the yellow line to the station.
I got off in Tacoma and went right to Red's Valley Pub to wait for my friend driving down from Sea-Tac airport. It was weird there at Red's. Live Bush DVD and Red was air-guitaring and singing while staring into my eyes.
My buddy picked me up at Red's, and we headed up to the national park. It's expensive up there...Damn!
My pack was super boy scout.
We originally had the intention of riding the Fuhrer Finger (if you dont know what that is, you need an extra space on your tick-list) but the thick white-out made the decision for us to follow the RMI train to Camp Muir. We came out of the clouds and into the 25 degree shade at around 9,000 feet.
Tattoosh Peaks and Mt. Adams
It was glorious when we popped out of those clouds
Then it got damn cold. My buddy was already feeling altitude sickness somehow and I looked out of the full public shelter to see the rangers carrying his skis and pack helping him up the final slope to the camp. They made us hot tang and I set up my floorless MSR tent with pickets, ice axes and deadmanned ski poles. It was 40 mph winds, and I thought for sure the tent was gonna fly away in the middle of the night but it stayed put. I melted liters upon liters of water and made my buddy drink as much water as possible.
The next morning 3 am came quick and he was felling a bit better, so we roped up and headed out. The wind was a bit mellower but it was still cold as hell.
We got to just above Disappointment Clever (the rock ridge on the right in the photo) before my buddy could not climb any farther. At around 13,500 feet, he puked. It didn't look fun. It was cold. It was harsh. We turned around.
We downclimbed the cleaver, holding onto the fixed ropes, and crossed Ingraham Glacier to the col between Gibralter rock and the Cathedral? rocks and took a break. We checked out some cool glacier features and got ready for the ride.
We dropped into a nice 40-50 degree chute that came onto paradise glacier after a 5 foot bergschrund hop. The snow was alright, an inch of corn on top of a hard base. Made for skipping turns that were not the greatest. We snowboarded around a few open crevasses on frozen windboard snow, with sastrugi like bumps.
Sorry no shred photos, since 3 mph tiny turns are not cool.
It was incredibly warm down below 10,000 feet and the snow corned nicely between 9,000 and 7,000 feet. I shredded hard boots switch for most of the run with stuff clanking all around on my back. It would have been a cool picture but my buddy was having to much fun to stop. I tried to ollie a big snow chunk and came up short. Went over the nose quite funnily.
So in conclusion, Rainier is gonna be awesome once we get a nice high pressure stretch to corn all that snow up (although the top thousands of feet I'd imagine are pretty frozen year round). Amazing shredding on this mountain.
Post subject: Re: Mt. Rainier Dissapointment Cleaver (Fail)
Posted: Sun Jun 17, 2012 11:24 pm
Joined: Tue Apr 10, 2012 11:15 am Posts: 27
Excellent and timely report!
To bad about the FF and your buddy Chris, next time! The glacial features are pretty cool around the Emmons after you get past the DC.
It sounds like you went through the Cadaver Gap....hell of a.name. A little CG history: "1929: Six climbers slide into a crevasse on their way down the mountain. Guide Forrest Greathouse and one client, Edwin Witzel, die. The notch through which their bodies are transported down the mountain becomes "Cadaver Gap." The Park Service begins requiring crampons or caulked boots on climbs.“