Post subject: Wandering around on the North side of Mt. Rainier
Posted: Thu Mar 27, 2014 8:53 pm
Joined: Mon Feb 25, 2008 12:40 pm Posts: 529
Ever since pulling off the Sourdough Traverse a few years back I've kept this area in the back of my mind, hoping/dreaming I would ride the area on a bluebird powder day leaving our tracks visible from Crystal Mountain. Last week the opportunity arose.
With a 3 day weather window of stable sunshine and powder conditions my friends Rory, Ben and I made our way up to the White River via 1 sled and multiple shuttles. Our packs were filled to the brim with everything other than additional fuel so we made the decision to skin up to and camp at Shadow Lake where we would be able to dig down to water and save precious fuel for cooking. The first night we climbed Antler Peak and dropped the NE slope to the valley below putting in a skin track that would serve as our exit skin track the next day.
Where's that bluebird we were promised.
The next morning we woke up and started skinning around 6 A.M. following the Sunrise road towards Dege occasionally looking back at the light show going off on Rainier.
We made it up onto the summit of Dege just after sunrise and were excited to see the slope looking prime and not too wind loaded. We each descended our own chute in white room conditions.
We decided to stay above the trees and skin up to the next high point before descending down to Clover lake where we dug down to the water and drank as much as our stomachs could handle.
From there we made our way up to a low col and descend down a few hundred feet before making our way up through complex terrain towards Marcus peaks east shoulder and descending onto the southern slopes of the Palisades.
Once we started climbing the Palisades we could see tracks on the Interglacier and one of the better views inside the park. We were stoked things had gone smoothly and were about ready to drop into the line we had come for.
I had eyed some couloirs a few years back and as we rode down to them we feared that they cliffed out. After scoping and hoping we found one that for sure went and made our way down one of the more aesthetic lines I've done inside the park.
After the Palisades we started heading SW back towards Shadow lake making 3 descents along the way and making it back to our ski track from the day before in the dark. I had never been happier to make it back to our tent.
Our final morning we started at the good ole time of 9 a.m. and started making our way to the Burroughs via Frozen Lake hoping to find good snow to make laps on.
We ditched our overnight gear at the base of the second Burrough and put in a skin track riding back down to our packs.
A line off the NE slope of the Third Burrough caught our eyes so we decided to head that way ditching our packs on the summit and riding steep sheltered pow.
We exited the White River via the SE bowl of the Third Burrough riding all the way down to the Glacier basin trail and with a few carries here and there we were back at the sled shuttling our gear down to the car. Making it just before sunset.
The tour was amazing and we were fortunate that conditions were stable other than a small wet slide on a south facing slope.