Post subject: June 10-11, 2006 Mt Ruth-Dog Leg chutes(Mt Rainier)/Westport
Posted: Tue Jun 13, 2006 9:58 am
Joined: Mon Nov 15, 2004 6:48 am Posts: 206 Location: WA
Washington is truely a unique state along with a few others. One could easily begin the day in the mountains, sliding on snow and end the day at the ocean sliding on water. It's been a while so why not give it a go.
The forecast on Friday looked grim for both the mountains and ocean. I decided to start at the mountains cause what are the chances of getting hit with weather 2 weekends in a row. Actually pretty damn good up here in the PNW. Despite the sketchy forecast, Lupo and I made the drive to the White River entrance on Mt Rainier's northeast side. We drove through rain only to pull up to the WR campgrounds, which was sunny. How long would this window last?
Just like last weekend, the first 2 miles were easier to boot with snow patches, streams, down trees to negotiate. Eventually skinning was the mode of transpo for the last bit to Glacier Basin with Mt Ruth and the Dog Leg chutes in the distant.
Last weekend it started to rain before we could ascend/descend this 2600ft line. The pic below is where we traded our splits for the crampons and ice axe.
Approaching the crux...
Due to the constant threat of rock fall and variable surface snow conditions, I didn't pull the camera out until we had completed the iffy part.
Snow conditions encountered thus far was anywhere from couple inches of corn on smooth, firm base to boot/knee deep mush to areas covered with surface crust.
By the time we neared the 8600ft summit of Ruth the weather had surrounded us and it was just a matter of moments before it got bad. Here's a pic of Lupo converting his first generation Burton split. Think he needs an upgrade.
Just after this pic was taken it started spitting snow and visibility was around 30 or so feet. Glad we booted/skinned up a pretty straight fall line. We were able to follow it all the way down without sacrificing too many turns for traversing. Eventually the snow gave way to pouring rain about half way down the chute and that's about when the first couple inches of snow started sluffing from beneath our boards. The hissing sounds so cool but at the same time haunting as it moved over rocks. Especially when you couldn't see anything but just hear.
On the hike out the rain gave way to sun again. I told Lupo all we needed was 5 more minutes and we could have had good visibility down. Back at the car we enjoyed some frosty bevs and took our time moving since that was are first real break of the day. Overall the riding was good. The snow was soft and carved effortlessly on steeper pitches. Down lower, staying on the boot/skin track really helped. Even practiced my patch riding technique. Yeah the snow was grabby.
After a stop at home to dump gear and pick up more, I soon found myself rolling down I-5.
Pulled up to Westport to get a glimpse of the waves.
Nothing but ripples. Like Occy once exclaimed "I've seen bigger waves in a toilet".
By the time I showed up to camp the lady's had already started preparing our feast.
After all the fijatas, hornitos, beer, etc. (repeat in random order throughout the evening)...things started gettin kinda fuzzy....
Smoke attacks some....
A bit later....
And what's a camp without a campfire?
The next day a breezy onshore wind crippled the waves so I just passed out on the beach. Maybe I'll have better luck next weekend at La Push.
_________________ You will know when Americas in trouble when the Mexicans stop coming...Carlos Mencia