Headed up to Rainier in an attempt to get to Muir yesterday with some guys from TAY (Brian and Ron). Started out around 8:30 with bluebird conditions that transitioned to snow and low viz within a couple of hours.
Early Picture (Stolen from TAY - Gotta give credit where credit is due right?)
We hit skinnable snow around 6800 ft or so. At this point, Brian dropped some awesome knowledge on me...the correct way to "rest step" Once I figured that out, I was able to keep moving at a slow but somewhat steady pace. I am very thankfuf for Brian and Ron for waiting up for me. Its really nice to go out with people more experienced to help snow the new guys like me the ropes
We hit about 8500 ft and decided the weather was getting kinda dicey so we should turn around. Being the trooper that I am, I would have kept pushing up to Muir until my legs quit working, but I was quietly when we made the call to turn around. after transitioning to ride mode, I was quite nervous. Given my last trip out (Heliotrope) I wasnt sure how well I could handle the powder. One turn in, I was absolutely loving it. We could hear the ice down below us, but the snow on top was deep enough to get some decent turns in. I was able to board just like I expected without busting my butt down the hill! I can safely say that that was the best snow I have ever been in. Nothing like the east coast Ice Im used to! We were able to board down to about 7100 then started booting it back to the car.
It was definitely getting cold up there, here is me with a frozen beard.
Got back to the car around 1:45 or so after a great day. Cant wait to get back out there
Agreed. Its really a scary thought...I sure hope they make it out. And from now on, I think I will pack that extra 5lbs of gear just in case I get stuck somewhere over night. An extra layer, stove and some freeze dried food should does come in handy in the worst case scenario...
...would have made those guys' night out way more comfortable. Physically, that is... not sure about the emotional scarring that would result from spending a night in a 1 person bivy that you're sharing with your touring partner... heh heh.
I'm only making light cuz the rescuers have found the 2 lost snowboarders.
There's a great thread somewhere on here about what people bring touring, gave me some great ideas.
Joined: Sun Jun 17, 2012 5:29 pm Posts: 234 Location: Tacoma,WA
Here's the the thing I don't get. I know the area these guys are stuck pretty well. I also know it can be very difficult to navigate in a white out especially if you don't know the area. But its about an hour maybe two hour skin from the parking lot, and easily ridden down in less than that. How does someone who isn't injured not make it down from there in over 24 hours? Rescue crews said they spotted them from a half mile away, so visibility couldn't have been that bad all day. And how does it take rescue crews until late afternoon to reach the area they were supposed to be in? I hope and pray they made it overnight, and make it out today. This is just an example of not being prepared for what you are getting yourself into. You've got to know what the weather is doing, know your skill level, and be prepared to turn around before it gets too late.
Joined: Sat Aug 13, 2011 4:27 pm Posts: 440 Location: SE PDX
I'm totally wondering the same thing. And why is the news reporting that rescue crews are delayed by plowing through chest deep snow on foot? These guys have never heard of skis or snowshoes?
I'm sure there's a legitimate reason it's taking so long, but it does seem like an awfully long time to rescue someone at that elevation. Which as saign pointed out is not far at all from the Paradise parking lot.