Post subject: Desolation, Deception and despair. Fay Peak MRNP /w vid
Posted: Tue Apr 08, 2008 8:26 pm
Joined: Mon Feb 25, 2008 12:40 pm Posts: 533
Mount Rainier National Park has some amazing areas but during the winter everything is closed down other then Paradise. Nothing against paradise but it is a rat race and I prefer areas with alot less traffic. Mowich lake is on the NW side of Rainier and is only open a few months out of the year and has great skiing potential but its shuts down at the first snowfall of the season and doesnt open until July 15th
So this was were we decided to go
here is where it all began Thursday night right after work getting ready to skin 10 miles just to base camp
4 miles into the skin My binding lost some bolts so it was make a temporary fix or turn around and go back to the car (thank god for string)
We decided to keep going
About 5 miles into the skin there are some bathrooms once you enter the park we decided we would camp there and make a decision of what to do the next morning
So this was our camp for the night while it puked a foot of fresh
So in the mourning I used some Macgyver skills and stole a bolt from my highback the bindings would slide around alittle bit but it was manageable so the tour was still on.
We skinned up the road for another five miles in the snow
Our first View of Mowich lake
We knew there was a ranger station out there so we went to its location which was a 20 foot cone covered in snow. In the front of the cabin is a balcony about 10 feet tall by 20 feet wide so we thought if we could dig down the balcony would be hallow.
So we dug for what seemed like forever
After digging in for about 15 feet and down about 10 we hit the roof of the cabin and dug down into we were able to make it into the balcony
Scott going down into the cave
This is what we called home for the next few days
The rest of friday was all about getting Hydrated and loading up on calories
The Next Morning we woke up to cloudy skys with the occasional Sun spot but this was our day to tour so we were off
Getting my gear ready
Skinning in Old Growth Forest
Occasional views of amazing Terrian
Scott Skinning with Mother Mountain in the Background
Slowly Gaining Altitude
Getting into alpine
We Finally get into Alpine and we couldnt see anything . This is total Bullshit
Wait is that blue bird
and like that the clouds went above the mountains so we could get our objectives
Our First View of Fay Peak
Me Skinning up to Knapsack Pass
Scott Summits Knapsack
Looking Back Towards Mowich Lake
Mother Mountain From Knapsack pass
Looking East into Mist Park and our first run of the trip
Switching into Snowboard mode with Rainier in the Background
Finally we get some vert
Scott Skiing down from knapsack pass
The view of Rainier clearing up
So the visability was better on the east side of Knapsack pass and I had wanted to ride Mt Pleasant so we decided that it would be a perfect opportunity to do so
Skinning out towards pleasant
We noticed a natural Slab Fracture on Pleasant so it sketched us out alittle bit
Gaining the ridge
A view of Spray park to the South
Scott skinning up the ridge
Hessong Rock from the Summit of Pleasant
A Pano shot from the Summit (thanks Scott)
Scott ripping Down Mt Pleasant
Myself Ripping down the face
Our Lines Down Mt Pleasant
So after that run it was time to head back to Knapsack Pass and Tackle our main Objective Fay Peak
Back to Knapsack Pass
The cloud level was just below the summit of the Mountain so we talked back and forth for alittle bit but decided we to go for it. The climb had one really sketchy spot that Solid Ice over inches of rock on a steep face, which had no room for mistakes and if you tumbled there was no one to help you.
Scott Climbing Fay Peak almost at the sketch spot
When I got to the sketch spot all the new snow was kick off by scott and it was literally toe holds the whole way up. At one point both my foot holds slipped out and I was hanging on by my hands for what seemed like a few minutes it was a rather scary experience.
Finally we gained the ridge
And Summited Fay Peak
Scott Ripping Down Fay Peak
Myself Doing the Same
One last look into the alpine Bowl
Riding down to the lake
Skinning back to basecamp across Mowich lake
Home Sweet Home
After a full night of resting we had wanted to do some touring the next day as well but visability was horrible and it was a long trek to the car. We decided to take it safe and head back on the long slog down the road. The new accumilation made riding the flat vert immpossible so we had to skin all the way back down the road.
Our last view of the Mowich lake area
The Skin back was brutal in the foot deep wet heavy snow. We toke breaks every so often for the first four miles with not a single other track. When we made it to the bathrooms we noticed that some snowshoers had blazed a trail the rest of the way (that saved our asses).
It was Puking snow on the way back to the car
Passing by Miles upon Miles of Clear cut
We made it to the car with only 30 minutes of sunlight to spare it was a close one to say the least.
Our trip log starting from Mowich lake When at the cabin we found a registry log book and the last date recorded was Nov 5th 2007 so it had been rather quiet at Mowich lake until we arrived Enjoy.
Joined: Sat Nov 24, 2007 1:12 am Posts: 828 Location: PNW Hood Canal
Kyle and Scott KICK ASS, you guys are great trip planners and better trip executionists. All your trips get slayed! Thanks for sharing. I particularly like your choices of tent sheltering sites between the walls the first night and your ranger station porch dugout snowcave whateverthehellyoucallit. Did the rangers leave you any beer?
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There were two bathrooms one on the North side and one on the South. The North one smelled bad if you opened the door but the South one had no smell. We used the south one on the way there and back as wind protection for alittle bit, but thank god it didnt smell like ass out there.