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Paradise Ski Tour

Mt Rainier National Park

October 18, 2007


Today Bryon Free, Andy King and I took advantage of the early snows and did a ski tour at Paradise. I had originally planned the trip for my new friend Ryan who just move out from Steamboat Springs, but he had something come up and couldn't make it.

Bryon and Andy are avid tele skiers so I brought my teleboots and borrowed some Rossignol Powder Birds from work. My Atomic TM22's are great for groomed lift skiing, but their relatively narrow waists don't offer much in the way of flotation for BC skiing. There was about 5 inches of snow in the parking lot, but we hoped to get up to the Muir Snowfield where we would find more snow and better conditions.

Since the main parking lot was closed off due to the construction of the new visitor center, we parked in the lower lot and skinned up from there. Since the snow cover was pretty low, we stayed on the trails and made our way up past Alta Vista, and then Glacier Vista. The clouds and wind made things pretty cold so we kept moving and arrived at the foot of Panarama Point pretty quickly.

There were still many rocks in the main chute below Panarama Point so we decided to put our skis on our packs and climb straight up. This was pretty fun since we only had our trekking poles and teleboots for purchase.

Near the top of Panarama Point we found some refuge from the winds in a stand of trees and enjoyed some hot chocolate, and food. It was very windy and the visibility was poor so we decided to head back down.

So we took off our skins and skied down doing our best to avoid rocks. There were a few patches of enough snow to link three or four turns. Near Dead Horse Creek we met two other skiers skinning and snowshoeing up.

On the way home we stopped at the Summit Haus and worked on some of the fundamental rock climbing moves. Namely, dynos, heel hooks, figure fours, and desperate lunges for slopers. ;)

Thanks guys for a well rounded day in the mountains!