Distance: 4.74 mi.
Elevation Gain: 2227 ft.
Avalanche danger was reasonable at Paradise in Mount Rainier National Park so we decided to do a tour toward Camp Muir with Jim. We got started from the parking lot at 10 AM. We headed north with a few dozen of our closest friends toward Panorama Point. We saw that many other skiers were carrying skis on the steepest slope below the point but thought we could probably make our way up on skins. We went a bit climber’s left (west) of the crowd so we weren’t in the way. About 3/4 of the way up the slope, the snow became much firmer and icier and it was quite tenuous to get an edge into the slope. Ski crampons would have been very helpful here but we didn’t think to bring ours unfortunately. Vanessa took off her skis to carry at this point, while Craig and Jim continued up on skins. They all met at the flatter area above the slope and continued north.
As we ascended the snow became more rimed (chunks of ice on the surface). We got to McClure Rock around noon and hung out there for a while to see if the snow would magically get softer in the warm weather. We watched as some skiers came down from above and they didn’t seem to be having that much fun. We finally decided to go down from where we were. We went off the east side of McClure Rock around 1:30 PM and were surprised at how soft the snow was there. We had a few nice turns and made our way back around to the west and were out by 2:30 PM.
(Download the free Gaia GPS app on your phone to view tracks and then get a Gaia GPS membership if you want offline access. Discount below!)
- Avalanche beacon/shovel/probe
- Backcountry boots/skis/skins
- Glacier glasses
- Ski crampons – didn’t bring them but wish I did
- Trekking poles