Happy telemark skiers gear up at the Paradise parking lot.

Paradise on Mount Rainier Telemark Backcountry Ski

Trip Report
Mount Rainier National Park


October 20, 2007




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Significant new snow in October! Woohoo! Lets go to Mount Rainier! Quite a change from October 2006 when I skied on a few inches of new on top of the permanent Muir Snowfield on a crisp sunny fall day. The word was 14 inches of new over night, and still falling. This was not the first snow of the season, as that happened in September.

The normal parking lot was closed, and everyone had to park at the old visitor center. The conditions warranted skins right from the cars. When I left, solo, there were perhaps 5 parties of tele skiers. During the day I saw a few AT, some boarders with snowshoes, a few snowshoers, and and one party booting it.

It was fun skinning up, in many placing breaking trail.

Camp Muir is always the goal, however, the poor visibility did not warrant ascending even to Panorama Point. In conditions like these it is much preferable to ski where there are some trees to aid depth perception.  A GPS or using wands will help if the weather turns bad while you are on the mountain.

Views? Only what you see in these images. The fun was in the turns, and waking up the dormant tele muscles.

Skinning up!

Below Panorama Point was my high point. The visibility was very poor.

 The snow was in excellent condition! Wonderful dreamy powder! 

Mount Rainier is probably my favorite place to ski. There is so much terrain to ski and the high elevation ensures good snow for most of the year.

This year, on the Muir Snowfield I experienced icy and sun cupped conditions in August, and a few inches of new in September.

Lunch break and removing the skins.

Mount Rainier

Mount Rainier is the most hazardous volcano in the Cascades in terms of its potential for magma water interaction and sector collapse, and major eruptions or debris flows even without eruption. The last eruption was about 150 years ago.

Fay Fuller was the first woman to climb Mount Rainier, in 1890.

In March 1899, President McKinley signed the act establishment of Mount Rainier National Park, the nation's fifth national park. The Washington Alpine Club was active in the park's creation.


Self portraits are always useful for the post rip lessons learned analysis.

It looks like I was doing okay.

In spite of the poor visibility the amount of new snow made everyone really happy.

The Nisqually River Bridge.

The Park Service was not prepared for the snow and only had one plow working.

It was tempting to ski all the way pack to Longmire!


I had three hours of touring, 3 miles, and 1,200' of skiing.

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