Ascent to Mount Rainier-Muir Chute on 2009-04-05

Climber: Greg Slayden

Others in Party:Florin T.
Date:Sunday, April 5, 2009
Ascent Type:No Summit Goal
Point Reached:Mount Rainier - Muir Chute
    Elevation:10180 ft / 3102 m

Ascent Trip Report

This was the most vertical feet I have ever skied in one continuous run--6300 feet of downhill without taking my skis off or falling. It took about 2 hours as we rested and carefully made our way down. Our vertical speed was 0.6 mph.

Florin and I met near Seattle at 6 AM and got to Paradise by about 8:40, and were skinning uphill at 9 AM. We made it to Camp Muir by 1 PM, my personal best time for this trip--Florin was ahead and I was just trying to keep up. After a rest at Muir we booted up another 100' to the west to maximize our vertical, and on the icy ridge we put on our skis and dropped in at about 2 PM.

The run was very nice as we swooshed down the broad upper windslab slopes that eventually turned to corn. We thought about the Nisqually Chute that starts at 8200' but were a bit scared of avalanches so we instead found a more sloping way down to the Nisqually Glacier between the chute and the usual Panorama Point slope. Once on the glacier we kept going downhill towards the bridge past crazy snow formations in increasingly gloppy snow.

The last part was pretty flat and I freed my heels to help me glide along. I mistakenly steered us to the right side of the bridge and we had a miserable 10' gain up a brushy slope of bottomless slush to reach the road. I think the left (SE) side offers a better exit. It was now 4 PM.

We hiked over to the parking lot at the bridge and when a tourist from Pennsylvania pulled in to check it out I accosted her, and she agreed to give Florin a ride uphill to his car at Paradise. I waited and he was back soon, and we headed for home--I was there by 7 PM. A great day!
Summary Total Data
    Elevation Gain:4760 ft / 1450 m
    Elevation Loss:6300 ft / 1920 m
    Quality:4 (on a subjective 1-10 scale)
    Route Conditions:
Bushwhack, Snow on Ground, Snow Climb
    Gear Used:
Skis, Ski Poles
    Weather:Cool, Windy, Clear
Some high clouds
Ascent Statistics
    Elevation Gain:4760 ft / 1450 m
    Route:Muir Snowfield
    Trailhead:Paradise  5420 ft / 1652 m
    Time Up:4 Hours 5 Minutes
Descent Statistics
    Elevation Loss:6300 ft / 1920 m
    Route:Nisqually Glacier
    Trailhead:Nisqually Bridge  3880 ft / 1182 m
    Time Down:2 Hours 
GPS Data for Ascent/Trip

 GPS Waypoints - Hover or click to see name and lat/long
Peaks:  climbed and  unclimbed by Greg Slayden
Click Here for a Full Screen Map
Note: GPS Tracks may not be accurate, and may not show the best route. Do not follow this route blindly. Conditions change frequently. Use of a GPS unit in the outdoors, even with a pre-loaded track, is no substitute for experience and good judgment. accepts NO responsibility or liability from use of this data.

Download this GPS track as a GPX file

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