Tuesday, June 27, 2006

The skiers are taking over!

New snow and warm temperatures this final weekend in June brought out the most skiers I have ever seen on Rainier. The DC, Emmons, Winthrop, and Fuhrer Finger were all skied. The ski conditions were great for the most part. The snow was firm but somewhat punchy down to 13,000 feet. Conditions improved as the snow softened and became less wind- affected. There was good corn skiing from about 11,500' to about 10,000'. The snow became heavy and wet below that altitude. Above is a photo of one of those skiers descending the Cleaver. Although the skiing can be fabulous, be realistic about conditions and your ability, and be sure to be "on your game", as exposure to cliffs below can severely impact your outing in the event of an uncontrolled slip!

Conditions and weather have combined this week to give us stable weather and great climbing. Climbers summitted via the Disappointment Cleaver, Ingraham Direct, Fuhrer Finger, Kautz Glacier, Tahoma Glacier, Liberty Ridge, Winthrop Glacier, and the Emmons Glacier. Of course, the warm weather has its downside: rock fall and ice fall have increased exponentially, and a few routes have started to melt out... notably Gibralter Ledges, which had seen quite a few ascents this year.
--Adrienne Sherred - Photo by Andy Anderson