Friday, August 22, 2008

Summer Snowfall and Slush Cup

What do you get when you combine an unsatiable hunger for ski and snowboard "turns all year" (TAY), a slushy snow slope, a pond and some folks dressed up to the nines in costumes resembling some of Stan Lee's worst superhero nightmares? Give up?...You get the 6th annual Snow Cup! Last Sunday, skiers and boarders gathered on Pinnacle Peak to enjoy some of the last remainders of the summer snow atop Pinnacle Peak, then skiing or boarding down the slope into the waiting pond below (Brrr...)

The TAY enthusiasts will be excited to know that this week's stormy weather (though a disappointment for those climbers stuck on the mountain) brought plenty of fresh snow to the upper mountain, coating the routes and improving conditions for more summer climbing and turns. We heard that it snowed about 6 inches up at Camp Muir, and the wind created snowdrifts almost a foot high in spots! Rangers climbing up Disappointment Cleaver on Friday morning report that climbing the cleaver was much easier than it has been over the past few weeks, and the DC remains in great condition.

Slush Cup was a lively event once again - those folks throw quite a party! Participants almost equaled their spectators, and even the climbers perched atop Castle Peak enjoyed the entertainment, as the costumed skiers and boarders skimmed across the tarn at the base of Pinnacle. Afterwards, the crowd gathered at Reflection Lakes for a tailgate party, feeding skiers and hungry tourists alike.

The TAY crew searches out the best that Mount Rainier has to offer, hitting its creamy white slopes every month of the year. The best part of the whole event - they leave nary a trace of being there. They display love and appreciation for the Mountain and respect for the Park...well done! We look forward to the 7th annual event and will keep our eyes open for the invite next time.