23 October 2012

September Turns on Rainier

One of the things on my 30 Before 30 list is to ski for 12 consecutive months of the year. September marked month number ELEVEN. It also marked the most miserable skiing to date, as Luke and I battled sun-baked, late summer snow conditions and hallacious winds just to make a few turns. In fact, for 5+ hours of driving and 5+ hours of hiking, we only got about 12 minutes of pretty terrible skiing. But it's all about the journey right? RIGHT?

John Muir, so wise

Finding a good weather window was not a challenge this summer. With record breaking sunshine, Seattle only had one rainy day in three months. I've never seen so many Tan Seattlelies!

While our day was sunny it was also mired in smoke. Seattle, like much of the country, suffered from ongoing forest fires all summer long. You can see the haze in all of the photos below.

If you don't believe in global warming, you will now. Shrinking glacier!
Destination Camp Muir


Steps
Ants moving up hill

Our hike began around 10am and we traveled 3 hours up onto the Muir Snowfield. The wind picked up when we hit the moon rocks at 8,000 feet. We endeavored on before turning around at 8,500, when we met another skier hiking down because the ski conditions were so bad. We were planning to stop about 9000' due to crevasses opening above anyway, and I was glad to move the skis from my back to my feet and head down. Not that it (the skiing) was pretty.

Luke busting a move

Three turns in and my quads are already SCREAMING to stop

As you can see from the photos, the snow was really dirty and had been decimated by suncups: cup-shaped indents into the snow, usually between 2 and 20 inches in depth (closer to 12 inches in our case). Skiing around these divets is difficult and they cause inconsistent snow conditions, which "grab" at skies causing you to jerk forward as your skis stop, and your upper body continues with it's downward momentum.

But hey, that Coors Light sure did taste good when we finished! Thanks for a fun adventure Luke! Who's ready for October turns?!?!? It's snowing in the mountains already.



1 comment:

Allison Lee said...

are you fighting over the beer?