Trip Report    

Basic Snowshoe - Mazama Ridge (Mount Rainier)

A great day snowshoeing with bonus views of Mt Rainier

  • Snow and ice on road
  • Fresh snow  was not quite 2 feet deep. We were first to break trail. Avi danger was rated Considerable.  One of the rangers stated that it is easy to get off trail there and wander into avalanche terrain.  But this is one I know well.  Out route was outside Primary Avalanche  Danger Areas as identified on the park Ski Routes map.

The weather forecast was frightful including gale force gusts of wind and a wind chill factor between  -10 and zero.  But the storm warning ended at 5 AM and the Paradise gate  was scheduled to open. So we decided to go and were glad we did.  There was no wind and most of us were overdressed and needed to remove layers more than once.

The gate was delayed in opening, so we began with a walk on the Trail of Shadows. At Paradise, fresh snow was  knee deep for shorter people. The group did a great job taking turns breaking trail. Of course this slowed us down. We stopped at a great viewpoint on Mazama Ridge. As we ate lunch, the clouds cleared around the mountain giving us peekaboo views. We had a good time.

Other snowshoers turned back until a group of campers headed up in the afternoon. We watched skiers ski down avalanche prone slopes when the  risk was rated "considerable." Fortunately no avalanches were triggered. There were small roler balls in the afternoon.

Mt Rainier