Trip Report    

Intermediate Snowshoe - Mazama Ridge (Mount Rainier)

Gorgeous weather, perfect snow, type I fun camping trip

  • Road suitable for all vehicles
  • Road to Paradise was mostly dry after a week of beautiful weather. Trail was broken all the way to Mazama Ridge. 

We lucked out with weather and snow conditions on this early December weekend. You can still borrow bear canisters (required for overnight trips)  from the rangers at Longmire. Brilliant, sunny Saturday with fantastic views of Rainier: 

IMG_6482.jpgWalking into camp was a pleasure despite heavy packs:


We enjoyed setting up camp in our own private snow bowl, mostly using 3- or 4-season tents. One participant started building an igloo, but the snow was very soft and it would have taken a lot of effort to complete. Make sure to bring a back-up shelter!


After lunch and lounging in the sun, some opted to stay in camp and set up for photography while others went to explore towards Panorama Point. Ultimately we were turned around by the sight of some fallen cornices, and our quickly approaching turnaround time: 


Nevertheless, we had fun. It's hard to beat these snow conditions and the incredible views on a four-volcano day: 


The trip had been advertised as "just like a day at the beach," and we were not disappointed:


It started snowing during the night, perhaps a couple of inches by the time we got up at 7am. Took down camp, enjoyed breakfast and coffee, and were all packed and walking before 9am. Since the ridge was socked in and the visibility was low, we made sure to keep the group together and regroup at key points (e.g. before dropping down from the ridge towards the road). A great shake-out winter camping trip! 

Photo credits: the team