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Trip Report    

Paradise Area (winter)

  • Wed, Nov 18, 2015
  • Paradise
  • Skiing/Snowboarding & Snowshoeing

Sunday, November 15, 2015 Paradise Area, Mt. Rainier.
Joe Osowski, Elliott Krivenko, Russ Immel, Dianne Hoff, Jim Stiles Ldr. Jeremy Perry non member guest of Joe. I forgot about the requirement for chains for all vehicles, so emailed the group and found that Russ needed chains, so I brought an extra set. Too small for his diesel 4x4, but the Rangers asked about carrying them, not if they fit. I had a set of Peerless SZ cable chains that supposedly don't mangle Subarus.
The road opened 2 hrs late, but we filled in the time with an exquisite hike around the hot springs near Longmire. The snow was in good condition. I only fell in two soft spots causing some concern among the group, a concern that was only partly calmed by my assertion that "Snowshoeing is a contact sport". We proceeded up next to Alta Vista, had lunch, and then worked up to the ridge below Pan Point where you cross over to the Edith Creek basin. There was a discussion about windward slopes and snow loading. The group decided to charge on. In the basin we had to cross the creek due to the lowish early season snow pack. Then the group had to scope out the basin head wall for the best descent path. Dianne and I had been there last March and knew the location of the bridge back over the creek, so we aimed down and found it and Paradise parking lot in the allotted time (NPS wanted the lot cleared at 1700h). Dianne slipped on black ice and hit her elbow, head, and backpack. She received concerned care from the NPS staff, and has had no further problems with her contact with the ice. Snowshoeing is a contact sport: I can be quoted on that.
About the participants, Joe Oskowski was very strong and enthusiastic. Russ Immel was also strong on snowshoes and also strong in his feelings about the route. This added force to the group discussions on the route. The other tour members contributed more input as they got used to being asked for their thoughts.
It was a really nice tour in a magnificent area. Everyone seemed to have a great time. Paradise, and the surrounding area, seems ready for more tours on snowshoes. Still a little rocky for skis, but there were skiers up there for what it was worth. The snow was mostly crusty, and so was in very stable condition.