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Trip Report    

Paradise Area (winter)

  • Mon, Jan 25, 2016
  • Paradise
  • Skiing/Snowboarding & Snowshoeing

Easy+ snowshoe to Glacier Vista with party of 11.

Group met at Whittaker’s bunkhouse to consolidate cars. On the road to Paradise the Park Service was running a roadblock to verify that all cars were carrying chains, and was requiring that all 2WD cars stop and put them on at the roadblock. In anticipation of this we had consolidated into only AWD cars carrying chains so this was only a minor slowdown for us.

Our group startup up the snow at 10:30am and was greeted with full sun and blue skies in spite of forecast that had predicted 90% sky cover. Surface conditions were about 4 inches of new snow on top of the firm but pliable base. There was a need to break trail but doing so was fairly easy. We hiked up in very pleasant sunny conditions and full views Rainier’s summit in front of us and The Tatoosh behind us until about 300’ below Glacier Vista whereupon clouds descended on us and created near whiteout conditions. On reaching Glacier Vista we observed that the summit was corniced in our direction and the near slope appeared to be heavily snow loaded. Given these observations and the NWAC avalanche forecast of “Moderate” we decided to avoid the summit and instead lunch on a similar high point nearby to the east. Lunch was in a sheltered bowl protected by trees, the the clouds intermittently clearing given us views of Mazama Ridge and Paradise below.

We hiked down via a slightly different route than our ascent, this time with intermittent clouds blocking and exposing portions of the Tatoosh below us. Our descent\d was pleasant but uneventful. We were back at Whittakers by 3pm.