Mount Tahoma – Emmons Glacier Ski Descent

May 20-21, 2017

Pie in the Sky

While driving south towards the border, our plans changed and we made a last minute decision to ski the Emmons route on Mount Tacoma (Rainier). After acclimatizing with beers in Seattle, we moved up to high camp at Camp Schurman on Saturday for more chips and beer. Seven hours of pie-aneering on Sunday morning led us to the summit, Columbia Crust, where we refuelled with my strawberry rhubarb pie. From here, we had a 5000′ ski descent to camp, and another 5000′ ski to the car. A pretty nice first visit!

This was the first weekend that the White River road was open, with patchy snow on the trail. — with Greg West.
Mount Tacoma is a pretty big hill, we’re almost at camp and there’s still another 5000′ above us. — with Greg West.
The other parties were already well into their dinners while Greg and I started with our apres-ski — with Greg West.
A view of Tacoma and Seattle way below. It was a pretty nice night up here, not too cold but a bit breezy.
The next morning, with a bit of alpenglow. There are already people up there. They left at 2am when Greg went out to pee.
Leaving camp at 5:30am, the 2nd last group to leave. 
Slowly making our way up, getting baked in the sun. There was almost no wind. 
Slowly making our way up, getting baked in the sun. There was almost no wind
The upper section had me nervous for skiing down, but the sastrugi had softened up by the time we were back here 2.5 hours later, so it was easy sideslipping terrain 
From Mount Columbia, to Columbia Crust at 14411′. If you are going to ski 10000′, you might as well eat pie along the way. This strawberry-rhubarb pie was the most prominent pie on the summit crater. This was also likely the “FKPT,” Fastest Known Pie Time. Send me a picture if you have any pie-aneering photos from your adventures, and I’ll add it to a collection here.
A bit of shredding on the upper part of the Emmons route. We started descending at 1:30pm, which seem like a good time for today, but we were still the last ones off the top. 
Still a long way down to ski
Greg carving some nice corn back into camp. It looks so close. It was still almost an hour to ski down with all the rests that our tired legs took
At least we stuck to the original plan of drinking beers in Washington. Totally casual bro. Mostly Type I fun. Would I ski it again? Maybe in the right conditions.

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