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Thursday, June 7, 2012

The Turtle and a Grouse – a tale of springtime (mis)adventures, May/June 2012

Striking a familiar theme, signore Lupo, Steve and I tabled other plans and instead set our sights on low hanging fruit of Tahoma’s proverbial orchard. Lupo had unfinished business with the Turtle Snowfield to attend to and I was happy to oblige. Cutting the diagonal across the Wilson/Nisqually Glacier involved more crevasse navigation than I was expecting for this time of year, but it certainly seemed faster than the low traverse I employed my first time out this way. And on this particular day, time was of the essence as the weather deteriorated rapidly that afternoon and threatened to ruin the descent with whiteout. Speaking of which, our fallback plan to ride Baker’s Coleman-Deming route some weeks later was also fraught with whiteout and all things unpleasant. From gale force winds, blowing snow and ice, driving rain and pea soup, especially down Grouse Creek, I think I’ve rediscovered the lost art-of-low-expectations.

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