Nisqually Chutes - Ski/Split, December 2004
With minimal snow coverage in all areas except the high slopes of the Cascade Volcanoes, the time seemed ripe for yet another tour up the Muir Snowfield. This time, however, we weren't settling for something as tired (for us) as a ski down from Camp Muir. Oh no...we had something far more grandiose in mind! That's right, we'd ski the Nisqually Chutes instead! Yeehaww!
With much effort I was able to skin up that notorious Pan. Pt. slope for a change, though booting or snowshoeing still seems to be the more efficient mode of transport. In the end, I was left to enjoy (endure?) the chutes on my own. Johnny, Rob and Scott opted out on account of the steepness, ice and not-so-corny corn. Can't say I blame those...uhh...wussies...heh heh. What I had hoped was buttery corn ended up being about an inch of corn over ice...on a 40 degree-ish slope no less. Too late to turn back. Enjoy the ride! Deliberate jump turns saw me safely down the steeper upper-portion. It was difficult maintaining my heelside edge on the ice and several slip-outs and subsequent ass-plants were the order of the day. Definitely not one of my finest performances! I followed pre-existing tracks down along the left edge of the obvious lateral moraine and followed a short skin track back up to the flats below Panorama Point. Anyway, now having boarded 'the chutes' I think this tour is better left for the Spring when one can ski creamed corn all the way down to the bridge...though, adequate snow coverage down that low seems to be in short supply these days. Ain't Global Warming a bitch!
Mouse-over thumbnails below for a description and click to enlarge.
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