Van Trump Park - ski/split, December 2005

After another round of winter storms following the previous spell of high pressure, we found ourselves once again faced with more stagant air warnings thanks to the inversion. While the aforementioned storms deposited feet of fresh up high (with a few inches accumulating down as low as sea level), making for some sick pow riding - paticularly at Crystal Mountain, the week of sun and wind had had it's way with the freshiez. Determined to make the most of this rare window of nice December weather, Andy, Scott, Jerry, Eric (aka Snowslut), Rob and I decided to explore Mount Rainier's Van Trump Park in search of south-facing mush, corn...or dare I even say it, powder!

A skin issue slowed me down considerably while still in the trees, and gloppy snow made for laborious travel once out in the open (I had hoped to reach 8000 or 9000 feet). I descended boarder's right from the 7000-ft knob into a drainage and found nice week-old powder on sheltered north-facing slopes. A short bit of boot packing saw me back to our skin track and the remaining ride back down through Van Trump Park proper. It was a race against the setting sun and crusting snow on the way out, but we rode the mank most of the way back to the cars with only short stretches of bootpacking and lumberjacking and with all of us sporting a strong finish for that final turn above the parking lot!

Mouse-over thumbnails below for a description and click to enlarge.



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