Forum Index > Trip Reports > Whistler Mountain - 5/28/07
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Randy
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Joined: 18 Dec 2001
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Location: Near the Siamangs
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PostWed May 30, 2007 11:07 am 
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Wanted to get my report posted within Matt’s 3-day window of opportunity!

It was a frustrating week of changing plans and cancelling plans (sorry Craig, Janet, and Anne!) on my part, but finally on Monday I was feeling healthy enough for a short trip to the top of a mountain. Many thanks to Martin S. for his report from a few weeks back which inspired me to make this outing part of my convalescence.  I started out late from Seattle and after a couple false starts I finally made it up to Rainy Pass about 1015. It was a surprisingly smooth drive devoid of any slow-moving, holiday sightseers!

Glissade starts just left of summit and ends right about where the tall tree is in the foreground.
Glissade starts just left of summit and ends right about where the tall tree is in the foreground.

Whistler loomed overhead from where I parked just opposite the Rainy Pass sign along HWY 20. There was more to the peak than what I had remembered from previous visits to the area, it looked quite impressive from this angle. I spent the usual 10 minutes sorting out my crap and ensuring I had at least 3 of the 10 essentials with me. The weather was perfect and I finally made the trip across the road at 1030 -- watch out for RVs! I chose to ascend the west ridge which meant a rightward trending ascent from the parking area. I was slow but steady and eventually crossed the major drainage just north of the mountain at 5500’. The water was running high and fast and it took some time to find a proper crossing. A thin snow bridge granted access to the other side where I pawed my way up 40’ of steep snow to get to easy terrain again. I kept going right and up until I got to about 6000’ where I broke out of the trees and found myself at the base of the west ridge. I hopped on the ridge and ran it to within 100’ of the summit. The ridge was a nice snow climb for the most part except for the 200’ where I was in postholing hell. A couple steep sections and some class 3 scrambling, but nothing too extraordinary except for the views. The ridge ends just below the summit block where it intersects a large avalanche chute. I had been paralleling the chute all the way up and knew I would have my way with it on the descent! The final 100’ to the summit took me up some easy class 3 ramps and lichen covered boulders. I had to work around one icy ledge which was straight forward enough via some creative stemming and rock clawing. The summit has great central views of seemingly everything and was a nice perch on which to catch my breath and clear my lungs of phlegm!

RVs!
RVs!
Half Way Up West Ridge
Half Way Up West Ridge
Stitching up the West Ridge
Stitching up the West Ridge
Summit From Low on the West Ridge
Summit From Low on the West Ridge
Grouse!
Grouse!
Creek Crossing
Creek Crossing
Silverstar, Liberty Bell
Silverstar, Liberty Bell
Looking West
Looking West
Frisco and Rainy Lake
Frisco and Rainy Lake
Cutthroat
Cutthroat
Frisco, Goode, Corteo
Frisco, Goode, Corteo

After 20 minutes of counting RVs going west on HWY 20, I began my descent. I dropped back down to the top of the avalanche chute at 7610’ (according to my altimeter) and got ready to slide. Things were mildly steep and troublingly thin at the top, but I was intent on making it work.  So I slid and slid and slid. At 6400’ I passed a marmot who watched me zoom by. At 6000’ I slid over a scary, undercutting watercourse and at 5800’ I had fun going over some avalanche moguls. I eventually stopped around 5450’ only because the avalanche chute was taking me way left of where I needed to be and at some point I needed to get back to my car! It had taken me 3 minutes to go from the summit to the top of the avalanche chute, 9 minutes to descend the next 2200’, and then I hiked 20 more easy minutes to get back to my car! OMG, what an exhausting descent!  tongue.gif

Bottom of Glissade
Bottom of Glissade
Glissade - End
Glissade - End
Glissade - Start
Glissade - Start
Ready to Go!
Ready to Go!

I hung out on the side of the road for a while before heading back on HWY 20. I tried to time it so I wouldn’t be stuck behind any RVs, but of course that didn’t work!
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Type E
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Joined: 19 Aug 2006
Posts: 1334 | TRs

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PostWed May 30, 2007 11:16 am 
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Nice touch showing the watch! If you started at 10:30 and spent 20 Minutes on top and started down at 12:10 did it only take you 1:20 to summit?
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wildernessed
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Joined: 31 Oct 2004
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Location: Wenatchee
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viewbagger
PostWed May 30, 2007 11:25 am 
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up.gif  up.gif GOT SNOW !, nice TR and Pics.
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Randy
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Joined: 18 Dec 2001
Posts: 2855 | TRs
Location: Near the Siamangs
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Cube Rat
PostWed May 30, 2007 11:29 am 
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Type E wrote:
Nice touch showing the watch! If you started at 10:30 and spent 20 Minutes on top and started down at 12:10 did it only take you 1:20 to summit?

Nope. I had just changed the battery in my watch, and didn't bother resetting the time. I think it was actually past 1 PM when I started down.
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Type E
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PostWed May 30, 2007 11:31 am 
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I was going to say nearly 3000ft in 80 minutes is stout work with a cold. smile.gif
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EastKing
Summit Addict



Joined: 28 Mar 2007
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Location: 40 hours week work; 40 hours summit
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PostWed May 30, 2007 4:51 pm 
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Why does Seattle have so few rollercoasters? confused.gif

Because a glassaide down a mountain is ten times more thrilling.  biggrin.gif  That glassaide you went down looked totally amazing. I can wait to go down some good chutes. If only I had a car? bawl.gif

--------------
I am addicted to summits! I can't eat, drink or breath without them. Life without mountains would really suck.

http://www.myspace.com/climbandsurfmackg | http://www.summitpost.org/user_page.php?user_id=894
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nuclear_eggset
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PostWed May 30, 2007 5:34 pm 
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Wow!  That sounds like a lot of fun!  Ok, not the RV-dodging part, but the rest of it.
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Beave
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PostWed May 30, 2007 9:18 pm 
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Nice dude.... That's a sweet looking glissade. Wish I coulda made this one.

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Craig
http://www.flickr.com/photos/climbercraig66/sets/
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