Forum Index > Trip Reports > Rattlesnake Ledges/1st (east tower) 03-22-2008
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tigermn
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PostSat Mar 22, 2008 9:57 pm 
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Well having never been up here summer or winter, I opted for something new. Got a later start than I originally intended. Trail snow free up to first ledge, and only patches on up to 3rd ledge. Not too far past last ledge it was a winter wonderland. First well packed down but a bit soft/slushy, no snow shoes needed.

I did throw on some microspikes a bit after the snow was herer for good, but not absolutely necessary. Heck I had em so I used em. The snow in general was pretty soft/slushy and not real icy.

Once hitting the clearing it got a bit deeper and the beaten track was less consistent/defined. Shortly after the clearing I opted for snowshoes.
There was one party of three I let pass and they were all just booting it.
I followed the path that looked most used. Not too far past the clearing there is a fork, you can either go straight (less traveled) or hang a left up what looked like an old road. I went left. The challenge with snowshoes was that you couldn't easily stay in the little more tromped down boot track. I ended up walking mostly outside it and basically breaking my own trail.
The two forks eventually meet back up and went off the road following the trail sign. Not too far later I reached the 1st tower. The party of 3 was already up there.

I intended to go further but wasn't exactly sure where the trail continued. I started hiking west (and down) on what looked sort of like a road (hard to tell in snow). I didn't see any other option. There were a few sets of deep boot prints. After about 100 yards they stopped. I wasn't sure this was really the way to go, but probably would have got there. I wasn't crazy about breaking my own trail from here on and it was getting a bit late, so I turned back to the tower, stopped and ate lunch then headed back.

When I got back to the fork I opted to go straight and take the other way down, which was really I think another road. It was pretty open but not very well traveled. I was pretty much walking on smooth snow but at least it was all downhill. It was easier breaking new prints than dodging existing small sometimes deep footprints. At one point I was walking and I suddenly postholed down past my knee.  Yikes.. well my snowshoe had come off on the last step. Guess that said I needed snowshoes to be walking there...

If anybody knows a sure way to keep the back strap on MSR snowshoes from coming lose/off.. I'd like to hear it. This has happened a couple of times even if I really tighten it down. While the MSR straps are real easy to get in, they are sometimes too easy to get out of it seems....

I didn't see many people past the clearing area either up or down. Didn't see anyone with snowshoes all day. I guess the stuck to pre made footprints. At my weight, I can tell you I wouldn't have wanted to be booting it on the upper part of that. I was probably about 230lbs with pack/etc. I did fine with MSR snowshoes with the 4 inch tails. May not have even needed the tails. In fact when trying to walk narrow, the tails make it easier to step on yourself...

Rattlesnake trail in the snow
Rattlesnake trail in the snow
Fairly close to 1st Rattlesnake Tower. Interesting shot with tree in foreground/mountains in background.
Fairly close to 1st Rattlesnake Tower. Interesting shot with tree in foreground/mountains in background.
Rattlesnake 1st tower (east peak). Is this an oil derrek? What is this thing, a moldie oldie.
Rattlesnake 1st tower (east peak). Is this an oil derrek? What is this thing, a moldie oldie.
Si/Tenerife from Rattlesnake
Si/Tenerife from Rattlesnake
Bent over/split tree on trail.
Bent over/split tree on trail.
Breaking some new trail. Not enough there to really walk in anyway with Snowshoes especially.
Breaking some new trail. Not enough there to really walk in anyway with Snowshoes especially.
Rainier zoomed in from near rattlesnake 1st clearing.
Rainier zoomed in from near rattlesnake 1st clearing.
Rattlesnake first clearing. Shortly after this area, the snowshoes went on.
Rattlesnake first clearing. Shortly after this area, the snowshoes went on.
Avalance danger... I don't think so...
Avalance danger... I don't think so...
Rattlesnake lake and parking lot from 1st ledge. I think I can see my car down there
Rattlesnake lake and parking lot from 1st ledge. I think I can see my car down there
Mt. Si from first ledge.
Mt. Si from first ledge.
Tenerife from rattlesnake 1st ledge.
Tenerife from rattlesnake 1st ledge.
Rattlesnake Lake from first ledge
Rattlesnake Lake from first ledge
Mossy rock not too far from the bottom of the trail.
Mossy rock not too far from the bottom of the trail.
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Grizzy
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Joined: 16 Jul 2006
Posts: 1935 | TRs
Location: Switchbacks
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PostSat Mar 22, 2008 10:13 pm 
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The other direction is fun Too up.gif

Nice TR, did you get any looks carring snowshoes there? I bet most people going to the ledge have no idea that you would need snowshoes up there this year....(beyond the ledge I mean)

--------------
All the birds have flown up and gone;
A lonely cloud floats leisurely by.
We never tire of looking at each other -
Only the mountain and I. ~Li Po~
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tigermn
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PostSun Mar 23, 2008 6:52 am 
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On the way down (in the clearing area) I was taking some pictures and 3 people passed me and commented that I came well perpaired. I had previously seen them at the road/trail junction further up. I think they bagged it and headed down based on the timing.
I suspect with the snowshoes on my back, most people I saw coming down when I was going up didn't even notice. I definitely was carrying the biggest load of anyone I saw all day. Of course most just going to the ledges...
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Wald
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PostSun Mar 23, 2008 11:50 am 
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Yo Bike, glad to see you made it up to Rattlesnake like you planned.

bikejr wrote:
If anybody knows a sure way to keep the back strap on MSR snowshoes from coming lose/off.. I'd like to hear it. This has happened a couple of times even if I really tighten it down. While the MSR straps are real easy to get in, they are sometimes too easy to get out of it seems....

I use MSRs and have never had a problem with straps. Try securing the strap tightly over the buckle when putting the shoes on. The strap will frequently come free of the little clip, but will stay firmly buckled.

I love my MSRs, but I have the Denali Evo Ascents and the spike bottoms make them tricky to pack. I have to strap them to the outside of my pack and then secure them again with some sort of chord. Kind of annoying at times...
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tigermn
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PostSun Mar 23, 2008 12:02 pm 
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Mine have the same spikes I believe. I just put them on top of each other with the spikes facing out and bungee them together with two bungee cords, then bungee both of them to my pack with two more slightly longer cords placing the non spike side against the pack.  Actually a lot easier, less hassle than I feared initially and no problems in the meager 4 trips or so I've snowshoed in my life. I throw the tails in my pack and only use if needed.

Actually it was a fun trip, but I was a little disappointed that I didn't make it further.
There was probably a 10-15 MPH steady wind even in the parking lot with some stronger gusts, but enough trees so it wasn't like you were getting blown away. In fact occasionally the wind would cause decent size chunks of snow to fall from the trees.
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Forum Index > Trip Reports > Rattlesnake Ledges/1st (east tower) 03-22-2008
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