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Foist
Sultan of Sweat



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PostSun Jan 31, 2021 3:16 pm 
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Check out the Mt. Tahoma Trail Association.  They groom some trails from 2 snow parks on the opposite side of the highway near Ashford.  The grooming and snow quality are both extremely unreliable so you would be smart to bring that non-groomed setup.
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rossb
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PostSun Jan 31, 2021 6:17 pm 
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The Paradise area has plenty of fairly mellow areas to explore. Many of the routes get into tough terrain (which you could also explore, if you don't mind risking a fall) but that isn't required. This is a great map: http://visitrainier.com/media/pdfs/Mt-Rainier_WinterRecreationMap.pdf. The road itself itself is nice, but you have to be careful -- there is a high avalanche danger (as shown). Barn Flats is nice and easy, and not done that much. You can poke around there, and/or explore the meadows north of the parking lot. You can head up towards Glacier Vista or Panorama Point, but depending on snow conditions/confidence, decide to just dink around in the meadows to the west. Just keep an eye on the weather and your bearings -- lots and lots of people have gone down the wrong gully on the way back to the car (it all kinda looks the same). I've done just about all of that map and I would say it does an excellent job of representing the situation (e. g. Fourth Crossing and Panorama Point are both pretty steep). I wouldn't obsess about a destination, really. It is a great place to play around, and play it be ear.

My first cross country ski trip was at Paradise. I signed up for a Mountaineers trip, and we skied the road (we were all beginners). At the end, the leader had us explore the meadows. I was hooked.
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Cyclopath
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Joined: 20 Mar 2012
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PostFri Feb 05, 2021 11:55 am 
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Thanks so much for the suggestions, both of you.   smile.gif

It sounds like everything is near Paradise.  That's such a long drive!  It's probably not very scenic or fun to ski up 410 from the closure?
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Foist
Sultan of Sweat



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PostFri Feb 05, 2021 12:07 pm 
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The MTTA trails are way closer than paradise, even with the dirt road.
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Randito
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PostFri Feb 05, 2021 12:37 pm 
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The MTTA trails are nice,  but not beginner friendly.
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rossb
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PostFri Feb 05, 2021 3:24 pm 
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Yeah, Paradise is long drive in. I assumed you were heading down there (maybe spending a night at Ashford or something like that). I've never skied Mowich Lake in mid-winter, but it looks like it might be quite rewarding on a nice day. I don't know if they allow snowmobiles for the first section, or what the avalanche danger is. The book assumes you want to start closer (so you have a better shot at getting to the lake).

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It's probably not very scenic or fun to ski up 410 from the closure?

I'm not sure, but for some reason I don't think it is common until the spring, and then part of a bit adventure (up toward Sunrise). Parking may be an issue, maybe?

Sun Top is a solid tour in the area. If you are pretty good at logging road skiing, you should be fine (no groomed). No snowmobiles, but you will probably find a few folks on snowshoes and skis. I don't think it is particularly crowded. Avoid the road towards the top (big avalanche danger).

I've never been, but Huckleberry Creek is another option (in the same area). It looks pretty level.  Apparently there is an avalanche chute four miles in.

You may want to look for the Mountaineers Cross Country ski books. The latest edition combines two books into one, so there is value in having the old edition (more trips) even though some of the info can be out of date (e. g. old roads get overgrown).
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