Forum Index > Trip Reports > Paradise Gained March 6th 2024
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peter707
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Location: Seattle, WA
peter707
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PostThu Mar 07, 2024 11:17 pm 
I've been wanting to go to Camp Muir on a day when the Longmire gate is closed for a while. Without worrying about the gate closure time, I'd be guaranteed to get to Muir! Last night, I heard that RAMROD didn't get a permit from the national park for 2024. Between the extra gate closures, the timed entry, and RAMROD cancellation, I was feeling pretty down about the future direction of the park. However, I met several nice park employees during this trip, and needless to say it's not an easy park to work in during the winter. No one had really been skiing on Rainier since the storms the previous week, so there's at least 3 ft of fresh snow. Park service said the log bridge is in over the Nisqually River on wonderland trail. Avalanche risk dropped to moderate across the board. I took a vacation day off from work and off I went to attempt the trail route! 7:30am - Longmire Wilderness Information Center
Looking at the Nisqually moraine.
Looking at the Nisqually moraine.
8:40am - Cougar Rock CG - About ~6 downed trees block wonderland trail on this section, none are hard to bypass or crawl under.
8:50am - Nisqually River Bridge
After crossing beneath Ricksecker point, there's a few more bridges and scenic waterfalls:
Carter Falls
Carter Falls
Horse Bridge
Horse Bridge
Madcap Falls
Madcap Falls
Narada Falls
Narada Falls
10:20am - Narada Falls - Last snowshoe tracks turned around. After this, I climbed down the snowback onto the road, and went looking for the trail. Climbed back onto a giant snowbank, but unfortunately it was only the median of the road. Climbed back down, and eventually found the place where the trail resumes on the east of the Narada Falls bathroom. 10 minutes later headed back up the trail.
A bit of a path above Narada Falls
A bit of a path above Narada Falls
11:00am - Stevens Canyon Road crossing (snow covered)
Mountain is out
Mountain is out
Looking back
Looking back
11:50am - Arrive at Paradise. Best to bypass the parking lot entirely to the east, but I didn't know this and climbed down a snowbank via an 8 ft snow pile helpfully placed near the edge. Stopped at the bathroom, ate lunch, wrote some letters in the snow.
The building has aged well.
The building has aged well.
"The historic Paradise Inn has been a popular destination for generations."
"The historic Paradise Inn has been a popular destination for generations."
PNW
PNW
12:50pm - Resumed heading up. Breaking trail continues to be slow in 87mm underfoot spring skis. Skis are going shin deep every step. My hiking poles don't have snow baskets, and somehow I forgot sunscreen. Dark clouds start to come in and save me some sunburn.
Cloud layer dropping lower.
Cloud layer dropping lower.
1:50pm - Panorama Face is covered in dark fog, and it started to lightly snow. Turned around @ 6000' ft - made little sense to ascend alone into a whiteout, although I really would have liked to ski panorama face. 2:00pm - Started skiing down. Really need a -15% grade or more to keep moving. Back to paradise at 2:15pm. Unfortunately the snowbank I climbed down had been removed, so I had no easy way back up onto the snow. I was about to go back to the north ramp out of the parking lot and try to traverse around, when I found a weakness on the east of the paradise inn. Some construction is going on up on the roof of the inn. 2:30pm - Skied "devil's dip" route to Narada Falls. Had to put skins on for the first half, but it picked up and was manageable on the second half.
3:20pm - Started skiing down from Narada Falls. It's necessary to ski slowly, but felt fine in the very slow snow conditions. Passed a few 2ft wide bridges that required an accurate lineup, similar to a wide park box. Finally free of reverse grades, I went a bit too fast down the track and caught some air on a roller, an acceptable but hard landing about 4 ft down to ice/gravel. 4:00pm - A-framed the skis to cross the Nisqually River
5:00pm - Back to Longmire, 90 minutes before dark.
Exhausting but rewarding day in the park, didn't see a single other visitor the entire day. Great adventure, tricky skiing. Going to have to wake up earlier next time! Appendix - Stats: 15.30 mi +/- 3,802 ft ~5:10 hours up ~1:10 hours rest ~3:00 hours down (It'd be faster downhill with snow baskets, and faster second time on the route. Lots of side stepping) https://www.strava.com/activities/10906729384/overview Appendix - Packing List: * = unused Provisions: 3x pizza slice, 3x garlic knot bread 9x tailwind scoop 3x fig bar 4L water Clothes: Baselayer pants, midlayer pants*, rain pants* Baselayer shirt, softshell jacket, puffy*, raincoat* base gloves*, mid gloves, heavy gloves* sunglasses, ski goggles, balaclava, socks, hat* Equipment: Skis, boots, bindings, poles, skins, Watch with map, Phone with map Trailrunners*, Helmet, Headlamp x2 ** Emergency Gear: Ice Axe*, Inreach*, Ski repair kit*, duct tape* Shovel*, Bivy Sack*, 30F quilt*, Ski strap Pack Weight (without food & water): 18lb Food & Water: 10lb Ski Gear: 12.5lb = 2610g (ski) + 562g (binding) + 320g (poles) + 1900g (boots) + 320g (skins) Total Added Weight = 40.5lb For next time (hopefully can get this down to 30lb): + sunscreen + snow baskets + filter - 2L water instead of 4L - 3rd glove, midlayer pants - Trailrunners - Headlamp x1 (one should be enough, with phone as backup) ? Bivy sack (condition dependent) ? Sleeping bag (condition dependent) ? Probe & Beacon

zeldathewelder, runup, silence, jsb, jaysway, day_hike_mike, awilsondc, zimmertr, reststep, John Mac
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puzzlr
Mid Fork Rocks



Joined: 13 Feb 2007
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puzzlr
Mid Fork Rocks
PostFri Mar 08, 2024 12:15 pm 
Ambitious trip, but seems rewarding to be in there almost by yourself all day.

Mid Fork Rocks flickr

zeldathewelder
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hbb
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Joined: 06 Aug 2009
Posts: 406 | TRs | Pics
hbb
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PostFri Mar 08, 2024 12:49 pm 
peter707 wrote:
3x pizza slice
up.gif That's how you do it! Looks like an interesting trip, I've considered the same during the gate closure periods, thinking it would be very cool to be more or less alone up there.

zeldathewelder
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