International Man of Mystery...

My photo
I grew up in the Boston area and lived there until my junior year in high school when I attended the Mountain School, a semester program run by Milton Academy in Vershire, VT. I then attended Colby College in Waterville, ME. During my time at Colby I studied anthropology, spent a semester in Northeast India, and became fluent in Nepali. Before I became a guide I earned my black belt in kenpo karate and taught karate for 6 years. I began guiding in college on the rocky coast of ME with Acadia Mountain Guides and on ice at the International Mountain Climbing School in NH. After graduating I took to the highway and drove from ME to WA for the big mountains and glaciers. I spend my winters in lovely Ouray, CO guiding in the famous ice park. I am currently working towards becoming a certified guide through the American Mountain Guides Association. I live, work and play in the hills and on the rocks. On the rocks both literally and, well, with ice.

Thursday, May 13, 2010

Skiing Mount Rainier

In backcountry skiing the learning curve isn't the only thing that is steep. Hannah, who has climbed Rainier almost forty times by 19 different routes suggested we climb the Nisqually Cleaver, a thousand foot band of rock that separates the Nisqually Ice Cliff from the Nisqually Icefall.

Routes near the Nisqually Ice Cliff seemed dubious, but on a recent ski trip I noticed a system of steep snow ramps that connected a fairly direct line to the top of the cleaver and on to the summit. In a month or so the route may not exist any more.
We skinned over to the base of the route moving quickly through the debris from the looming Nisqually Ice Cliff. When we were high on the route, as the sun came over the ridge behind us, the sound of massive seracs peeling off the nearby ice cliff thundered below us.

After a few thousand feet of horrendous trail breaking to the summit, Columbia Crest (the highest point on the crater rim at 14,410 ft.) we peeled our skins off our skis and skied the Ingraham Direct, the early season guiding route. Though the snow was terrible (except for the lucky orthopedic surgeon a skier might visit afterwards) almost the whole way to Paradise at 5420 ft, I was thrilled to have climbed an exciting route and to have skied my first Cascade Volcano.
See the full slide show below:
Climbing and Skiing Rainier

No comments:

Post a Comment