I can't believe I haven't posted since June! It was a fantastic summer - warm and dry with mountain biking galore. We capped the season in Moab the first week in October with Porcupine Rim, Slickrock, Klondike Bluffs and Gemini Bridges.
But enough about that. A short month later, we kicked off the touring season at Mt. Rainier. Given that Halloween was on Friday, I wasn't that psyched for the 5AM alarm bell that Saturday morning. I met Jason at 5:30 and we picked up Josh and Brian and arrived at Paradise around 8. It was cloudy and cool, and although it had snowed the previous few days, the temps had dropped and I feared it would be an icy mess. The hike out from Paradise confirmed my fears. The blacktop path was covered in a thin layer of ice, making it very slow going at first. We hiked all the way to Pan Point with skis and boots on our back and I was really feeling the cocktails from the night before. Then - bang! The sun was out, we were above the clouds and had continuous snow to camp Muir.
There was no wind, mild temps and a few inches of fresh on the ground which made for fantastic skinning. Made Muir at 1PM and then skied down to the Nisqually Chutes. That's where the clouds started, but we skied it all the way to the moraine, avoiding the sluff as we went. We then hiked back up to near Pan Point and then down the car - completely worked but a great start to the season.