Looking for challenging one day hikes on Mt. Rainer next week!


Original Post
Ol Dhrupad · · Unknown Hometown · Joined Mar 2017 · Points: 0

Hello!

I will be in Seattle for several days next week and I have reserved Saturday to check out Mt. Rainier. I was wondering if people had any good single day hikes that are challenging and hopefully have some rare vistas/beautiful sights involved. I'm in pretty good shape and am a fairly experience hiker but I don't have much experience actually climbing with equipment. I was planning on renting a car super early in the morning and hiking until sundown. Any advice would be wunderbar, thanks in advance!!

Kyle Tarry · · Portland, OR · Joined Mar 2015 · Points: 162

FYI the snow is like, really deep right now.  So "hiking" is gonna be more like snowshoeing or skiing.  The snow is currently 155 inches deep (13 feet) at the Paradise visitor center.

Jimmy Downhillinthesnow · · Bozeman, Montana · Joined Mar 2013 · Points: 10

Yeah people don't seem to understand this whole "snowpack" thing. Since you're not from the area, DO NOT go above timberline (e.g. towards Camp Muir from Panorama Point) without a map and compass or GPS. This time of year, if a cloud settles in you lose all points of reference and people have literally walked in circles until they stumbled off a cliff and died. 

Sunrise is closed, as are Chinook and Cayuse passes. Stop by Whittaker Mountaineering in Ashford if you'd like to rent snowshoes. Unicorn Peak is a good spring option since snow covers the nasty scree. You could also bag another summit in the Tatoosh Range. Check the forecast for snowfall (it can and will snow heavily in May at Paradise) and be watchful for wet slides even if there's no new snow. Most importantly have fun!

Ol Dhrupad · · Unknown Hometown · Joined Mar 2017 · Points: 0

ah okay that is super good to know about the snow, not looking to die. I will definitely rent some snowshoes, are there any other equipment it would be smart to rent or invest in? thanks!!

Jimmy Downhillinthesnow · · Bozeman, Montana · Joined Mar 2013 · Points: 10
Ol Dhrupad wrote:

ah okay that is super good to know about the snow, not looking to die. I will definitely rent some snowshoes, are there any other equipment it would be smart to rent or invest in? thanks!!

Trekking poles, perhaps an axe depending on where you end up going, and be prepared for bad weather. 

BrokenChairs BrettC · · Sultan, WA · Joined Feb 2015 · Points: 245
Ol Dhrupad wrote:

ah okay that is super good to know about the snow, not looking to die. I will definitely rent some snowshoes, are there any other equipment it would be smart to rent or invest in? thanks!!

A beacon, shovel and probe. My .02 . At the very least a beacon not that I think you'll get into too much trouble but I'd rather error on the side of caution. 

jaredj · · Unknown Hometown · Joined Jan 2013 · Points: 165
BrokenChairs wrote:

A beacon, shovel and probe. My .02 . At the very least a beacon not that I think you'll get into too much trouble but I'd rather error on the side of caution. 

This is some crap armchair advice and only worth it if someone else in your party is there to know you're buried and use a beacon to dig you out (if you indeed get buried in an avalanche).  Perhaps the poster means a personal locator beacon or Spot or some such device (as distinct from an avalanche beacon, which is what I think of when people say colloquially "beacon").

OP, main takeaway is to not be too ambitious if you're unfamiliar with the snowpack in the region.  The advice for something on the Tattoosh side of things (e.g. Unicorn, or even a pass between the peaks) is sage.  You'll have great views across the valley to the big mountain.  The main winter hike that folks do (from Paradise towards Camp Muir) will also have good views, but foreshortening makes your view of the mountain itself (while on it) less good than from across the valley (in my opinion).

BrokenChairs BrettC · · Sultan, WA · Joined Feb 2015 · Points: 245
jaredj wrote:

This is some crap armchair advice and only worth it if someone else in your party is there to know you're buried and use a beacon to dig you out (if you indeed get buried in an avalanche).  Perhaps the poster means a personal locator beacon or Spot or some such device (as distinct from an avalanche beacon, which is what I think of when people say colloquially "beacon").

OP, main takeaway is to not be too ambitious if you're unfamiliar with the snowpack in the region.  The advice for something on the Tattoosh side of things (e.g. Unicorn, or even a pass between the peaks) is sage.  You'll have great views across the valley to the big mountain.  The main winter hike that folks do (from Paradise towards Camp Muir) will also have good views, but foreshortening makes your view of the mountain itself (while on it) less good than from across the valley (in my opinion).

You're more than entitled to your opinion.  True it doesn't leave much in the way of rescue without another person but if there was an accident A. maybe someone in the area saw and has a transceiver and could possibly give a better chance.  I recently read a story where all four in a party were buried up in Canada and it was another party that was able to get all four of them out alive. Or B. rescuers could find a body and not have to wait till the spring thaw.  Either way you do you I could care less if you don't think it's worth carrying safety gear to save weight or whatever but I personally think that type of thinking is foolish at best. My armchair opinion; you never know but again I'd rather error on the side of caution but that's just a personal choice.  I BC solo all the time and always stay in moderate terrain, and yes I still carry a beacon because you never know and weirder things have happened. But really I guess it boils down to where he decides to go but if I'm trotting into a 155" snowpack I'm going to cary avy gear to at least have the option of probing a cornice, or digging a pit or giving someone the chance to find/save me no matter how remote that possibility actually is. 

Jimmy Downhillinthesnow · · Bozeman, Montana · Joined Mar 2013 · Points: 10

Avalanche rescue equipment for someone completely unfamiliar with it and traveling solo is likely to do nothing except lead to riskier behavior. OP, in general just don't go if there's new snow and stay off south-facing steep stuff in the afternoon.

BrokenChairs BrettC · · Sultan, WA · Joined Feb 2015 · Points: 245

^^^ good advice.  (I don't entirely agree [don't entirely disagree] with the gear hubris argument) but at least you didn't try to convince someone not to consider avalanche gear in avalanche terrain with nothing more to substantiate than you're i'll advised opinion.  The topic of gear hubris is an interesting one not sure where I stand I'd like to think I'm not more risky with an airbag but it's hard to determine.  Open to a discussion on gear hubris but I don't know if I want to commit to following the thread.  Either way OP have fun stay safe and consider the risks.  Remember what's above you at all times; a buddy of mine recently got carried of a 50' cliff by wet slides released on rocks hundreds of feet above. https://utahavalanchecenter.org/avalanches/31179 . Just be safe and open you mind to objectives that may not be entirely visible; even when snowshoeing.  

DougEvolves · · orting,wa · Joined Jul 2016 · Points: 20

there's more than one way to get into the park besides paradise that can provide a stunning experience and plenty of day hikes that barely touch snow. sent you a dm

Guideline #1: Don't be a jerk.

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