Unicorn Peak, MRNP, June 4, 2006
Jonathan from Boston was in town seeing a client. Wanting to show him a good time in the Great Northwest, I hooked up with the Jedi Masters of arcane Rainier navigation, Ron Jarvis and Jeanette Morrison, for a tour to Unicorn Peak on an ugly looking Sunday in early June.
As we pulled into the Wild Berry Cafe for a breakfast rendezvous, the pouring rain actually got worse. We ordered food, sat, ate, drank coffee . . . the talk turned to how long we could procrastinate before actually going back outside, and whether by waiting we might escape the brunt of the precipitation. Finally we decided to just get in the cars and go take a look.
We drove down the Stevens Canyon Road past the lake and parked in a little turnout by ourselves. By this time the rain had diminished to a light drizzle, and we loaded up and started skinning from a spot just a few yards from the cars.
Ron and Jeanette lead the way with a steady pace and with their previous knowledge of the area we didn't have to wonder about the route. A couple of steeper sections required careful skinning with a loose layer of wet corn over a harder base, but the climb was uneventful.
As we neared the top of Unicorn Peak, the wind kicked up and made donning extra layers desirable - at this time we saw some nice tracks made by Allyson and Jerry the day before. We hung out at the top for a bit, had some snacks and then headed down. The fog and rain miraculously cleared for our ski, and we enjoyed nice damp corn conditions for most of the descent. Ron and Jeanette showed us a couple of nice chutes slightly off the beaten path before we entered the drainage, where Jonathan and I were able to skate/herringbone/sidestep out without putting the skins back on. All in all, a nice day of touring salvaged from what looked to be a miserable rain day!
Just goes to show, you simply have to get out of the car and see for yourself.