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Paradise Glacier, May 9, 2015

It was time to get out again.

Even in this worst-season-in-decades year of 2014-2015, spring touring above 6,000 feet or so has been very good. Billy had just mounted up his new Zero G 95 skis and was itching to take them out on snow, so we hatched a plan to hit Rainier on the weekend. Since it was perfect weather and a huge crowd was already gathered at Paradise at 9:20, we decided to skip the slog to Muir and instead head out toward the Paradise side.

Even though there was only a few feet of snow, and other roads in the park had opened early this year, they hadn't yet plowed the road to Fourth Crossing, so we skinned through lower Edith Creek Basin and headed toward the base of the Paradise. No one else had gone that far from the Visitor Center in a few days, and it was sticky skinning but great to be out in the mountains and breathing real air.

We topped out at Anvil Rock and seeing the long line of booters and skiers headed to Muir decided we didn't need to join in that particular fun, and so headed back down the Paradise the way we had ascended. We stopped and chatted with two telemark skiers on the way, the only other people on the Paradise Glacier that day.

What's more to say? Perfect day, skinning and skiing in base layers and no gloves, and no crowds on a weekend. Stopped at Copper Creek for the requisite bacon cheese burgers on the way out, and back home by 5:30.

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