After an hour's walk through the woods with skis on the pack, I was able to put the skis on and start the long climb up the Coleman glacier. The snow was still plentiful and firm, and the ascent up and onto the glacier went quickly. Cravasses were starting to appear, but were still very localized, and following the huge track created by people on foot was quite easy. I started meeting people who were descending as I reached the edge of the glacier, and there was a large tent city set up at the flat area around 6500 feet. People returning from climbing the summit were descending in a long line, postholing their way back to camp, and looking curiously at my skis and the ease with which they let me ascend.
The route proved to be in very good condition, with only 1 open crevasse (2 feet wide) near the top of the Coleman glacier. As I was ascending the ridge leading to the upper Deming glacier, I finally saw some skiers (there must have been 200 climbers on the mountain that day).
The skiers turned out to be friends of mine, who advised that I should take skis right to the top because the slope off the summit would be in great condition once I reached it. Climbing the last 1000 vertical feet with skis on the pack was tiring, but at 2:45 I reached the summit and the huge view - peaks all the way from Matier to Ranier were visible...quite a sight!
I clicked into the skis on the summit and had a great run back to the col at 9000 feet - steep and solid snow. At the col, I turned for home and skied generally perfect corn down the now empty mountain to the... To see the full trip report you must login as a paid member. Use the Login Page. (message p3)
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