Paradise Glacier Tours
Map: Mt Rainier- East
These tours offer intermediate skiers and advanced skiers an opportunity to explore the area northeast of Paradise which is usually uncrowded when compared to the standard route up the Muir Snowfield. There are two tours to choose from depending on the time of year and the snow coverage of the Paradise Glacier. Be forewarned, the glacier has open crevasses much of the year and your route selection is important. The short tour is designed to reduce the risk of coming upon a crevass during descent by allowing the group to ski up the descent route.
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Start: Paradise parking lot - 5400 ft.
High Point: Paradise Glacier - 7800 ft.
Level: Advanced, Glacier Travel.
Starting from the Paradise Parking lot, head east down the Paradise Valley Road until you reach the main bridge crossing over Edith Creek at the northern most point of the road. Here ski off the road up towards Mazama Ridge. After winding your way up the ridge, follow of the spine of the ridge north past Shuskin Falls. Before you lies the terminus of the Paradise Glacier. Ski up the middle of the wide valley avoiding the avalanche slopes on the left to the saddle just north of Cowlitz rocks. Once at the saddle, select your climbing route along the eastern edge of the Paradise Glacier and then gradually move up Glacier and across to the left towards the summit of the mountain. Be aware of any cracks in the snow that could indicate buried crevasses. Generally, the larger crevasses are on the western edge of the Paradise Glacier.
Once you have reach the 7800 foot level, you'll have several options in descending the wide glacier and subsequent snowfields. Much of the middle part of the route is very easy skiing and there are several diversions off the eastern side of the valley which allow for more intermediate runs. On your return back you may choose to cut across towards the Golden Gate area if the winds have not created impassable cornices along the entire west face of the Paradise Glacier run out. This shorter return route allows for more advanced skiing through the Golden Gate into Edith Creek Valley. Otherwise returned down the ridge line to Mazama Ridge and back up the Paradise Valley Road.
Start Point: Paradise parking lot - 5400 ft.
High Point: Miur-Paradise Glacier - 8500 ft.
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