Paradise Glacier

Longmire, Washington

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The Paradise Glacier lies just east of the Muir Snowfield and south of the massive Cowlitz Glacier. The Paradise Glacier is the site of the famous Paradise Ice Caves. In past years, the National Park Service would dynamite the caves to allow access for spectacle-hungry tourists. These caves have been closed in recent years, but the glacier still offers excellent skiing. This tour gives the skier a novel view of the south shoulder of Rainier and a chance to escape the hordes at Paradise and on the Muir Snowfield. The Paradise Glacier is frequently not as wind-blown as the Muir Snowfield; the terrain and exposure are well suited to spring touring. A loop can be made by crossing the Paradise Glacier above Cowlitz Rocks and skiing northwest along various ramps to the Muir Snowfield between 8,000 and 9,000 feet. Skiers have descended the Cowlitz Glacier from Camp Muir. This is a significant undertaking. Difficulties: High avalanche potential; routefinding required; permit / fee area.
100 Classic Backcountry Ski & Snowboard Routes in Washington

DESCRIPTION FROM:

100 Classic Backcountry Ski & Snowboard Routes in Washington

by Rainer Burgdorfer (The Mountaineers Books)

The Paradise Glacier lies just east of the Muir Snowfield and south of the massive Cowlitz Glacier. The Paradise Glacier is the site of the famous Paradise Ice Caves. In past years, the National Park Service would dynamite the caves to allow access for spectacle-hungry tourists. These caves have been closed in recent years, but the glacier still offers excellent skiing. This tour gives the skier a novel view of the south shoulder of Rainier and a chance to escape the hordes at Paradise and on the Muir Snowfield. The Paradise Glacier is frequently not as wind-blown as the Muir Snowfield; the terrain and exposure are well suited to spring touring.

A loop can be made by crossing the Paradise Glacier above Cowlitz Rocks and skiing northwest along various ramps to the Muir Snowfield between 8,000 and 9,000 feet. Skiers have descended the Cowlitz Glacier from Camp Muir. This is a significant undertaking.

Difficulties: High avalanche potential; routefinding required; permit / fee area.

©  Rainer Burgdorfer/The Mountaineers Books. All Rights Reserved.

Activity Type: Backcountry Skiing & Snowboarding
Nearby City: Longmire
Distance: 7
Trail Type: Out-and-back
Skill Level: Difficult
Duration: 6 hours
Season: Best January to June
Trailhead Elevation: 5,450 feet
Top Elevation: 7,450 feet
Local Maps: USGS Mount Rainier East
Driving Directions: Directions to Paradise Glacier

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Apr 2018