The Fastest Way Down

Posted on July 3, 2012

What takes six hours to ascend and only an hour and a half to descend?  Mr. Rainer!  All you have to do upon leaving Camp Muir is sit down, lean back and then pick up your feet.  Your ice ax or hiking pole serves as a steering wheel and brake, and gravity is the horsepower.  The only decision you have to make is if you want to start your own chute or follow in the tracks of the hikers from the day before.  Glissading is the optimal way to make a speedy return to Mt. Rainiers Trial Head at Paradise. It is simple, safe when done properly, and insanely fun! The August sun melts the mountain’s top layer of snow during the day, then cold nighttime temperatures refreeze it creating an iced run of Olympic quality and magnitude.  For those hikers with younger knees and ankles, you can also glissade by combining techniques of running down the mountain and sliding on your feet.  That requires a lot of agility however.  In either case, it’s good to have waterproof pants because once the slide has started there is no stopping to shake out your shorts. So, like a roller coaster, just sit back, strap in, keep your arms and feet tucked, and enjoy the ride!

Posted in Adventures!

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