Anxious for an overnight trip, Ava and I randomly decided on a ski trip to the Tatoosh Range, which lies just south of Mt. Rainier. Our ultimate objective was to summit Unicorn Peak, the highest point in the range.
The weather forecast called for partly cloudy skies on Saturday, and improving conditions on Sunday. Based on the weather as we skied in on Saturday afternoon, we thought we'd have adequate conditions on Sunday for the climb. After skiing about 7 miles, we set up camp near the base of Unicorn Peak.
I had recently bought a new tent, and this was the first opportunity to use it. I'll take this opportunity to praise this new tent, the Black Diamond Eldorado (formerly made by Bibler). This is a single-wall, 4-season tent made with ToddTex fabric. The fabric is downright magical! Not only is it waterproof, but the inside of the fabric is slightly fuzzy and somehow prevents moisture buildup. I cannot describe how nice this feature is, as it aids dramatically in one's ability to keep everything in the tent dry.
The New Tent's Maiden Voyage
It snowed lightly all night, accumulating only about an inch or two. The next morning we awoke to patchy clouds, fog, and snow. We decided we would start toward the peak, prepared to climb to the top, realizing that we would probably get turned around by the weather and have a wonderful ski down.
At the top of the first major pass, we got a view of Unicorn Peak. It remained in view about long enough for me to take a picture, then promptly disappeared for the remainder of the day.
Unicorn Peak (shortly before disappearing into the clouds for the remainder of the trip)
We hiked up into the fog a bit further before skiing amazing powder for almost 2000 vertical feet back to the tent. The nearly flat ski out for six miles along the closed road was necessary, but unenjoyable.