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Premium Member
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Discussion Starter · #1 · (Edited)

I am planning a possible trip to Mt. Rainier the last weekend in September. I'm going with my brother-in-law who used to live in Seattle and is going back for a wedding.

We were contemplating renting splitboards and hiking/skinning up Rainier and riding what we can back down. He has lots of experience hiking Rainier but has never rode there. We are both intermediate riders with basically no backcountry snowboarding experience. He has lots of rockclimbing and mountaineering experience but I have zero of both of those as well.

This trip is obviously a ways out time wise, but I wanted to ask a few questions to you guys that have done this.

First, is this even possible at the end of September? If not, I'm ok with just the hiking and possibly camping.

Secondly, if this can be done, can we skin up and ride down without danger of avalanches. I guess I'm asking if you can skin up and ride down this time of year without being in avalanche territory or is that not even possible? I realize this is a loaded question, but I am not a big risk taker and have no avalanche training and don't see any way of getting any in Indiana. I have been through the courses that Snowolf posted and have a sense of how it works, but obviously hands on is the only way to go.

Thirdly, if a guide is absolutely needed, I will get one. If so, can you guys recommend a good guide and possibly a place to rent equipment? I don't see any reason for me to buy as I wouldn't be able to do this more than once a year maximum.

Lastly, would I be able to ride at Mt. Hood in September while he as at the wedding at this time of the year? My searching must suck because I cannot find the info on Mt. Hood riding in the fall and all the particulars. Any other place in the PNW I could ride this time of year?

Thanks in advance and I appreciate any help.


Veteran Member
11,576 Posts
The only thing I can say about September is that you might be risking colder temps. Making the surface not so enjoyable to ride down. Avy danger is most likely minimal. It never truly goes away but I would guess most people are not rocking avy gear then. Unless of course you get new snow. That can change everything. I would browse through turns all year, plenty of trip reports from Rainier there. Then get to more specific questions. Some crusty old goats there but if you ask nicely and listen you should get what you are looking for. Also hiring a guide is never a bad idea. It'll save you a ton of time and make your chances of being successful much higher.

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