Skiing the Muir snow field into the Nisqually chutes and lower Nisqually glacier to the bridge is a Cascade classic. The bridge is seen in the distance @ 3900'. The picture was taken from around 5000 feet. Muir is at 10,000'. 5 mile and 5000' gain on the skin up for less than an hour run down on moderate terrain early in the season.
Perspective on the size of things..
photo courtesy of unknown author via the internet
Below, looking back at the upper half
and down the Nisqually Chutes, mid section of the run.
and looking back at the majority of terrain skied from bridge level......likely close to 6000 vert showing here.
Likely as close as you'll get to The Vallee Blanche off-piste ski route in the CONUS. Starting from the Aiguille du Midi the Vallee Blanche is 17km long with a vertical descent of 2800m. Muir down is 9km and 1900m. Add the summit of Columbia Crest and you get 13km and 3200m to the bridge. Easy enough to make some comparison by those numbers.
Even on a busy day, skiing Rainier will seem like a wilderness and the food dismal in comparison to the Vallee Blanche. Either way both runs are well worth the effort. Different for sure but fun in their own ways. Be a whole lot less folks skiing the Vallee Blanche with out the Midi tram.
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