ApproachThe approach to the first camp was one of the most tiring. Our group had met up with our AAI Guides and they led the hike to "High Camp" Hiking along the morain for 5 hours and going constantly uphill was something that i was occustomed to, however, for some reason, i felt like i was going to collapse. after getting to "High Camp" we set up our tents and prepared our gear.
The next day we were taught belay and prussicks, something that, as a rock climber and an employee at a rock gym, I already knew. Rain moved in later in the day, so we retreated back to our respective tents.
We got set up in our rope teams and hiked up to a nearby snowy area to practice self arrest, walking with crampons, and crevass rescue. Although most of the techniques were pretty straight forward, most of the group took most of the day to "master" self arrest techniques.
we hike up to our makeshift High Camp, the weather moved in a few minutes after we started, and after hiking the morain ridge for a few hours and scouring nearby areas for possible campsites, we were thrilled when we located one. visibility was around 5 meters, and after we set up camp and ate the weather cleared up. it was only then that we noticed our tents were set up within 10 ft of a 200+ ft cliff.
"Note to self: for a late night pee, immediately turn left after exiting the tent, Right would end badly"
Day 5 (summit Day)
We awoke at 1:30 am and wolfed down ramen noodles before tieing into our rope teams. thirteen of us were put into two teams and we began making our way up baker.
visibility was low until an hour or so after sunrise. Most of us hadn't noticed the fact that we had risin above the clouds until i heard a gasp behind me. I turned and saw... everything.
spires and peaks surrounded us, and we took a few minutes to snap some pictures before setting out for the closest summit, Mount Baker.
Crossing Uncountable ice bridges over bottomless crevasses, we finally reached the crater. The smell of sulfer urged us to eat quickly before our last push up the roman wall to the summit. I must say, having to number 2 into a bag, while on a rope team is definately awkward, "Everybody Look! Mount Rainier is very interesting right now, and will be for the next 5 minutes, keep looking at it!"
After Climbing the Roman Wall, we reached the chilly plataue below the actual summit. air pockets in the snow kept us on edge, and in fear of hidden cravasses, we finally reached the summit.