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Dreams CAN Come True
Trip Report

Dreams CAN Come True

 

Page Type: Trip Report

Location: Washington, United States, North America

Lat/Lon: 46.85280°N / 121.759°W

Object Title: Dreams CAN Come True

Date Climbed/Hiked: Jul 13, 2003

 

Page By: ali_rainier714

Created/Edited: Sep 17, 2003 /

Object ID: 169084

Hits: 2555 

Page Score: 71.88%  - 2 Votes 

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I have wanted to climb Rainier since I was about 14 years old...Every summer, my family would visit the National Park and I fell in love with the mountain. I always had this lingering dream of one day climbing it...I would see all of the climbers in the Paradise parking lot and I envied every single one of them...Untill July 12, 2003 that is...My dream finally came true; I was one of them....

I signed up for the July 12, 13 and 14 Summit Climb through Rainier Mountaineering with my best friend, Lacey. From the day in January that we signed up for the trip, we counted down the days...We actually marked off each day....yeah 168 days worth of waiting...(it was well worth it too...)

Our Climbing School was for July 12...We honestly had no idea what we were doing...haha, we were by far the youngest people there and to top it off, we were 2 of the 4 females in the school. Nevertheless...we had the greatest time at the climbing school!! It was such a fun day!! The RMI guides were awesome to us and only offered encouragement!

Finally, the day I had been waiting for for 4 years of my life...I was absolutely sick to my stomach with nerves, but probably more so sick with excitement...Every day for the previous 168 days I thought about this moment...We got to base camp in Ashford and met our team of 12...Our guides were Casey Grom, Dave Hanning and Jason Oppler. I could not have asked for better guides!!!!!! (Climbing with RMI was a great experience!!) The weather was really crappy...Once we got to Paradise, it was raining...So we put on our gore-tex and began our trek to Camp Muir...As we got higher, visibility got worse and worse...We were being pelted wtih freezing rain and the wind would pick up every once in a while...After our second break, our team picked up the pace a lot and I began to slow...Dave Hanning helped me out tho...he climbed right beside me and constantly told me stories of encouragement....We finally reached Muir late afteroon and it was the greatest feeling of accomplishment in my life up to that point!! It was incredible!!! And a huge thanks to Dave for all the help and encouragement!!!

Out of the three RMI teams headed to Muir that day, we arrived first...even tho we began our trek last...Our pace was fairly brisk I would say....

Once at Muir we picked out bunks in the Bunkhouse...Lacey and I choose the third tier, because our guides told us it would be warmer up there since heat rises...We got all situated and walked outside to check out the view...For about a minute we could see the very tip of the mountain through the clouds....Everyone was rushing around taking pictures!

Once all of the teams arrived to Muir, Dave Hanning came in and gave everyone a pep talk about the events the following day...He explained to us the route and the conditions to expect...After Dave was done we found out our small teams of 3 clients and one guide...Lacey was with me as well as Mike...We had the best team!!!!! Casey Grom was the guide for the three of us...Casey came and talked to us and encouraged us...Finally around 8 o'clock the bunkhouse got quiet and everyone tried to get what sleep they could...
During the night the wind picked up and several people went to the bathroom as it got closer to our Alpine Start...It wasn't the best night's rest, but I can't complain...Even if there was no noise at night, I wouldn;t have caught a wink of sleep...I was too excited about what the next morning woudl bring...

12:45 AM: Dave wakes up the bunkhouse and tells team B (That's us!!!) that we are departing first, so we need to get a head start on everyone...Lacey and I climb out of our bags and run to the bathroom and begin to pack up...Breakfast: Oatmeal with Crasins (Crasins complimentary of Mike!! THANK YOU!!!) We gathered all the gear we needed for the day and met Casey outside...He was helping us get our things together to ensure that we wouldn;t forget anything essential...We had a full moon....It was amazing outside....Unbelieveably incredible...City lights below, stars in the sky...everythign was perfectly lit all around us...Just standing at Muir was a special treat for me...

Finally, our team left in our smaller groups of four...First Dave's team, followed by Jason's and finally my team....The wind was blowing pretty good as we crossed the Cowlitz Glacier, but it was a nice climb in the morning with the full moon above...Once we hit Cathedral Gap Jason's team slowed down and we had a bit of a traffic backup...It turns out that one of the team members wasn't feeling the greatest...As Jason was helping him adjust, Casey took us and we passed them and continued up...Once we got passed Cathedral Gap I started to deteriorate...I started to drag a little behind Casey...

When we reached our first rest break at Ingraham Flats....we coiled in, and Casey told me that this would be my high point for the trip...........Completely crushed, I agreed and took a seat on my pack.....At that moment I was exhausted and dissappointed in myself...I had wanted this mountain so bad for so long and now, after all my hard work, I was done...The guides put up a tent for me....and another member who didn;t have enough food and who was feeling rather sick decided he was goign to stop also...I sat and just stared off into the horizon...the sun was hours away from rising....I made it to 11, 200 feet...

After I "Slept" in the tent for about an hour or two, I began to think what an incredible experience I had already had...I began to think that I am damn awesome for even TRYING to climb a mountain....I talked to the other guy who stopped for a long time...we were actually able to watch the sunrise...AMAZING!! Just the view from the Flats was more than I could have ever imagined...beautiful....

After it was light out, I saw three people headed down the very bottom of the Cleaver...I knew it was a guide and 2 clients...I knew it was too early for them to have summited and returned, so I waited...After a while, I realized it was Lacey and another client on their way back down...Lacey made it almost to the top of the Cleaver!!!!!!! We packed up the tent and headed back to Muir....

After the rest of our team arrived back to Muir from a successful summit bit, we all headed back down the snowfield...Only this time, we had perfect weather!!! Dave had told me about this lady Broncha on the way up...and how she is 77 years old and she treks to Muir alll the time...well, on the way down, we saw her tearing down the snowfield...Dave and I ran after her and finally caught up!! I got to meet Broncha!! She is a ledgend on Rainier!! That was the icing on the cake for this trip...how sweet it is....

For my first climbing experience....Words cant describe how much fun I had on Rainier....I had the experience of a life time...For me...not summiting is just a better excuse to go back and keep trying!!!! (That and a little special something from a certain special guide.......thanks Casey, you're the best!!)
At first, I was really REALLY dissapointed that I didn't get to summit, but after reflecting on the Flats while waiting for my team...I realized that the experience is what truely counts, it's not necessarily the summit...Just being there was the best thing that has happened to me...and it just proves that a 14 year olds wildest dreams can come true...all you gotta do is make it happen.....Now I KNOW that I can do anything...I've got the will, and there IS a way!!!!
I can't wait to continue climbing!!! Maybe even one day I'll venture off to the Himalaya......


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