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Mt. Rainier in July. How dangerous is it?

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Re: Mt. Rainier in July. How dangerous is it?

Postby lcarreau » Sun Feb 26, 2012 3:41 am

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Re: Mt. Rainier in July. How dangerous is it?

Postby Josh Lewis » Sun Feb 26, 2012 5:48 am

Watch out for lava crevasses while your at it! :lol:

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Re: Mt. Rainier in July. How dangerous is it?

Postby saxybrian » Wed Mar 28, 2012 5:56 pm

Oh Chris!

I'll take good care of you on the mtn!

We're going up in July time frame if anyone wants to tag along with experience.

I've been on the mtn 6 times, to Muir 6 times, summited 3x and not afraid to turn around due to weather or anything that I feel puts me in danger. I'll be moving to Issaquah in April so I'll have some prep time if anyone wants to toy around on some surrounding peaks or do some day hikes
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Re: Mt. Rainier in July. How dangerous is it?

Postby Vitaliy M. » Wed Mar 28, 2012 10:40 pm

It is very dangerous. Don't go there unless sexybrian escorts you.
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Re: Mt. Rainier in July. How dangerous is it?

Postby ExcitableBoy » Thu Mar 29, 2012 6:30 pm

saxybrian wrote: I'll be moving to Issaquah in April so I'll have some prep time if anyone wants to toy around on some surrounding peaks or do some day hikes

Whereabouts in Issaquah? I live in the Highlands.
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Re: Mt. Rainier in July. How dangerous is it?

Postby saxybrian » Wed Apr 04, 2012 3:54 pm

by Duthe? hill mtn bike area? I haven't moved yet or even seen the house yet, but Hey I know where I wanna live!
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Re: Mt. Rainier in July. How dangerous is it?

Postby ExcitableBoy » Wed Apr 04, 2012 3:59 pm

saxybrian wrote:by Duthe? hill mtn bike area? I haven't moved yet or even seen the house yet, but Hey I know where I wanna live!

There is a nice trail that connects my neighborhood to the Duthie Hill Park. Its about 6 miles one way, an easy RT trail run and very popular with the Mt bikers. You can even access Tiger Mt from that trail (Grand Ridge Trail, King County Park System). If you want any beta or suggestions, hit me up. I'm ill right now so won't be able to join you on any adventures, but am happy to dispense advice.
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Re: Mt. Rainier in July. How dangerous is it?

Postby saxybrian » Thu Apr 05, 2012 9:58 pm

ExcitableBoy wrote:
saxybrian wrote:by Duthe? hill mtn bike area? I haven't moved yet or even seen the house yet, but Hey I know where I wanna live!

There is a nice trail that connects my neighborhood to the Duthie Hill Park. Its about 6 miles one way, an easy RT trail run and very popular with the Mt bikers. You can even access Tiger Mt from that trail (Grand Ridge Trail, King County Park System). If you want any beta or suggestions, hit me up. I'm ill right now so won't be able to join you on any adventures, but am happy to dispense advice.



Thanks man, I'm not living there yet, will be moving there in 15 days and prob won't have any stuff for 20-25 days. :(
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Re: Mt. Rainier in July. How dangerous is it?

Postby Cyde » Mon May 28, 2012 10:46 pm

Once again,
Thanks for everyone's input. I thought about it and also spoke with someone who's been on Mt. Rainier and decided to put my name on a waiting list for a guided summit attempt with IMG. I managed to get on with them, so I'll be doing a guided attempt in July. I've been getting ready for it and will continue to get ready for it till the day comes.

Has anyone climbed with IMG?
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Re: Mt. Rainier in July. How dangerous is it?

Postby philoparts » Mon May 28, 2012 11:48 pm

I'm looking at a run up to Muir sometime this summer, a friend of mine is one of the climbing rangers up there. To prepare for higher and steeper peaks, I took a few alpine classes this last Friday and Saturday up on Mt. Hood. First day was steep snow climbing, ice axe and crampon use, roped team travel, anchor and belay overview and finally self arrest. Saturday was a more advanced anchor and belay class, quick refresher of steep climbing and ice axe, then various anchor and belay systems. Finished with doing a two pitch steep climb with a leader and second on a rope. Before I even signed up for the classes, I'd been practicing anchors on my wrought iron stair railing and I'm familiar with Z-rigs and other advantage systems from being trained in confined space rescue. I won't go above 10,000' on Rainier until I've taken a class for glacier travel and crevasse rescue, which is in the works for July.

Don't know much about IMG, but I have friends that guide (or used to) for Rainier Mountaineering, Timberline Mountain Guides, and Northwest Mountain School.
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Re: Mt. Rainier in July. How dangerous is it?

Postby Cyde » Wed Jul 18, 2012 9:52 pm

Hello Everyone!

I am extremely happy to announce that I successfully summited Mt. Rainier last Saturday!! It was the hardest thing I've done and I'll never ever forget the experience!
I went with IMG. We had 8 clients including me, and 4 guides. The guides were extremely professional and knowledgeable and friendly. I felt very well taken care of safe the whole time I was on the mountain, even on Disappointment Clever with crampons! :)

I HIGHLY recommend IMG to anyone looking at a guided summit attempt!!!!!!!! The accommodations and food were also great!!

I really appreciate everyone's feedback here, it helped me a lot with my decision to attempt this endeavor and to go with a guide. THANK YOU!!!

Two things I would change if I do it again would be:
1. I rented my plastic mountaineering boots from IMG, and ended up getting shin-bang and two black toe nails on my big toes on each foot due to them knocking against the front of the boot on the descent. This is mainly due to me not ever having worn this type of boot before and not training in them. They require the muscles of the lower body to be used differently than normal hiking boots. I suffered through the painful shin-bang on the way up and the guides did all they could to help me, but once you have shin-bang you aren't getting rid of it till you take off your boots, and I couldn't take my boots off till I got off the mountain.
2. I would figure out a way to access drinking water at all times. I bought a blatter but the guides said not to use it and I'll be able to drink when we take a break. I live in Texas and was training in 100 degree weather most of the time. I was used to having access to water at all times. Once I was on the mountain and climbing up to Camp Muir, I soon became very thirsty but had no way or time to stop for a drink. I carried my water in two 32 oz. naglene bottles and had another 32 bottle of Gatoraid in my pack. I could get the naglene bottle from the side pocket of my pack, but I had no way of putting it back without taking my pack off. It's also hard to climb and drink out of those bottles at the same time without spilling a lot of the down your front. We were told to drink at least half a bottle at each break but I easily downed a full bottle at the first break and was thankful I at least had the Gatoraid backup in my pack, otherwise I would have ran out of liquid before I reached Camp Muir.

There's no way to really train for a alpine climb in hot, flat, Texas but I discovered physical endurance is only part of what I needed. I trained for this climb for 4 months by putting 60lbs in my pack and hiking up and down a 300 ft. hill I live sort of close too. It's the biggest hill in my area and since I work a full time job, it's all I had time to make it out to on a regular basis. I would also go on 15 mile - 5 hour long hikes on the weekend, just to get my body used to having that weight on my back for an extended period of time. I found the hill repeats did nothing for me on the climb. Hiking up and down a rocky hill in hiking boots is one thing. Hiking up a 45 to 50 degree snow and ice covered incline in plastic mountaineering boots with crampons using rest stepping is something completely different. The 15 mile - 5 hour hikes helped me much more in that doing them helped me prepare to be alone with my thoughts for hours on end. During my summit attempt, I quickly discovered the endurance needed it more mental than physical. You have to focus on where you're stepping, where you're planting your ice axe, and if you're in the middle or end of your rope team, making sure the rope stays out of the feet of the person in front of you. You can try to look around as you're climbing, but you'll find you may misstep and trip. You can try to look up, but looking up takes away your hope because the top never seems to get any closer. So you just look ahead and watch your step, and monitor your breathing, and feeling over all, for over exertion. It's like that till you take a break or reach the next switch back.

There were many times I thought about telling the guides to leave me at Camp Muir or high camp and I'd meet them on the way down. There were many times, when I thought I couldn't make it to the next switch back, but I just kept going. When part of my mind screamed to quit, I'd start counting steps, telling myself I'll see how I feel after 100, but then I'd lose count. Other times I'd really concentrate on my rest stepping technique and found I could gain my strength back by doing that - sometimes. I didn't think I was going to make it till I stepped over the crater rim. The feeling of elation, of accomplishment, of knowing is sometime I can't describe with words, and they wiped most of the memories of the suffering. I couldn't stop laughing once I reached the summit and my eye lashes froze with tears of joy.

Coming down was the hardest part for me, mainly because my shins and feet were killing me. Disappointment Cleaver was dry and climbing down on it with crampons on, sucked. So was Cathedral Gap which also sucked. I was totally hobbled at the end and would have had to crawl into Paradise if not for my trekking poles. Still, as I got closer to Paradise and saw the tourist try to walk in the snow with flip flops or canvas tennis shoes, I smiled. When I was in the middle of a bunch of them and a Ranger asked me if I summited and I said yes, and she congratulated me, I was able to temporarily forget about pain in my feet.

It’s been about 4 days since I completed descent and my legs are still sore. My left foot is staying a little swollen and my toes still hurt. It was totally worth it and I'm already thinking about when I'll be going back.

Thanks for your advice!
Cyde.
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Re: Mt. Rainier in July. How dangerous is it?

Postby Catamount » Wed Jul 18, 2012 11:38 pm

Congrats Cyde! My IMG group was going up as yours was coming down. I heard all 8 clients made the summit and was thinking I was going to be very jealous if our group didn't succeed since the dates I originally tried to get were the 11th to 14th. As it turned out, we all made it as well except for one climber who stayed at Ingraham Flats with an injury. Sounds like you all had better weather though. We got our asses handed to us by high winds and thick cloud cover with low visibility. Of course, I wouldn't trade my experience on Rainier with anyone else. Just a fantastic mountain and I agree the IMG guides our awesome. As for the water thing, I usually carry more but followed their recommendations and drank like a fiend in camp. Good luck with future mountains. :)
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Re: Mt. Rainier in July. How dangerous is it?

Postby Sierra Ledge Rat » Thu Jul 19, 2012 3:42 am

CONGRATS!
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Re: Mt. Rainier in July. How dangerous is it?

Postby dskoon » Thu Jul 19, 2012 5:45 am

Congrats also!!
Nicely done, and nicely written.

I hear what you're saying. . Tough stuff. I was just up on Adams this last weekend, and suffered a bit. . Didn't really feel outa shape,
just low energy for some reason(s). . But, in the end, despite thinking I might just call it at the Lunch Counter, and elsewhere, I continued, on,
and finally made it to the False summit, where my buddy and I did call it. We were both happy to make it that far, for it promised a nice launching
pad for the ski down the SW Chutes. And what a ski it was!

So, despite looking up more than once, and thinking, shit, I'm not gonna make it, I sucked it in, practiced breathing and making my steps. . Boring shit, really,
but, something you've gotta do to get up there sometimes.

And, like you said, despite the suffering, it was worth it. . . A great day in the mountains is always worth some suffering.
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Re: Mt. Rainier in July. How dangerous is it?

Postby Murph1 » Thu Jul 19, 2012 7:08 am

There is a reason that many climbers living in the Lower 48 train on Rainer for expeditions to taller mountains in Alaska, South America, the Himilayas and elsewhere in the world. It has almost all the conditions these taller mountains have which means it has the potential to kill you no matter what route you take to the summit.
Just like on Everest, professional guides, drag relatively inexperienced clients to its summit. The drop out rate on summiting Rainer is about 50% of all those that attempt it.
Why Rainer for your first summit attempt of a major mountain? Just because you read about it in books? or Your friend wants to climb it?
There are many major summits in the Western U.S. which would make good starting climbs offering a taste of what the "big" mountain offers. If you climbed Mt. Adams, Mt Hood or Mt Shasta by the standard routes you would get a feel for what Rainer is all about without the higher exposure to danger that Rainer offers..
My opinion: Start your mountaineering experience elsewhere! Save Rainer for when you have those crevasse rescue skills, self arrest skills, repelling skills, belaying skills down and you know that you can handle the high altitude climbing.
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