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Rainier

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Rainier

Postby dfrancom » Tue Nov 17, 2009 5:49 pm

What are the risks associated with climbing Rainier this time of year besides deadly weather. I might have a chance next week and wondering what to prepare for? all you hard core experts have probably done it this time of year.
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Postby ExcitableBoy » Tue Nov 17, 2009 6:13 pm

IMO November is the worst month to attempt Rainier. Expect crappy weather, poor snow conditions, and exposed, poorly bridged crevasses.
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Postby EastKing » Wed Nov 18, 2009 4:55 am

I have not done Rainier in November nor do I ever want to. It was wonderful in July when I did it and I am probably going back in May for Ingraham Direct and in June for the Emmons Side. Loose snowbridges, loose snow, open crevasses and extreme weather makes this not a good choice in November. Shasta might be a safer provided you go up the basic way (Avy Gulch). My suggestion would be if you had the money and the time (more than one day) aim south of the border. Money is the only thing stopping me from heading to Orizaba and Itza.

If you do go in May to July, PM me though.

Good luck,

EK
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Postby Snidely Whiplash » Wed Nov 18, 2009 6:11 pm

Yeah, November is probably one of the most dangerous months. It is traditionally the stormiest month. You have a lot of new, unconsolidated snowfall creating a new layer on top of a very well-consolidated glacier surface made harder due to the summer melting. Add to this the intermittent warming/rain episodes this time of year, and you get an extremely high avalanche risk. Not to mention, you'll be wading through chest high snow unless you use snow shoes. I don't know why one would try to climb Rainier right now, unless you want to experience an epic climb on the edge of survival, with a really strong probability that you'll require a rescue which will take days to mount.
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Re: Rainier

Postby Augie Medina » Wed Nov 18, 2009 8:09 pm

dfrancom wrote:What are the risks associated with climbing Rainier this time of year besides deadly weather.


I know you meant it as a serious question, but it sounds funny the way it's phrased. In any case, sounds like a real serious commitment if you do attempt it.
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Postby lcarreau » Wed Nov 18, 2009 9:45 pm

All you have to do is look at the tragedies occurring on Mount Hood (in recent years) to know
what you're up against.

Even the western Washington lowlands are pounded by poor weather in November.

Why not wait a couple months for the snow to consolidate more?
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Postby Bombchaser » Fri Nov 20, 2009 3:23 am

Powerfull storms hitting Washington now. With El Nino conditions setting up the Northwest is getting hit hard early. Huge snows and hurricane winds. Severe avalanche conditions also.
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Postby billisfree » Fri Nov 20, 2009 11:55 am

tragedies occurring on Mount Hood ?

Well... some deaths occurred because people put so much planning into the climb, they have little flexibility to change them.

The 3 who died two years ago... bought airplane tickets and rented a car. Couldn't really change plans easily. They tried to "beat the storm" but ran into delays. Happened in Nov.

The High school climbing class where some students died... also had limited time to complete the climb in order to meet graduation requirements. Happened in Spring.

Then there was a happier ending 20 years ago, two young men got lost in whiteouts at the edge of a cliff. Laid low in a snow cave for a 10 days. With lots of extra food they easily survived in a snow cave. Happened in winter.
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Postby dfrancom » Fri Nov 20, 2009 2:21 pm

billisfree wrote:tragedies occurring on Mount Hood ?

Well... some deaths occurred because people put so much planning into the climb, they have little flexibility to change them.


Very true, sometimes Its hard to turn back with so much money and time invested. All the more reason to quit my job and climb full time. It would be much easier to cancel and live to climb another day. Thanks to everyone warnings, I've canceled my plans! I ate some humble pie
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