Welcome to SP!  -
Areas & RangesMountains & RocksRoutesImagesArticlesTrip ReportsGearOtherPeoplePlans & PartnersWhat's NewForum

Rainier - DC Conditions/Updates

Regional discussion and conditions reports for Washington and Oregon. Please post partners requests and trip plans in the Pacific Northwest Climbing Partners section.
 

Rainier - DC Conditions/Updates

Postby Deb » Tue Jun 05, 2012 10:39 pm

Greetings PNWers! I finally get a crack at Rainier so I want to keep tabs on what hellish conditions we may be in for. At this time, it appears that snow, snow, snow is on the menu. We'll be headed up to Muir either 25th or 26th June. Please post what you're finding on DC route. :)
User Avatar
Deb

 
Posts: 3011
Joined: Sun Sep 29, 2002 1:57 pm
Location: Bishop, California, United States
Thanked: 168 times in 102 posts

Re: Rainier - DC Conditions/Updates

Postby Bark Eater » Wed Jun 06, 2012 5:02 pm

Hey, Deb. I'm heading up next week 6/12-14 and I'll try to let you know upon our return. It does appear that the weather has been a bit hellish for the past several weeks, but the long term forecast for next week is very good. Keep your fingers crossed! Certainly will be interested in any updates between now and when we hit the mtn. next Tuesday.

p.s. - You can also look here for updates: http://mountrainierconditions.blogspot.com/
User Avatar
Bark Eater

 
Posts: 354
Joined: Sat Aug 18, 2007 10:04 pm
Location: Wilmington, Delaware, United States
Thanked: 60 times in 52 posts

Re: Rainier - DC Conditions/Updates

Postby Deb » Sun Jun 10, 2012 1:31 am

Oh wow! Thanks FL Frank in DE. :)
User Avatar
Deb

 
Posts: 3011
Joined: Sun Sep 29, 2002 1:57 pm
Location: Bishop, California, United States
Thanked: 168 times in 102 posts

Re: Rainier - DC Conditions/Updates

Postby Bark Eater » Fri Jun 15, 2012 3:36 pm

Deb, we didn't come anywhere close to the summit. I don't think any other teams summitted this week either. They are calling it "Juneuary" on the mountain. Whiteout with wind driven rain / freezing rain down below. Clear but very high winds (~60 mph) and avy danger up high. Route to Muir is nicely wanded up the snowfield. Hope conditions will improve by the time you get there.
User Avatar
Bark Eater

 
Posts: 354
Joined: Sat Aug 18, 2007 10:04 pm
Location: Wilmington, Delaware, United States
Thanked: 60 times in 52 posts

The following user would like to thank Bark Eater for this post
Deb

Re: Rainier - DC Conditions/Updates

Postby ExcitableBoy » Fri Jun 15, 2012 3:46 pm

Conditions in June are typically 50/50 at worst. This has been an unusally crappy June. As was mentioned earlier, http://mountrainierconditions.blogspot.com/ is the best place for up to date condtions reports on Rainier.
User Avatar
ExcitableBoy

 
Posts: 2876
Joined: Wed Nov 09, 2005 9:33 am
Location: Issaquah, Washington
Thanked: 422 times in 306 posts

Re: Rainier - DC Conditions/Updates

Postby Provotrout » Mon Jun 25, 2012 7:25 pm

Was lucky enough to summit on 6/12 in a brief weather window between high avy danger and deteriorating weather. The summit was socked in, but conditions were relatively clear and cool on most of the upper mountain.

A serac fall occurred on the DC route the day before the attempt before the start of the cleaver (Ingraham ice fall). Walking across a linear gouge in the snow in the am I though it was a crevasse and warned the climber behind me. On the way down in the light of day I could see it was a rivet gouged by an ice block that calved off the glacier a few hundred feet above. The section is visible in the photo below, taken from the flats camp.

Image

The upper mountain above DC was highly variable. Lots of sastrugi and surface varied between 2 foot postholes to supportable crust, the latter being very efficient to move across.

The parallel group was turned around from my understanding due to concerns over descending the variable snow. They had a larger group and helped set the trail/wands up to the cleaver.

Weather set in gradually as we descended, offering a brief period of sun crossing the Cowlitz back to Muir, before turning into a PNW goretex eating downpour all the way from Muir to Paradise. I suppose that was the mountain's way of reminding us how lucky we were to get that brief summit window.

Upper mtn above DC with very little in the way of a trail:

Image
User Avatar
Provotrout

 
Posts: 4
Joined: Thu Nov 10, 2011 7:20 pm
Location: Sandy, Utah, United States
Thanked: 1 time in 1 post

The following user would like to thank Provotrout for this post
billisfree

Re: Rainier - DC Conditions/Updates

Postby GreenMountainBoy » Mon Jun 25, 2012 11:05 pm

Hi Deb, I was able to summit with two other climbers on 6/15. A few thoughts...

The route above Ingraham Flats including the DC and upper Emmons Glacier has a fairly well defined route with very visible wands. That said, there are some fixed lines on the route which IMO serve to do nothing but muck it up. The lines on the DC itself I found super annoying as a few spots, in addition to being absolute DNF areas, are particularly narrow and I noticed climbers getting caught up.

I recall two open crevasses between the flats and DC that required a simple elongated step to cross. The route is heavily crevassed however the vast majority of them remain solidly filled....easily discernable to the knowing eye and just not a place to linger.

The challenges thus far this spring has been the freeze above the DC. For weeks prior to our climb, the upper Emmons was just bulletproof, the type of conditions that make Rainier very treacherous. As I was leaving the mountain I did hear some forecasts for what would have been last week indicating the freezeing level would rise to 15K! This would have sparked some melting which undoubtedly has refrozen...something worth checking out. Sad news of course late last week on this part of the mountain...

I witnessed two small avalanches above the flats as well as some rockfall. The traverse below the icefall directly above Ingraham Flats is easy to spot, this is no place to linger either, especially on the descent if conditions are warming up.

Conditions do appear to be changing very quickly over the past few weeks. Spoiled by SoCal and the "stable" conditions of the Sierras that was definitely the biggest takeaway for me, keep an eye on the conditions and an extra night at Ingraham Flats to wait out weather isn't so terrible if it gives you a safe summit day.
GreenMountainBoy

 
Posts: 22
Joined: Fri May 21, 2010 5:30 pm
Location: Los Angeles, California, United States
Thanked: 5 times in 4 posts

The following user would like to thank GreenMountainBoy for this post
billisfree

Re: Rainier - DC Conditions/Updates

Postby Provotrout » Tue Jun 26, 2012 9:59 pm

Fixed lines above fall-you-die sections on a route traveled by thousands of inexperienced climbers do nothing but muck it up?

If you're a go-getter wake up earlier and charge it w/o fixed lines. They're easy to walk past, and it's typically not a secret when the guided groups are going through the area.
User Avatar
Provotrout

 
Posts: 4
Joined: Thu Nov 10, 2011 7:20 pm
Location: Sandy, Utah, United States
Thanked: 1 time in 1 post

Re: Rainier - DC Conditions/Updates

Postby Deb » Sat Jun 30, 2012 9:14 pm

I am happy to report that our team of 4 summited via DC on 27 Jun, an absolutely beautiful cold clear day with about 20mph! We did pass a huge block of ice just inches off the trail that Provotrout is probably talking about.
Personally, I appreciated the fixed lines due to a non-mountaineer type on our team but the lines were a real slow-down with everyone clipping in and out...blah blah blah.
I swear 40 people summitted that day! Very jazzed about the experience. :)
User Avatar
Deb

 
Posts: 3011
Joined: Sun Sep 29, 2002 1:57 pm
Location: Bishop, California, United States
Thanked: 168 times in 102 posts

Re: Rainier - DC Conditions/Updates

Postby nickmech » Mon Jul 02, 2012 6:33 am

Nice.
User Avatar
nickmech

 
Posts: 199
Joined: Tue Aug 10, 2004 10:50 pm
Location: North Cascades
Thanked: 5 times in 5 posts

Re: Rainier - DC Conditions/Updates

Postby Shane Rathbun » Mon Jul 02, 2012 6:14 pm

User Avatar
Shane Rathbun

 
Posts: 33
Joined: Sat Nov 21, 2009 4:53 pm
Location: Redding, California, United States
Thanked: 22 times in 14 posts

Re: Rainier - DC Conditions/Updates

Postby peakhugger » Fri Aug 03, 2012 9:51 pm

A few photos from July 26-30 available in this trip report:
http://www.summitpost.org/climbing-mount-rainier-in-less-than-a-day-from-sea-level/803682

The crevasses below the DC were really starting to open up, but the ones above were still well covered.
User Avatar
peakhugger

 
Posts: 111
Joined: Wed Feb 27, 2008 9:27 am
Location: Bozeman, Montana, United States
Thanked: 7 times in 7 posts


Return to Pacific Northwest (WA, OR)

 


  • Related topics
    Replies
    Views
    Last post

Who is online

Users browsing this forum: No registered users and 0 guests

© 2006-2013 SummitPost.org. All Rights Reserved.