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suggestions for acclimitization for Rainier

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suggestions for acclimitization for Rainier

Postby CONSIGLIEREG8R » Fri Jul 15, 2011 3:28 am

We arrive in Seattle in the late morning August 7th and are driving straight to Ashford. Our group is from Florida and we are climbing with RMI. The first day of the climb is the 11th but we have "mountain school" on the 10th. Any suggestions on how to get some altitude in before hand? When climbing in Colorado we usually do some mountain biking but there is built in altitude in CO> Any good biking with rental in Ashford? Any other suggestions
Thanks guys and gals?
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Re: suggestions for acclimitization for Rainier

Postby AlexeyD » Fri Jul 15, 2011 4:27 am

CONSIGLIEREG8R wrote:We arrive in Seattle in the late morning August 7th and are driving straight to Ashford. Our group is from Florida and we are climbing with RMI. The first day of the climb is the 11th but we have "mountain school" on the 10th. Any suggestions on how to get some altitude in before hand? When climbing in Colorado we usually do some mountain biking but there is built in altitude in CO> Any good biking with rental in Ashford? Any other suggestions
Thanks guys and gals?


The thing about Rainier is that it's not exactly like Colorado....it's a 14er that rises above land that is almost at sea level. Terrain in the Cascades in general becomes steep, rugged and snow-covered well before any kind of altitude useful for acclimatization. A mountain bike might get you to somewhere between 5 and 6 thousand feet, max, which is not exactly useful for acclimatization purposes. Hiking nearby peaks will only be of marginal use, as they are in the 6-8k range. The only mountains in the wider region hat are high enough to serve as acclimatization hikes (i.e. Hood, Adams, Glacier Peak) are all major commitments in and of themselves. Thus, your best bet for acclimatization or Rainier is to spend as much time as possible on Rainier itself. For example, you can get there early and hike up to Camp Muir (~10k feet) and maybe spend a night there or part way up. It's a pretty snowy hike, but does not involve glacier travel and the route is usually wanded and thus easy to follow, plus there are usually many other people going up. That is all I can think of right now, as Muir is about as high as you can get on Rainier without venturing onto glaciers.
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Re: suggestions for acclimitization for Rainier

Postby JHH60 » Fri Jul 15, 2011 5:19 am

There's a hotel at the Paradise visitor center at 5000ish' so you could stay there for a couple of days and hike up to the Muir snowfield at 10K' as AlexeyD mentioned. Or you could just hang out in Ashford, rest, get used to the time zone change, shop for last minute gear at Whittaker Mountaineering, and get well hydrated, which would probably work as well.
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Re: suggestions for acclimitization for Rainier

Postby AlexeyD » Fri Jul 15, 2011 8:51 pm

Moral of the story: for logistical and geographic reasons, Rainier is very poorly-suited for a proper acclimatization schedule - a fact that is perhaps insufficiently emphasized when the mountain's relative difficulty is described.
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