Being from Michigan, and having the tallest 'peak' at 1979 ft, and only being able to rock climb outdoors every few months, Steve & I decided to attempt to bagg our first Mountain!
I'm not sure if it was rocking climbing that got me into Mountaineering, or if it was ITALIC TEXT HERE
Into Thin AirITALIC TEXT HERE
. Either way, I am now a strong Mountaineer looking for the next expedition to join and next route to ascend.
Muir Snowfield & Camp Muir
Since we climbed with Alpine Ascent International, we were led up the Muir Snowfield, past some marmots, and we had a shed at Camp Muir.
We did not sleep in the 'barracks' as I've heard it called...I was a bit upset because I have heard stories about the names carved into the posts there with names such as Lou W, Craig Van Hoy, Ed V & Scott Fisher.
Cathedral Gap & High Camp
After some Arrest Training, we made our way up through Cathedral Gap to high camp on the Ingreham Flats at 11,500 ft.
Some of the Seracs & Crevasses, as Craig Van Hoy states, matched that in the Khumbu region in Nepal. I somehow doubted this, but just the sight of these natural phenomenons made me eternally grateful to witness this and helped me understand why some people don't work in an office all day long.
DC & our turnaround
Our Summit run, initially, was bound to begin at 2:00 AM. I awoke at midnight to wind, rain, snow, rock falls & avalanches.
Finally Craig got us up at 4:00 AM for a Summit discussion. Since nearly a foot of new powder fell overnight, we were climbing up the Cleaver instead of the glacier.
We got to the top of the Cleaver in nearly a white out. The guides then had a meeting to discuss our options. 2 groups of the strongest were going to sprint to the top for a 'hero shot' and 2 groups of the weakest were going down.
We started marching up in complete white out conditions and wind up to 50 mph. Mount Rainier did not want us to make it up today!!
Finally, at 12,638 ft, we decided to turn it around and head back down.
Climbing down is half of the battle when Mountaineering, so we took this as important as climbing up!
On the snowfield we turned around for a shot of Rainier with the wind whipping around the head of the Mountain, absolutely beautiful!
We also ran into Eric S. on the snowfield. Who climbed Everest with Craig Van Hoy & Ed V. Eric told us that in a sense it was good that we didn't get to the top, this told us that we were NOT invincable and it is okay to turn around before you get to the top. I understand where Eric is coming from because the man has climbed Everest, but has also turned around 500 ft from the top of Everest and he is still here to speak about it...
This trip was definitely a kick-start to my Mountaineering career!
I climbed the trip with a fellow Rock Climbing and friend from college Steve. Met some great friends on the trip, Kunal & Mark, who are from Georgia and we are in talks of our future climbs. So definitely some future climbing partners were found on this trip!
I am already in the works of a Denali Prep Course in Alaska, a winter ascent of Mount Washington, New Hampshire and the Colorado 14ers.
I now understand why John Muir left Europe for the West...
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