An awesome mountain. Unusually warm weather and very high winds. I climbed with just one other person and would have had more confidence with a more experienced team. His summit feaver was making me a little leery. I will be climbing Rainier again late this season or early next, with the cooler temperatures and more snow.
Our group of 3 left Emmons Flats (9800 ft) at 1:15 am and we reached the top of Columbia Crest at 7:30 am. In general, conditions were good, except for the intermittent blasts of intense wind and the warmish temps. We opted for traversing from the Emmons route towards the Disappointment Cleaver route which joined the DC route near 13,500 ft or so. The winds out of the west intensified throughout the day and turned around many parties. Between 11,000 and 12,500 ft, the whipping clouds soaked us and higher up we became thoroughly coated in ice. Glasses and goggles iced up so badly that they were worthless, even with frequent wipes. The winds on the crater rim were incredible, less so across the crater itself and negligible on the lee side of the rim. We reached our tent at 10:45 am after being blasted every few minutes or so by wind (up to 50-60? mph requiring us to stop and brace ourselves) and ice pellets, which filled in the track and quickly turned into slush. Each one of us punched through at least up to the ankle, inspite of our best intentions. In many places the boot track is not the safest or best line, particularly with the intense melting out of snow bridges and opening up of crevasses.
Climbed with David Coughlin & Bob Walsh.
Excellent Weather, a few weak snow bridges, nice views of Adams and Hood, like an oven coming down
Awesome weather - clear skies 80-mile visibility. Start from Paradise, camp at Ingraham Flats. Windy night with loud rockfall, 12:30 am departure for summit. Cleaver very sketchy due to melt, so Ingraham direct was route of choice of guide services, we followed them. Glacial ice/snow of dubious quality due to unseasonably warm weather. Large, scary, overhanging seracs, and two crevasse crossings on guide-service ladders. Campers above Cleaver had been buffeted by winds overnight. Haggered-looking climbers here. Ingraham Glacier berschrund traverse only major objective danger. 12-inch wide footledge, 90+ foot icewall, 60+ foot traverse, 500+ foot drop into serac field down 80-degree snow slope. Scary and unnerving, but exciting, too. Grueling, never-ending, 30-degree sloping switchbacks lead to summit, 10:00 am. No walk to Western crater rim to sign guestbook. Departed summit roughly 15 minutes after arrival. Long, very tedious, trek to high camp. Tent blown free of glacier and into crevasse (no extraction). On to Camp Muir and thence back to Paradise. Incredible work-out, absolute exhaustion and euphoria. An incredible adventure. Bring snow flukes for your tent!
First climbed with Noonan via the Kautz. Spent first night just above the turtle then 2nd at camp hazard. Traversed into chute then easy conditions - frozen suncups. Summited at dawn. Second ascent with Peter & Matt via Emmons. Both times cold and windy on top.
After camping at Glacier basin and then on Steamboat Prow, we turned around at 13400' due to getting pummeled by a quick forming lenticular cloud. With the winds picking up and visibility dropping drastically we aborted our attempt. Hindsight says we should have continued because it cleared about an hour or so later, but better caution on the safer side. After another night on Steamboat Prow we descended the next day out to the trailhead. Next time!
"Summitted Mt. Rainier with three friends, via the Emmons Glacier route, after spending two days holed up at Schurman Camp by high winds and periodic whiteouts. The weather on summit day was absolutely spectacular!!! Skies were clear and the winds were light to moderate. The route at that time was very straight forward, straight up the glacier to the bergshrund and then right to a snow bridge, then up to the summit crater. The route was amazingly un-crevassed, but these conditions will change as warmer weather melts the overlying snow pack. Early morning snow conditions were perfect for cramponing, however by late morning and early afternoon crampons were a definite drawback. The wet snow balled between the crampon teeth and increased the risk of falling. Our early morning acent up "the Corridor" was greeted by a erie, yet spectacular, waning red crecent moon rising in the east. It turned out to be a good omen as our group, and another group of two climbers, summitted and returned to camp safely. "
got to bergschrund at 13,850 feet on the uppermost part of the Kautz Route (the section on the upper Nisqually Glacier). Quite a trip - almost got hit by icefall on the descent gully to the Kautz Ice Chute; rappelled the chute in the dark with just one headlamp. Glad to be alive...
greetings to Greg if you're reading this :)
Fantastic climb and a great way to summit the mountain. Less congested and very straight forward.
I climbed it with a buddy of mine. We roped up with two climbers that we met from California. We had great weather and near perfect climbing conditions. Spectacular views. We were nervous as five climbers had died the previous two weeks. The Park Rangers were stressing caution, we had never done the route, and we went without RMI Guides. No problem.
It isn't very satisfying to write about a mountain we failed to summit but after all the deaths this year it doesn't bother me to admit we were overly cautious. The weather was great and there was no reason for us to not have summited. But because we got a late start from Muir (2:02 am) and sat in a traffic jam on Ingram Flats (for over an hour) there was no way we were going to make it up and back in a reasonable amount of time.
Words of advice:
Don't leave after the RMI guide groups;
Try to sleep more than 2 hours (six would have been nice);
Don't expect to be able to pass other rope teams on the glacier (if it is sketchy, people will be using running belays and moving very slowly over narrow snow bridges, so you have to wait your turn);
Boil your drinking water before, not after cooking beans and rice in your pot;
Safety first, using every piece of protection and all the running belays is slow but it beats falling off the mountain;
Use lots and lots of sunscreen;
Remember to save some energy for the decent. If you burn yourself out on a push to the summit and have nothing left, getting back through the Ingram Glacier and Cathedral Gap will not be fun or safe.
I will be back next year for another attempt and I will have learned a lot from this year's mistakes...
an epic...i'll have to write a trip report for this one. 3+ feet of snow, wind, 36 hours in a tent at high camp, incredible descent w/ near-death avalanche incident along the way, and more. The mountain really kicked our ass...
very nice trip, not many people. The route was in surprisingly good shape for this late in the season. Unusually cold weather for this time of year and some snowfall overnight - didnt cause any problems, but enough to make the mountain look white, pristine and very alpine in character. Camped up near the summit - the overnight temperature dropped to about -15 fahrenheit (MINUS fifteen, thats right) but there was no wind at all so it wasnt too bad.
Climbed Gib Ledges the day before, today had much better weather. Ingraham Direct was in great shape.
Gib Ledges was in good shape, but the weather deteriorated above 13,000 feet.
My first 14'er. Also where I realised that altitude sickness feels a lot like mono.
I managed to avoid contracting High Altitiude Espresso Edema on this, my second attempt to conquer the mountain
I even managed to avoid betting mashed or swallowed whole by my mutinous climbing partners who were crazed for starch and carbs!
Perseverance pays off - read all about my adventures by checking out Washington State in the Travel Archive of my website: www.spudstravels.com
This was my first real mountaineering experience. Attended RMI Expedition Seminar and spent five days on the mountain. Had perfect weather and an overall GREAT experience! Views of Adams, St. Helens, Hood, and Jefferson fueled the fire to return for more!
Our group did not stay at Camp Muir and instead made camps on the Muir Snowfield @ ~7,700' & 9,600' Camp Protectio ("Camp Condom"). Both are excellent sites if it is desired to avoid the crowds at Camp Muir.
A wonderful trip, I will definitely be making more attempts!