Must do by anyone interested. We went with RMI via Camp Muir.
Due to Covid-19, many plans were canceled opening up a spot for my son and me to climb on an Alpine Ascents expedition. The guides were extremely helpful and encouraging which made our trip very enjoyable and ultimately successful. A snow bridge collapsed the day before our summit bid causing two other parties to turn around at 12,800 ft. So two of the guides spent the whole day creating a new route around the crevasse and placing protection.
Our group was friendly and motivated. 7 of the 8 summitted despite strong winds and tough conditions. The climb was definitely a challenge mentally and physically, but our preparation was just enough to make it safely. Glossaries down the snow field was a lot of fun. High Point #14 for me.
Paradise (11th) -> Low Camp (12th) -> High Camp (13th) -> Summit at 5:40 AM on the 14th and back down to Paradise by 3 PM.
White River, Glacier Basin, Inter Glacier, Camp Curtis, Summit sunrise at 7:10 AM. Climbed with Rusty, Eric, Daniel, and Vlad.
First ascent from the north to Steamboat Prow, camped overnite, then over the top and down the Muir side in 2 days. Watched the smoldering ash clouds rolling out of Mt St Helens. Since then have been to the summit several more times. On one trip skied from just below the Emmons Glacier upper bergschrund. Always a great hike.
There's something super special about Mt Rainier. Life Changing
2nd attempt - SUCCESS!
Crazy to think a Bostonian went to Seattle twice in a span of a few weeks, but that's determination for you.
Day 1 - climb to Camp Muir... left Paradise at 930AM, got there at 230PM
Day 2 - left Camp Muir at 1230 PM, summit at 7AM!!! then back to Paradise at 330PM.
One of the hardest state highpoints to reach, but this time around was a success! Crazy to think I only have 3 to go.
1st attempt... non successful :( Got chased off due to heavy winds and eventual snowstorm at 13,100 feet.
But, it was a great trip nonetheless... gave me more experience, for what would come in a few weeks...
Summit of Mount Rainier via the Emmons Glacier. Weather was perfect. Multiple crevasses to pass. Snow bridges beginning to collapse. The route is firm early in the AM, however, the snow softens during the day making the going down more challenging. Expect the route, especially navigating the crevasses to change. We used pickets placed by other parties for safety/belay while passing, crossing, and jumping a few crevasses. The Emmons route is longer than the Disappointment Cleaver (DC) route and had many crevasses to traverse - across snow bridges, and some by sketchy single track boot paths cut above in the snow walls. The route has a very long traverse towards Liberty Cap, before turning upwards to a final 800+ foot neve snow wall/hill, creating the disillusionment of a closer summit. The benefit is that you top out at the true summit at Columbia Crest at 14,411 ft, vs. needing to traverse the crater rim for the true summit from other routes. There were good paths circumnavigating the crater rim. It was exceptionally clear, yet windy - 30-40 mph, and super cold, so we opted to not find the summit register, and make our way down to minimize changes in the route due to warming conditions. Unlike the DC, there is minimal exposure to rock on this route - however, it is a long hike up Glacier Basin via the Inner Glacier to Camp Sherman, and the summit push is about an additional 1100 feet vs. other routes from Camp Muir. Camp Sherman is a tent only site, with a small ranger station and two camp toilets. There was a small glacial melt pond we used to filter water, and room for about 20+ tents. There are also many broken up and deep crevasses just outside of the camp area, so take care when walking around. Our party consisted of Mark Hadland, Kevin Hall, Marco Sanchez Ponce, Aga Fine - guided by Zach Keskinen and Jake Skeen of Mountain Madness.
I paid my way through college guiding this bad boy...summitted over 30+ times. Should probably go back again...but it's an ass-kicker and not sure I'm ready! :) Sold my cabin in Ashford, spent many, many days/nights hanging out around that town. Weekdays were the best! Weekends stay away! The crowds are horrendous! the worse part of the pristine alpine experience was heading back to your car afterward...amongst the masses of tourist.
Hiked to Camp Muir on the 24th and made summit on the 25th. Must say it was nice going up on a weekday. Still very busy, but I can only imagine what it would look like on a weekend. According to the ranger at Camp Muir, not many people had been making summit for the past few days due to sustained 50+ mph winds. We were lucky enough to get a short weather window before the winds would ramp up again. That said, the weather was beautiful and the route is in good condition. Honestly the scariest part of the route was traversing below the DC when you get off the Ingraham Glacier the way up. People are stepping all above you on loose rock and it is completely dark. Even more dangerous on the way down because people were less careful coming down. A group nearly kicked several toaster sized boulders down on us. The DC was probably the worst part in general. Above the DC there was one ladder used to climb up. Super easy to cross but traffic was crazy here on the way down. I guess people don't know how to climb a ladder... Summit was completely clear with around 20-25 mph winds. Pro tip: Either go way before or way after the guides. They like to keep all of their ropes teams together so it can slow things down when you get caught around them.
Camp Schurman, Emmons Glacier route.
Highpoint 44. Last hard highpoint! Party of 3 with Alex and Andrew, with an overnight at Camp Muir. Great experience!
Best glissading of my entire life. 10/10
Took our time with one night at Muir and one night on Ingram Flats - I highly recommend taking the extra day and just kicking back to enjoy the sights! The route on this one was in a bit gnarlier shape than I had seen it in years past.
Great two day climb, snowstorm at the summit, beautiful snow conditions.
Ingraham Direct route.
There was room in the hut at Camp Muir, so we opted for it instead of bivy bags and tents.
Not much more to add from other reports. I see Ingraham Direct was still used a couple weeks after we were there which surprised me. The ladders barely stretch across the crevasse crossings so it will not be much longer before parties will be diverted to Disappointment Cleaver.
Other than that I could not have asked for a better day to finally get up there.
Super bluebird day. Wasted too much time monkeying around with layers and traction, but had a ball.