See Michael's comments below.
It could be a difficult climb, but we were blessed with great perfect conditions and fun people. Great climb.
On Memorial Day I set off with Scott and Chris to tackle LR. We spent the first night on Curtis Ridge and encountered heavy snow conditions before getting to Thumb Rock around 10k on LR by the second night. We made it to 13k the next day before a storm forced us to bivy. We had two more days of bad weather, including about 5 feet of fresh snow, and two more high bivies, the last of which was about 200 below the Liberty Cap summit, although we couldn't see this in the storm. Winds gusting to around 100 mph the last night almost wrecked the tent and forced us out in the gale to fix anchors a couple times. Summit day was beautiful but Scott got frostbite on all his fingers and three toes.
I have been on 7 climbs of Mt. Rainier with 3 succesful summits all via the Dissapointment Cleaver. I have made 2 winter attempts,notably a Jan.1 2000 attempt that was turned away due to high avalanche conditions. I have been unsuccesful on the Kautz and The Gib Ledges. I have also been up to St. Elmos Pass
but turned around due to bad weather.
Weather forced us to bed down at Camp Muir rather than contining on to Igraham Flats Friday night. Snow threatened to shut us down, but by 1am the weather was clear, and we were on the summit by 8am. The sound of a collapsing serac far below was the highlight of the descent.
Our group's speed was rather slow (still faster that the guided groups we got entagled within), so I had enough energy to sprint up the final slope to the summit after crossing the crater. That makes this the 2nd 14er where I've sprinted to the summit :-D
Now I've got to come back and do Liberty Ridge!
Mark, one way to speed up the rope would have been not to use a leash on your ice ax, as everyone had to stop everytime we hit a switchback and you had to change hands. Even on Liberty Ridge I rarely used the leashes on my ice tools, except when leading across snow bridges when a fall was a real possibility.
Left Camp Muir at 12:30 am. Reach the summit before 8 am. Great weather and snow conditions. Good boot path with hand ropes installed the previous day on DC by RMI guides.
From Ipsut campgound. With Tauru Chaw. Snow and ice on the route were great. High winds on top. Descent was torture. Absolutely awesome climb.
Climbed Gib Ledges on Feb 3rd 2009 w/ Jack Barben
Camped the first night at "Camp Condom" and took a leisurely walk up to Ingram Flats and departed from there at midnight. Funny to see the sea of torches at Camp Muir. Stayed at the Flats another night and watched the stream on RMI clients schlepping past our camp as we sipped hot beverages.
World-class mountain, nice neighbor for Seattle. Good skiing too.
Aug 23, 2015 - 10 years later, I made it back up to the top and tapped the summit w/ my good friends Charlie, Mike, & Clay. Beautiful day to be on the high ridges. Crazy amount of ladders and crevasses to maneuver around. Lots of fires and smoke below us and to the West ... made for a surreal experience while ascending from Camp Muir at night.
Disappointed by the Cleaver ... (July, 7, 2005) - Made it to just over 11,000 feet before heavy snow, wind, & snow slab got too bad. Climbed w/ my friend Clay, using RMI as our guide service. Left Muir Hut at 12:30 AM for summit attempt.
Georgeous approach, suspension bridge, lots of grassy knolls near Pyramid Mtn to place an intermediate base camp on. Although frequent rock slides and avalanches that sound like dynamite, daylight climbing was our strategy. At 10,000' realized this was becoming a night climb, decended to climb another day.
Got cliffed out in crampons. Expedient route to the 12000' level. Although steeper, will try to stay on upper glacier next time to make better purchases.
Tough workouts to the top, burnt 10,000 calories, lost 10lbs, experienced euphoria above 12000' all for FREE! Wear a balaclava and everything will be good! This route is do-able solo, but of course safety in numbers.
Climbed with David V. from CA who I met for the first time in Seattle the day before our climb started. Originally we had thought about Lib Ridge but after crossing St. Elmo's pass decided to backtrack and shoot for the Emmons instead, too late in the season for that route. Day 2 went back over St. Elmo's pass and up to Schurman, it was packed so we were told by rangers to camp on the Flats. About ten minutes north of Schurman David, who was leading took a crevasse fall. The crevasse was completely covered by flat snow, and about 10 feet from a wand! He went in 10' at first until I arrested his fall, and as I was trying to get a fluke in he went in another 10' pulling me with him till I really got a good brace. I was WIDE awake now. Built an anchor and was building pulley system when two guys came along so we just muscled him out. Dave was uninjured and had a positive attitude so we camped and slept. Up at midnight, roped up at 2AM. LOTS of parties, maybe 50 climbers were heading up in all. We were third party. Summit about 10AM. My first time over 12,000' and was happy that I felt fine. It was painful because my boots had rubbed the back of my heels and achiles so raw on approach that the skin came off. Uneventful descent, except that the feet and slush were a painful combination. This was my third time to Rainier, but first with good weather, no rain for the entire trip! It really is a big mountain, keep your head down and keep going you will make it!!!
At the summit, this guy in a one-piece GorTex camo-hunting jumpsuit sits down and pulls out a can of Budwiser. Drinks half and shares the other half with the mountain. If you are going to be stupid, at least haul up something good like a Newcastle.
Great Mountain! Had perfect weather. Unbelievable clear, cloudless views in all directions.
This was my first climb to use crampons. Somehow they stayed attached to my feet, despite them being strapped to my adidas trailrunners. I climbed this mountain solo. I summitted around 8pm. I descended to Muir Hut, packed up my gear and made the full descent to the lodge in the full moon. As I approached the Lodge, a dense fog descended upon me creating the illusion that time had stopped and I was stuck in a dream. This was a great climb.
Two friends and I were blessed with great weather to summit on our first attempt of Rainier. We traveled to Protection Camp below Muir and avoided the village planning to practice crevasse rescue the next day but a crazy storm lasting through the morning and a following whiteout kept us in our tent.
The next day we moved camp to Ingraham Flats for a head start for the summit and were able to practice our z-pulley rescue.
Summit day provided immaculate weather and a successful summit!
Much thanks to some friendly and helpful RMI guides who offered some advice and conversation while on the mountain.
Second attempt, after bailing at 13000ft the week before because of high winds.