Climbed with Mark under pretty much perfect conditions - a very lucky weather window.
Approached from Paradise on Friday via the lower Nisqually and Wilson glaciers (the Fan looked like it had a lot of debris in it) and camped around 10300' on the western edge of the Turtle.
Got a 4am start on Saturday, reached 11000' by 5 where we found ropes slung around boulders to descend to the start of the Kautz (about 20' drop down and then a traverse across gully below the ice cliff). Lower pitch was still just hard snow - easy to climb & descend. Second pitch was exposed glacier ice, nice and solid for screws, but took picks & points well. We pitched out this section, perhaps 40m of ice at around 40-50 degrees at most ? Lots of options for fun here - many good features to rest on and multiple variations. I led this pitch with about 3-4 screws (22cm) and basically went straight up the most obvious line.
Continued on up to Wapowety Cleaver and from there on to the summit crater, atop the summit by around 10:45am. There were some nice deep crevasses to cross, but good snowbridges and nothing really wide yet. The upper part from the top of the second pitch on to the summit was pretty well flagged with an easy-to-follow boot track.
The descent was the crux - back at the ice pitch we found an anchor in snow just above (probably buried pickets). This turned out to be about 75m from the base, and we only had a single 50m rope, so we rapped three times, using some Ti leaver screws (probably not very secure) and an ice pinnacle (bomber) as anchors. Probably could have made a couple of v-threads, but I was a bit worried about that with all the water running down the ice in the afternoon (probably a toss-up with the leaver screws though).
Returned to camp in the afternoon and decided to stay an extra night and hike out Sunday, which started out a bit windier and cloudier, but got hot and sunny down low.
Recommended eats in Ashford: Highlander Restaurant :)
July, 2005: attempted the Emmons route with a fairly weak team and poor weather. Took a long time to get up the Inter glacier and dragged into Camp Schurman, where we spent the night in a storm and then turned around the next day. The most fun part though was the 3rd class choss scramble down to the Emmons glacier from Camp Curtis (the "climber's trail" we'd read about was apparently in bad shape).
Summited with RMI on 6/19/06. Beautiful weather/conditions above 8,000 ft albeit cold on the upper mountain. We were fortunate and only had 9 people in our group. The hut was downright luxurious with so few people. We were the first people to summit today after passing many groups. Take that all you non-guided climbers. ;)
I cannot believe I did it. This mountin is huge!!!
I flew from Colorado to Seattle on the 28th to meet up with a group of 7 from Utah. Took the remainder of the the day to get to Camp Muir. At Camp Muir we rested on Thursday the 29th and then began our Summit bid on the 30th at 12:40am. The weather was perfect and very warm. We had to leave a little early due to the soft snow conditions. What a beautiful mountain and a great view and experience. See my Pics by clicking on my profile.
Descended via DC, couldn't find the other way in white out...
Would never do it again though.
Went up Emmons glacier. Mostly selected our own path below bergschrund (~13,200 ft). Above this, a path was beaten in and heaviley wanded to summit, which allowed us to make it in whiteout conditions. Too bad I missed the views, ~30 m visibility.
Finally kicked her in the nards! Third times a charm. High winds and low visibilty on the summit day, but went off without a hitch. Linked up an alternate variation below the seracs on emmons and up the winthrop ridge then connected back up with the upper emmons below the bergschrund.
Made a quick hike into Glacier Basin on 6/30, then a strenuous 9-hour day under perfect blue skies to the bivy site at Thumb Rock on 7/1. Summit day on 7/2 began clear but we became enveloped in clouds on the upper ridge, and navigated to the summit in near-zero visibility conditions by map/GPS. As Brian said, this is an incredible route which fully lives up to its classic reputation.
Incredible route; fully deserving of its classic reputation. Climbed with Joe Bullough June 30th to July 2nd. The lower portion of the route, up to Thumb Rock, is suffering from the summer's heat and some snow bridges are near failure, but the upper route is in fine shape and the climbing excellent. We topped out in whiteout conditions and had to navigate the summit and the descent by map and GPS.
great climb. no views on the summit, white out conditions. Great!
Two day ascent of the DC. Beautiful weather.
Summited with a great group of climbing buddies. Great weather and breathtaking scenery. Some slow groups caused a bottleneck at the cleaver because each person was clipping into a fixed line. We wasted an hour waiting behind them, so when they rested at the top of the cleaver we were able to get past them. Other than that frustration, the climb was tons of fun. My first time in glacier terrain. I loved it. I plan on returning to Rainier often to try other routes.
kick ass cimb! man what a route, long sustained FUN climbing. weather was clear, sort of warm which meant some serious rock fall (mostly down low). the upper ridge was in great Alpine Ice shape and seemed to just keep going on forever. super classic! calve burner!
Climbed Rainier via the easier Emmons Glacier, but it is a serious haul with 10600' of vertical! Weather was perfect other than high winds up high. Crevasse danger was minimal early in the season. It took us 7.5 hrs to reach the crater rim from Schurman, a serious calf burner!
There are some mighty big seracs on this mountain:)
Very nice snow conditions; weather was flawless as well [aside from high winds near the summit]. Someone just in front of us fell about 20 ft into a crevasse while we were descending Ingraham. Plunged to the tune of no serious injuries fortunately, as his fall was arrested by his veteran-climber brother, and rescue was facilitated by several groups of canadians.
Climbed it in two days, no guide. Fun route but too much traffic. Will pick less travelled route on next trip. Awesome scenery.
I went on the 5 day RMI camp Muir seminar. It was great fun and we had some really great guides. It took are group a just under 11 hours roundtrip from camp Muir to reach columbia crest
(4,392M) summit. This was a great trip.
Straight up, I will never again climb with RMI. I'm not sure what is more stupid, sending an unscreened team of newbies up a scree pile in crampons, or doubling the pace at 13,000 ft. to make up for lost time. Needless to say, no one on my rope summitted, but I did get the satisfaction of seeing our "leader" fall on his face down-climbing the scree I questioned him on going up. What a bone head operation. I would have easily summitted had he not changed the pace after everyone else had dropped off; in hind-sight, I think he did it on purpose so we wouldn't be just two on a rope.
See Michael's comments below.
It could be a difficult climb, but we were blessed with great perfect conditions and fun people. Great climb.