Whew, what a haul! Day 1 consisted of a pleasant march into Glacier Basin and a slog up the Inter and Emmons glaciers into camp Schurman. Summit day started at 1:00 AM standing in line at the base of the Corridor going slower than a checkout stand at Walmart. The parade finally broke apart at 11,000 and we were free to set our own pace.
The route this year went up the Corridor to about 12K and then traversed around the bergie to the north all the way to the saddle between Columbia Crest and Liberty Cap. Then finally turned toward the summit and ended with a 400 foot scree slog. Yum!
Off the summit by 9:30 and back in camp 5 hours later for a much needed nap.
The route was in excellent shape and easily navigated due to the presence of a 2 foot deep trench and about 10,000 wands. Hard to pass other teams though, but things thinned out up high.
Climbed with RMI as part of the Climb for Clean Air, a fund raiser for the American Lung Association of Washington. I raised $4338 for them. This was not the steepest climb I have done, but it was one of the most fulfilling experiences of my life. Since most of my group had dropped by the wayside our guide led my friend Russ and I on a little different route and we gained the crater rim on the north rather than the usual east side.
Great climb, Conditions were Fantastic!
The wind was blowin pretty hard on summit day though.
My second attempt at Rainier met with perfect conditions and beautiful weather. Climbed with fellow SP'ers: Kris, Janusz, Shannon, Dave & Ben (all from California). Four of us made it to the summit. This route was far less traveled than DC.
Did the climb roundtrip from the White River Campground in under 16 hours. 10,230 vertical feet of awesome climbing. See my trip report for a full detail of the climb. I can see now why so many people love this mountain. It was a glorious day to be on the side of the mountain!
Of 23 people descending during our ascending 21 didn't make it yet there were perfect conditions. Wonderful to be far away from DC and Camp Muir and its citizens. Ice shoot was great. 60 degree alpine ice for 200m. Ice fall off the Ice Cliff was epic. Couldn't pick a better time to climb. If you want something a little harder with way less people then hit up Kautz.
5 inches of snow fell on Sunday. Perfect conditions on Monday. Camped at Ingraham Flats. Serac band at about 13,000 feet pushed our team far to the right to the top of the Emmons Glacier. Had the summit to ourselves for 45 minutes at about 7 am. Passed several teams on the way down, some coming from Camp Shurman and some from Camp Muir.
Climbed with Miguel, Alex and Murray. Turned back before reaching the top of the cleaver. Bad weather with high winds, lightning and poor visability were the deciding factors that prompted us to turn back to Camp Muir. At least 4 other teams also turned back. May try again latter this summer, if not, it's on the schedual for 2004.
July 2, 2001 - Disappointment Cleaver.
Climbed with "TexasClimber" and with RMI (expedition seminar). 7 hour ascent (3am-10am) to the summit and a 4 hour slog back to high camp. Really good weather with some high winds approaching the crater.
June 6, 2002 - Emmons Glacier.
High camp at Camp Schurman. The Mountain was in pristine condition this early in the season. Climbed for 3.5 hours (12:30am-4am) to 12,500 ft and spun due to high winds and inclement weather. But boy what a sunrise above the could deck that we witnessed. Though I didn't know at the time, two climbers perished and three had to be rescued from a crevasse that day on the DC route. It was definitley not hospitable climbing conditions.
I went with RMI. This was a tough but exciting climb. See trip report for details.
Martin, Justin, Brandon and I reached the summit via the Ingraham Direct around 7AM on May 26, 2003. I found this route to be more shorter, yet more technically challeged versus the DC. It you like big hanging ice in your route, visit Rainier in May and check out the Ingraham Glacier Direct. My Memorial Day weekend at Rainier was so intense that I wrote a trip report about it. It's titleled "Wake Up Call on the Ingraham Glacier Direct!" Make sure to read it especially if you are a Rainier first timer or just interest in climbing this route.
Summited via the DC with 6 people (2 RMI guides, 4 clients) in two rope teams of 3. The climb was great! The weather was gorgeous. We started below Muir on our alpine ascent. I conserved my energy for the descent by avoiding the crater trek to the high point of the mountain. I was impressed by the massive nature of the crater area! You could spend a day exploring it!
Justin, Brandon, Erricos, and I hiked up to Muir on Saturday morning, then waited out the bad weather for 36 hours. We received clear skies and cold temps when we left for the summit at 1:40 AM on Memorial Day.
The first 3,000 feet of the climb went very quickly and we rapidly passed several other groups. I came down with AMS at about 13,500 feet while bonked from a lack of appitite, and dehydrated because our water was frozen solid. I've never had to dig as deep physically in my life just to keep putting one more foot forward. The summit finally arrived around 7:00 with zero degree temps and very strong winds, as a lenticular had formed.
On the descent, Erricos slipped down a slope into a crevasse. I took the fall by diving unto the snow bridge of a nearby gigantic crevasse to brace myself. Justin and Brandon attempted an extraction, while I held my end. Eventually, after nearly 30 minutes for struggling, we lowered Erricos down (thank god it was a small crevasse). He then rapped down to the path below, after we set up our second rope as a fixed line. This little incident definately made the climb more exciting.
The rest of the descent wasn't bad, and the Muir snowfield descent had about 1,500 feet of glissading. A very interesting trip.
1995 Cleaver Rt., with Doug Churchhill
1996 Emmons Rt., with Jeff Slepski and Tim
Also did the Cleaver Rt., twice in the next week
1997 Emmons Rt., with wife Melody, John @ Evan Holt
1998 Cleaver Rt., with Lewis Gunn and Andrea
2004 Cleaver Rt., with Oliver Jones
2006 Liberty Ridge with Pete Kirkham and Don Pusateri
2008 Cleaver Rt., with Jeff Slepski, Pete Kirkham, Don Pusateri,
A very interesting place, always changing and very dangerous.
Beautiful weather on the way up, 50 mph winds on the summit. The snow bridges were all fine. We saw a BIG chunk of ice fall downhill from us on Ingraham which scared the hell out of us, but we were done with most of the descent by then.
Summited twice in 2001 and 2002 over Independence Day weekend. Great weather both times. Want to come back this year again, via different route.
Weathered off the DC with Pete and Jim. Returned the next week with Pete and Andy for calm grey weather and lengthy end runs. Packed lighter and enjoyed the hike to Glacier Basin. On the summit by 10:45 am after a bivy near the Turtle.
No summit, but climbed chute twice in one day.
With Marty Hoey as lead rope.
Jah, das ist recht meine frauleins, ich climbe der Fuhrers Finger und ich used eine Munter hitch to belay Herr Knudsen off the Kautz kopf-wall.
A nice day and the route was pretty sweet too. Those pickets left next to the traverse under the ugly cliff looked mighty tempting to claim as booty, except they were attached with cord like a fixed line :(
Nice "cave" at the 9200ft bivy. Also nice checking out the Chinook circling over the DC area for the whole day.