This was a good alternative route for the D.C. route. We had good weather, except for fairly strong winds for 2 out of the 3 days. We camped the first night at Curtis, then had a very short hike up to Schurman, which made for an easy day before our summit attempt. Strong winds made reaching the summit a real struggle. After a long hike back to The White River Campground, we were all pretty exhausted & quite ready for a good Mexican dinner!
Climbed in a one day push leaving paradise at about 11pm. Left Camp Muir by 2:30am, summit by 8:00 or so and back down to Paradise by afternoon. Long day, but easier with 15 - 20lb packs than the normal style of 2-3 day assaults.
It was a dream come true and possibly the most physically challenging thing I have ever done in my life. I loved every moment of it!
Started out Friday evening, camped near the head of Glacier Basin. Hiked up to Camp Schurman Saturday, then Summitted on Sunday. A clear, sunny day and the best glissade ever from 12,500' back to high camp, and all the way down Interglacier...made possible by unusually heavy snowfall.
My first big mountain climb, I headed up the Furhur Finger with a more experienced partner but still made lots of newbie mistakes - his headlamp batteries died, I forgot to sunscreen the underside of my nose, we burned our water (which tastes terrible, so we ended up dehydrated). Climbing the finger before sunrise was amazing because we were in the middle of a meteor shower, and I saw a few every time I looked up. My strongest impression of the climb was that although this is supposedly the "most direct route to the summit from paradise" it kept going, and going, and going. I was beat by the summit. Clouds came in and we had 0 visibility on the summit, and ended up traversing around the summit crater for a while 'till we found the trough from the DC route. After dropping our packs for the quick jaunt to the summit register, we did a carry-over, and ended up descending the DC route.
The second time I climbed Rainier, I was still eager to avoid the crowds on the DC route, but I wanted to see some new routes, so we decided to head up the Kautz Glacier. The Nisqually Glacier was too broken up to cross that late in the season, so we ended up going from Van Trump falls instead. We camped below Camp Hazard (the picture), which was a good thing because just as we were settling in, a train-car sized block of ice calved off the Kautz and fell right on Camp Hazard.
The next morning, rather than losing altitude by dropping into the normal route chute to the west of Camp Hazard, we decided to play with our ice axes a bit and try a direct route up the glacier, to the East. After seeing the ice calf off the previous evening, we didn't screw around under that cliff, but it was some fun technical ice. Once we were up on the Kautz Glacier proper, we decided to deviate west from the normal route to summit via Point Success. It made the top snow fields a bit longer and a bit steeper, but pretty gratifying. Once again, climbing in August, we ditched the tent but did a carryover with our sleeping bags and other gear, descending via the DC route.
I will always think that the hardest part of climbing Rainier is those wooden steps on the way back down into paradise - they're always just not quite the right size for me to take two steps, and too big for one.
Had looked forward to climbing this mountain for a few years and wanted to make sure that I was successful, so we decided to ensure our success by taking a slow approach. I had just climbed Shasta three weeks before and felt very strong in doing so after being turned around last year due to fatigue. My partners and I drove up to the mountain and stayed the night in the Cougar campground and got a early start. OUr plan was to go to Camp Muir eventhough we did not have a camping permit until the next night but we thought we would give it a try anyways. After a few hours with the ever so heavy packs we were at Anvil Rock and decided to go ahead and make a camp there. We found a little shelter out of the wind and settled down to a good nights rest.
The next morning we were up and out of there and at Camp Muir in about an hour. We scoped our camping prospects and set up our tents and waited for the rest of our party to join us. Around noon they began arriving and we helped them with their setups since they had come all the way from Paradise they were feeling it a little more than we were. After discussion on our plan we decided to continue to take it easy and move to Ingraham flats the next day.
The next morning we broke down camp and roped up. This was the first time that I had ever crossed glaciers and found it exhilerating. We had two rope teams the first with four and ours with three. I brought up the rear just so I could watch what was going on. About two hours later we were at the flats. It was somewhat crowded so we had to dig out our own tent platforms. Nothing like work at 11000'. Our plan was to head out at midnight in hopes of beating the RMI teams that were coming from Camp Muir.
Midnight came way too fast because I was sleeping like a baby but nonetheless was fired up to get going. Weather looked outstanding and there was only a slight breeze. We began pretty strong as we traversed across the Ingraham Glacier and gained the Cleaver. It was pretty cool watching the sparks come off of the crampons as we negotiated the rocks. By the time we had reached the top of the cleaver I was feeling strong and wanted to move quicker but I was last on theline so I found it hard to get into a rhythm. The wind had started to pick up and our breaks became shorter. At about 13500' the middle man in our rope team began to struggle. I watched him weave all over the place and became somewhat concerned. I took the picket he was carrying as well as spare water that he had in hopes of lightening his load wchich seemed to help him some. In addition I took in some of the rope so that I could coach him along. Unfortunately he continued to get worse. We were forced to stop. Our other rope tema was ahead of us by 10 minutes or so and we let them know our situation. We decided that we would stake him off and pick him up on the way down. He really didn't like this idea but we wanted to summit and the risk was minimal. After some continued coaxing and shear determination he got up and continued on. Shortly after we gained the crater im. We could see our party on the other side. We radioed them and they had been waiting for us so that we could all summit together at the same time-what a team! 15 minutes later we were standing on Columbia crest 14411'. We were the first group to summit that day and had it to ourselves. I was somewhat disappointed by how easy it had been for me but I had worked hard all season climbing and getting in shape. After pictures were taken and the celebratory Tibetan prayer flags were unrolled we descended back down to our camp at Ingraham Flats. After resting for a few hours, I decided I wanted to explore some. I set up an anchor and was going to rappel down into a huge crevasse and then prussik out but my activity intrigued my team mates and we ended up hauling each other up with a 9:1 pulley system. What an experience!
The next morning we broke camp and roped up to descend down to Camp Muir where we unroped. It was cool to be able to say that we had summited as people asked as we came down. What a Fourth of July Weekend!
Climbed to the summit with RMI Guides Alex Van Steen, Dave Hanning, and Ryan McGriff as part of a 6-day Expedition Seminar.
After a day of practicing cramponing and self-arrest techniques, we set off from Paradise with 50-60 lb packs. We made slow progress up the Muir Snowfield and crossed over onto the Paradise Glacier to establish our first camp at about 8,700 ft. At this camp, we got some practice building various types of snow anchors with an abundance of criticism from Alex.
The next day we moved up to Camp Muir, where we roped up and headed up over Cathedral Rocks. Upon reaching Ingraham Flats, we dropped down onto the Emmons Glacier and established our second camp at 10,600 ft. Our team was contemplating a summit attempt up the Emmons Shoulder, so we spent the afternoon scouting the route and kicking steps up the steep sections which we'd be faced with in the early-morning cold.
When we got back down to camp, several members of our team felt they were too tired to attempt the summit the next morning, so we elected to take a rest day for Crevasse Rescue training and general lounging. It was a good day. That night we had a meeting to discuss our plans for the summit. We decided to abandon the Emmons Shoulder, since we were uncertain of the condition on the upper portion of the route. Instead, we decided to climb the Emmons Glacier and traverse across to join DC from the opposite side from which it is usually approached.
The traverse and climb up to DC proved treacherous and required a running belay to protect against a fall into the GAPING crevasses directly below. Getting up onto the Cleaver involved some steep climbing over very loose scree. We all took a much needed rest upon gaining the Cleaver.
We then followed DC up to 12,500 ft where we exited onto the Ingraham Glacier to follow the Normal Route to the summit. Being late in the season, there were lots of exposed crevasses spanned by metal ladders. Our whole team reached the summit and then descended the Ingraham Direct route to our high camp.
The next day we spent some time ice climbing in the giant crevasses on Ingraham Flats before returning to Paradise.
The next day, I started hiking on the Wonderland Trail and completed the circuit in 9 days.
Made a one day ascent from Paradise to Ingraham Flats. No rest day, so it kicked my butt with all the weight, especially up Cathedral Gap. MSR EGK stove decided that it didn't want to work so we got behind with water and dinner. Got to bed 3 hours after everyone else and my wife had so heart palpitations that scared her so we stayed at Ingraham as they left camp at 1am. The rest of the team made it to the summit around 715am. The said it was a great day with little wind, and clear skies. The Muir snowfield on the way down was hell, as it was all ice and crap that made for a hasty descent, especially with the new crevasses forming. Could have put crampons on, but too tired and lazy to do something like that!
Great weather, great time. Trip Report Here
Got an early start the night before at 1130pm from Camp Schurman, and climbed up until 12,400 feet where the wind and spindrift were completely overwhelming our rope teams. We turned back at 430 am and headed back down so that we could get down safely, and enjoy the trip, since the mountain isn't going anywhere that I can see. That route is the most indirect that the climbing ranger at Sherman has seen in years. So many crevasses causes routes to zig zag and traverse the whole way up. The trip up to Schurman via the Interglacier is in pretty bad conditions as well with a few snowbridges that have less than wanted compositions.
Skied and Climbed away from the crowds on a great route...stable weather for two days...great ski descent back to Paradise Lodge.
camped at Ingraham flats and summited in ideal conditions with Matt Brown, James Grant, and Mark McCann at around 6am
Reached the summit on July 3rd with Jennifer Roy.
This was my second and last mandatory climb to graduate from my basic mountaineering course at college. We climbed to Camp Muir on Friday, sat out bad weather on Saturday, and did the summit on Sunday. I was sicker than a dog on the summit. It was with a very slow party, with the consequence that only my rope team, which was last up first down, stayed out of the building cloud cap in the afternoon. Our rope waited for ages at the top of Disappointment Cleaver while they came down to us. I waited until about 7PM at Camp Muir before they got there, and they all decided to stay another night. The leader had told me I couldn't leave Muir until everyone had returned there. Then I went down to Paradise alone, and barely beat out darkness and a cloud bank that would have made it much more difficult to locate the lodge. I can't remember when I was more wasted. I tried to drive home, but couldn't make it, and missed a day of work. Being a native and proud Washingtonian with a huge passion for my home state's mountains, climbing its major landmark at age 20 was a very satisfying accomplishment. But I've never had an urge to do it again! :-)
A fun "climb."