I had beautiful weather and great day's to take a long and winding route up Rainer
Having flown in and out of Seattle many times, I had this mountain on my list for a few years before I got up it. I met 3 other people over the years who were also interested in doing it, Steve, Pete and Chris. Steve had been up the E/W route before and was our leader from the training right through to the summit. We got to Camp Schurman without incident only to find a pretty good snow storm greeting us so we melted ice and settled in to our tents, thinking that we might have to use one of our cushion days to wait the storm out. I woke up at 10PM and looked out to see clear skies, the Liberty Ridge in the moonlight and Seattle glowing through the clouds below us. We got going around 1AM and were breaking trail through 8 inches of new snow. When the alpenglow hit us and we looked back towards the sun, it brought tears to my eyes. I had never seen anthing so beautiful. We crossed the bergschrund without incident but were warned by the rangers passing us that the bridge would probably collapse by the time we re-crossed it coming down. I was surprised at how big the crater was on Columbia Crest. On our way down the rangers warning came true as 3 out of 4 in our group fell in to the crevasse with a 200 foot fall below us. Well, Pete was last on the rope tried to jump across the void. He failed and bounced off the wall of the crevasse. We got him out, got back down to high camp and then had the pleasure of watching all the other teams follow the route that we had put up earlier in the day. Definitely one of the most amazing days of my life. If you have not climbed this mountain, you should.
A couple of weeks before I was drafted into the army, my family went to Mount Rainier National Park. Here I confronted the most beautiful mountain I had seen since I climbed the Grand Teton in 1950. Rather than rock, Rainier presented me with my first experience using crampons on ice. I met the Whittaker twins, both who towered above my six feet. They were the official Rainier guides. They alternated conducting alpine amateurs like me to the 14,411 crest of the volcanic peak. I put out $40 and drew Lou as my climbing guide. Jim was to conduct the easier snow cave tour which my younger sister took. The next day Lou, I and three others hiked up to Camp Muir above ten thousand feet where we spent the night. Early the next day we were all roped together climbing around a huge crevasse and up along some cliffs to the edge of an ice fall. Slowly Lou led us up a snowy ravine that led to a long icy slope and to the rim of the crater. By then the wind had picked up and on a level spot we all agreed to stop a couple of hundred feet short of the actual summit well off to left of us. I remember that the highest point was called Columbia Crest or Point Columbia. The weather was clear and we could see every peak in the Cascade Range including Mount Saint Helens whose classic white cone was then fifteen hundred feet higher than it is now.
Nine years later I rejoiced when I read that Lou's brother, Jim, became the first American to climb Mount Everest. In 1975, Lou appeared in Gainesville, Florida, on a book tour. I invited him home for lunch and showed him the slides I took of him wrapped snugly in his white parka hood on Rainier. He was then preparing an expedition to climb K2. I wished then I had the time and means to go with him. However I was 42-years-old and out of shape, too poor and too lazy after having climbed in the Cordillera Blanca of Peru, attaining the summit of Vallunaraju and getting high on Huascaran four years before.
The final slog across the crater was a surprise.
Great climb. The weather was surprisingly cooperative, except windy on the summit. My dad and i had a little window of time to run up to Washington to climb it for one last trip before i headed to college (which is where i am now), and it was worth it. I would say all in all it was probably the most beautiful climb i've done. Now i just can't wait to do it again. =-)
Second time to the summit and finally the weather cooperated. Clear blue sky above 10000 feet. The only drawback was a furious wind which tried valiantly to blow me off the crater rim. Not before I signed the register though!
Lots of people on this route
Participated in the Climb For Clean Air to raise $ for the American Lung Association
If you are not going with a guide group stay off this route (DC later in year). It can get busy. If you want to do it, spend the night on the flats and get a jump on the guide groups. Its about 1 hour from camp Muir to the flats, and well worth it.
Lots of thin snow bridges, Bit of route finding involved.
Started late on the 22nd camped at 7,700' on the Inter Glacier.
Second day Moved up to camp Sherman.
Day three summited and came all the way out. (19 hours)
Routes hooked up with the DC aroung 13,500.
It was clear enough to see Seattle from the Summit
After two aborted attempts, we finally made it! Taking four days, and having great weather made it very enjoyable. Left Ingraham Flats at 2AM, stood on the true summit at 9:30. Mild wind except on the summit. Visibility limited only by the curve of the earth! Too bad that only 2 of the original 4 made it.
Breathtaking, me and my 2 fellow climbers (Steve and Rich) made the summit at around 8am after our climb up from camp at Ingram flats.Only our second glaciated peak but hopefully one of many more to come. A perfect day, amazing views and a day i'll never forget. I definately intend to return again someday.
Beautiful summit day. Returned to a different world on 9/12.
Beautiful mountain and beautiful route. 4 out of 6 from our group made it to the summit.
My wife, Melissa, and I left Salt Lake on July 30 and drove 9 hours to Yakima, WA. The morning of the 31st we drove to Paradise and began the hike to Camp Muir. We rested (not slept) for about 4 hours and left for the summit at 12:30a. The weather was great the enitre time. We summited at 7:30a and crossed the crest to the true summit. We returned to camp and packed back down to Paradise to complete a long 30 hours. It was a great and successful trip!
Great weather, Camped above Pebble Creek first night. Ski'd up to Muir then pressed on to the Flats on day 2. Summitted and came all the way out on day 3 - Great ski down from Muir!
This was our second attempt this year; weather prevented us the first time in May.
We started our drive from Salt Lake City on Friday afternoon (a wonderful 800 mile ride), arrived near the park entrance @ 1:00 am Saturday morning camped that night and hit the trail around 10:00 am Saturday from paradise. Arrived @ Camp Muir around 1:30 pm. had perfect weather to this point. Ate and tried to sleep until 10:00 pm Saturday night (with little luck). We started out for the summit around 11:00 pm Saturday, except for high winds we had a perfect climb to the rim and over to Columbia Crest. We hit the summit around 5:00 am, and then started our decent back down to paradise. After a tiring day we had that wonderful 800 mile ride back to SLC.
Partner: Annette Polastri Briner (my figure skating coach)
We titled ourselves the "Ladies Lounge Expedition" due to our *extremely* successful efforts to hydrate. After we did our hair, departed Muir at 11:58 pm to get ahead of RMI; summitted at 6:30 am. Clear, with 40-60 mph winds on top. Winds decreased inside summit crater/Columbia Crest. Path to summit register threaded thru 1.5 ft high sastrugi. Spent 1.5 hours on summit but never did find the Nordstrom's sale there that we had been promised. Frightening numbers of ill-prepared & unsafe "climbers" on route...which seems to be par for Rainier.
August 2-4, 1991
Partners: Steve Reynolds, Dennis Cowley
Route dirty & crowded. Left Muir at 1:00 am to avoid getting trapped behind RMI. Triple-layer lenticular cloud formed right when we summitted; pics prove it. Took summit pics hastily & didn't sign register as we wanted to get down before weather deteriorated.
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.