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.
This was my second attempt to summit Rainier. My first attempt was one year and one day earlier. I learned a lot from my first time on the mountain. Be in the best physical shape that you can get into before you make an attempt. The better shape you are in then the more fun the climb will be. The first year was with a RMI expedition climb. What I learned on that trip was well worth the expense. This summit was with a friend that was an experienced climber. I was fortunate to have weather good enough to climb in on both my trips. See Alpine Air 2000, and Return to Rainier in my reports section.
Ash on the mountain from the eruption of Mt. St. Helens.
July 7, 2001, Pat, Scott, Steve and I headed out from the Paradise ranger station on a beautiful sunny day and climbed up to Camp Muir arriving around noon. We set up camp and prepared for a midnight push for the summit. The night was crisp and cloudless with a full moon so headlamps were not really needed. With Steve leading the rope team we reached the summit at 7am and only passed one other group of climbers. We spent some time at the summit and there were quite a few larger slow moving teams we passed on the way down. We spent another night at Camp Muir, while most other people packed up and headed off the mountain. The next day Scot skied down the Muir snow field while the rest of use used sitting glissades. Since we planned 5 days for this trip and only used 2 to climb Mt. Rainier we went up and checked out the Ho Rain Forest. This climbing trip couldn’t have been more perfect! Darryl
Our group of six students from the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign decided to spend our Spring break by climbing Mt.Rainier. Once we get to Paradise (5500 ft) we started to hick through a deep snow to Camp Muir. (10000 ft). The last 100 m were quite difficult. The weather was getting worse and with terrible wisibility we could hardly kept ourself from falling at constant 40mil/hour wind gust. After waiting 2 days for good weather we finally made our first attempt to reach the summit by the Gibraltar Ledges. Since we never climbed together. We moved pretty slow. Thus at about half point we decided to turn back. The second attempt was more successful. We started at 12:00 am and chose to go by Ingram Direct Route. It was quite an exhaustive strenuous walk through the deep (some times waist deep) snow. Finally we reached the Summit of Mt. Rainier. The most interesting part was that we also had to walk back to the parking lot and drive to the airport. On the way dow from the camp Muir we got lost in the dark. After camping in the snow we decent early in the morning.
Summited with James A. Harrison, Jr., of Santa Fe, New Mexico. We drove from Albuquerque, NM (24 hours straight), arrived at Paradise in the morning, and made our way to Camp Muir. We left for the summit early the next morning (1 a.m.), tagged it at about 7:00, and made it back down to Muir by noon or so. We hauled butt down to Paradise, drove to Yakima, got a hotel, and slept for about 15 hrs before returning to Albuquerque the next day. It was a very beautiful summit day: no clouds, and no wind. The problem, though, was the crowds: we were in a traffic jam all the way to the summit (this was a weekend). Next time, I'll make sure to go during the middle of the week.
Great Climb. Camped at Camp Muir for 1 night and left for the summit at 12:00AM. Enjoyed a calm night. Had alot of trouble with one of my crampons in the bowling alley. I definitely recomment making sure that they fit snuggly the night before. Had to go up to Ingrahm Flats with just one crampon. The Cleaver was not very challenging. Huge crevasses around 13,000 feet opening up right in the middle of the route. Took alot of time to test snow bridges for stability. Definietely recommend taking glacier and crevasse seminar before climbing without a guide. Calm weather at the summit. Enjoyed the entire climb and intend to return to try another route very soon.
Coming from sea level I experienced altitude problems when I reached Camp Muir. *$#%@#!! But after resting for a few hours I felt fine when we started for the summit at 2am. Pressure breathing all the way to the top worked wonders and I experienced no ill effects at all. A beautiful mountain. The Cleaver itself was challenging, but not as difficult as I expected after reading some trip reports. I imagine this was because it was dry.