Mt. Rainier, despite it all....

Mt. Rainier, despite it all....

Page Type Page Type: Trip Report
Date Date Climbed/Hiked: Aug 19, 2008
Activities Activities: Mountaineering
Seasons Season: Summer

I can’t believe I made it!

One day of training (being hurled down a slope hoping to god I paid
attention when they were giving the self arrest instructions) and 3 days
on the mountain.

We encountered 90 degree heat while hoofing it up to base camp with our 50 pound packs, followed by freezing temperatures and then a huge thunder storm, with lightning of course….step away from the gear honey!

Spent the first night with my 2 partners stuffed into supposedly a 3-man tent (would have liked to have seen an actual demo of that) with the howling winds causing the tent sides to slap me across the face all night. Night one, no sleep.

The morning brought a big snowstorm, followed by hail and finally just a simple old-fashioned downpour. Spent the day acclimatizing, eating gummy bears and trying to avoid lightning.

For the second night, I moved into the hut, rubbing my lucky rabbit’s foot that there was one spot left for me. Me, 11 others and a herd of furry little grey critters with twitching noses, enough said. Night two, no sleep.

Add to that the horror of dehydrated food and half frozen pop tarts, the lost toe nail, the blue bags, the sitting on my camelback spout and getting my butt soaked at 2 am on summit day. Hmmm, think that's it...oh except for the fact that I had to pp in front of the entire all-guys
team (headlamps down!..and I mean it!) ...ok, think that about covers it.

Oh, almost forgot. Add to it the near death experience of one of my tent-mates when he sheepishly informed me that he “may have accidentally” eaten my last peanut butter and jelly sandwich. We were all given two (2) sandwiches…when you were eating the third (3rd)...didn’t you do the math! I’m still mad about that, haven’t been able to let that one go yet.

This sandwich tragedy set-off drooling fantasies about scarfing down the all-day omelette special followed by dessert in a bowl, at Denny’s. Oh gawd.

So anyway, in summary, it was a fantastic trip!! Would do it all over again in a
heartbeat, minus the sandwich incident obviously. The summit was spectacular and this is what life is all about.

Now, back to work where everything seems so boring in comparison, although, having water magically come out of a tap instead of hauling it on my back, not eating my dinner out of a bag and having a toilet to sit on are not to be underestimated.

Mt. Rainier


Post a Comment
Viewing: 1-18 of 18
Bill Kerr

Bill Kerr - Sep 21, 2008 1:43 pm - Voted 10/10

Great Fun!

Sounds like great fun. I will bet that washed a lot of work stress out of your head.
More pics?


icypeak - Sep 21, 2008 4:29 pm - Hasn't voted

Re: Great Fun!

Fun? Yes...or at least I think so! Naw, no more pics, unless you'd like to see a couple of hundred of various clouds..with, or without lightning.


Deltaoperator17 - Sep 21, 2008 8:56 pm - Voted 10/10

Headlamps down...

you are killing me..pp in front of all the men. The best part is the camelback nozzle. This sounded like an AMAZING trip on the "Great Tahoma"... Did you see the Rainier Beer Bear?

Very nice read and funny 2.


icypeak - Sep 23, 2008 3:00 pm - Hasn't voted

Re: Headlamps down...

No, did not see that drunken bear, he had no interest in us, we only had Gatorade and Power gels. But I can tell you that if I saw him I would have needed the blue bag!


lcarreau - Oct 21, 2008 7:04 pm - Voted 10/10

Thank God for blue bags!

I remember doing Rainier in 1984. Beer gags aside, it was so
wonderful to see those healthy glaciers cascading down the
mountain, with all their bottomless crevasses and glistening seracs.

Geez, it's almost like it was yesterday! Nice page, and please
maintain your awesome humor. Have a great Autumn, Icypeak!!!

Larry of AZ


icypeak - Oct 22, 2008 6:57 pm - Hasn't voted

Re: Thank God for blue bags!

Thanks so much Larry! Glad you got to see the beautiful glaciers and crevasses...I imagine they are breathtaking...but since I could only see 1 foot infront of me most the the climb I will have to take your word for it! Congrats on you climb.


georgen - Dec 2, 2008 11:28 am - Voted 10/10


You had lot of fun up there!...or not?


icypeak - Dec 2, 2008 7:17 pm - Hasn't voted

Re: Fun!?

You bet I had a ton of fun! And the more time that passes, the more fun I think I had :-)


StarMan - Dec 12, 2008 7:49 pm - Voted 10/10

Great report.

Wonderful contrast with your "ups" and "downs" - figuratively speaking, but literally also!


icypeak - Dec 19, 2008 6:20 pm - Hasn't voted

Re: Great report.

Thanks so much! Yes, it was a trip of extremes for sure, but would not have missed one minute of it!


silversummit - Dec 19, 2008 8:03 pm - Voted 10/10

Great report!

Your humor is a stitch! I can relate to traveling with all male groups; makes for interesting "issues" sometimes. And at least your roomie admitted to his actions; I hate when someone doesn't own up to such a major thing! Food is mucho important!

You should write more often!


icypeak - Dec 21, 2008 5:55 pm - Hasn't voted

Re: Great report!

Thanks so much! Yes, the "issues" are always retrospect! Wish you lots of great hikes in 2009!


Deltaoperator17 - Feb 15, 2009 8:12 pm - Voted 10/10

Re: Great report!

Yea, Sylva, you need to write more often. Your humor and great stories are the great!


Marcsoltan - Feb 14, 2009 10:45 am - Voted 10/10

I can...

believe you did. The conditions were bad, but I have seen photos of you climbing in the same kind of conditions. I am still waiting for a TR on your trip to Iceland. You have all these incredible shots like the sunrise on that rocky peak, with the moon.
Looking forward to any more shots from your ice climbing adventures, Sylva.


icypeak - Feb 15, 2009 6:33 pm - Hasn't voted

Re: I can...

Thanks for your kind words Marc. I think you have some of the most gorgeous pics on SP and your Arches NP with the snow is just breathtaking and put that place on my list of places I must see. (Ok, it's a quite a long list, but I intend to get to every one of them!) I'm heading to the Rockies in a couple of weeks for a little ice climing...I'm like a kid waiting for Christmas! Cheers, Sylva


ArankaP - Jul 9, 2009 9:27 pm - Voted 10/10

Just noticed

I love your story, very
Reminded me hike on Mt. Blanc, where after not sleeping whole night, at 4:00 a.m. I did not properly closed my water bottle in my backpack and got my warm cloths all wet. Thanks to God, I had a friend who made me a hot tea on Valot de Gouter and covered me with his jacket. O lucky me nobody ate my food there either. We had so much food we could share it with others.


mrchad9 - May 26, 2010 7:37 pm - Voted 10/10

Great story!

One of the best trip reports I've ever read- no doubt. Not just another accounting of events, but something truely entertaining to read from beginning to end. Would love to see another sometime!


icypeak - May 27, 2010 6:54 pm - Hasn't voted

Great story!

Thanks Chad...think if I was to write a trip report from my recent adventures in Nepal it would make this one seem like a trip to the spa..not really sure why I keep doing this!

Viewing: 1-18 of 18