Packing for Mt Rainier

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twoup1200

 
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Packing for Mt Rainier

by twoup1200 » Sat Feb 03, 2018 4:17 am

Greetings. I have a few questions about packing for a Mt Rainier climb. We intend on taking the tourist route. I've read the article "so you want to climb Mt Rainier". It is most interesting and helpful. I have been to the summit of Denali on a guided climb. Last year we climbed Mt Hood unguided as a warm up and gear check for Mt Rainier this year. The article listed the items one should pack. I have everything in the list but the article said use a 50L pack and all that gear should weigh about 35pounds. I have 3 backpacks, a 50/55L, 60L and 70L pack. Can you really get all that gear into a 50L pack? I can't. And certainly not at 35 lbs. When all the gear on the list is packed up along with water, food, stove, fuel, pickets, rope....basically everything needed, the pack is around 50 to 55 lbs.
What am I missing? I've got to find a way to lighten the load.Thanks for any suggestions.

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infinityjellyD

 
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Re: Packing for Mt Rainier

by infinityjellyD » Sat Feb 03, 2018 10:50 pm

Hey twoup1200. There are many members here with more experience on Rainier than I, so hopefully they can add their opinions. Here's my $0.02:

Obviously I think you can take that article with a grain of salt. How many people are you climbing with? How many days will you go? How lightweight is your gear? These are some things that factor in to weight. Here's some of my experience mountaineering and what the size and weights were, at least as well as I can recall:

- I climbed Rainer with a guided group when I first started climbing. It was two days of actual climbing: one to Camp Muir, one to the summit and back down to the parking lot. We used 70L packs and mine wasn't full. It weighed I guess 25-30 lbs. But because it was guided we didn't have to carry much technical gear (the guides did) and didn't carry a tent or stove (because we had access to the hut at Camp Muir).

- A few years later I took a 7-day mountaineering course with Alpine Ascents on Mt. Baker. We had to bring everything, including enough food for that stretch of time. I used a 75L pack and it was completely full. It weighed I guess 45 lbs? Tent and stove and etc were shared among me and my assigned partner.

- A year later I was in Peru climbing in the Cordillera Blanca range. The longest time I spent in one stretch in the mountains on that trip was 8 days and that pack was FULL. It was also 75L and probably weighed close to 60lbs. We were three people and the other two were climbing buddies, so I had to lug my own 4-season tent (heavy!), stove, etc. If we were four people and I could have shared, I probably could have saved 5-7 lbs.

I'm guessing your climb with be similar to the second experience I listed above. Shorter timeframe so you'll carry less food. Also, you'll probably have less technical gear since the tourist route is not technical, while for my course we had to have all sorts for gear for educational purposes. So I think in the 45lb range is likely for you. No need to try to stuff it all in a 50L pack if you have a 70L pack and everything fits. Better to have a bigger pack and fit more inside than a smaller pack where you only save a few oz of weight on the pack but end up having to attach everything outside hobo-style.

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twoup1200

 
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Re: Packing for Mt Rainier

by twoup1200 » Sat Feb 03, 2018 11:56 pm

Thanks so much. Makes me feel a little better. We were going to take all the technical gear for practice. May rethink that. If I can keep it down to no more than 45lbs I'll be fine. I think I will take the 70L pack. the only thing I'll hang hobo-style will be the climbing boots on the way to Muir.

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Re: Packing for Mt Rainier

by ExcitableBoy » Sun Feb 04, 2018 12:08 am

I wrote that article you referenced, the photo is of me with a 45 liter pack, in late season with extra clothes. The last time I climbed Rainier we did Liberty Ridge over a leisurely three days. I had a 40 liter pack which weighed exactly 35 pounds. https://www.summitpost.org/kit-for-liberty-ridge/935683 That's with two ice tools, a full length rope, ice screws and pitons. How did we go light? My pack weighed 2 lbs 4 oz empty. My sleeping bag and pad weighed two pounds. Our tent weighed 1 lb 8 oz. Our stove kit weighed 1 lb. My shell weighed 5.5 oz. My harness 8 oz. Get the idea? Everything should be as light as possible and don't bring anything you don't need. Had we been taking the DC, we would have taken a shorter rope, no second tool, and no tent. We would have been easily under 30 lbs. If you can't fit everything for a simple Rainier trip into a 50 liter pack, you are taking too much, or too bulky of gear. My partner habitually climbed everything with a 50 liter pack without the lid, years before such packs were popular.

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ExcitableBoy

 
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Re: Packing for Mt Rainier

by ExcitableBoy » Sun Feb 04, 2018 12:21 am

infinityjellyD wrote: No need to try to stuff it all in a 50L pack if you have a 70L pack and everything fits. Better to have a bigger pack and fit more inside than a smaller pack where you only save a few oz of weight on the pack but end up having to attach everything outside hobo-style.


Ice tools, crampons, foam pad, picket, rope should all go on the outside of the pack. The difference between my 40 liter pack and most 70 liter packs is several pounds, not ounces, plus climbing with a big pack sucks.

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infinityjellyD

 
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Re: Packing for Mt Rainier

by infinityjellyD » Sun Feb 04, 2018 1:24 am

Like I said, there are more knowledgeable and experienced Rainier folks, so I defer to the above advice.

In my case, my BD Mission 75L is 4.0lbs and my CCW Chernobyl 50L is 3.25lb (I currently don't have a 40L), so it's not a big difference. I likewise keep the items exciteableboy listed outside of the pack, but a few rare times have had to carry climbing boots and a few other things outside. Not fun. And I've seen people on the trail with all sorts of stuff clipped and tied to their packs. In my case, the 0.75 lbs difference is worth the extra 25L, but if it were several pounds as mentioned, I see the reason to favor the 40L.

As for climbing with big packs, it does suck on technical stuff but for mild non-technical climbs, I've personally never been bothered by it. To each his own.


As for your tent, EB: I'm curious what your 1.5lb tent was. My 4-season tent is 7 lbs!! HA! I definitely need to upgrade.

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Scott

 
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Re: Packing for Mt Rainier

by Scott » Sun Feb 04, 2018 6:57 am

I've got to find a way to lighten the load


I have no doubt Excitableboy is being truthful when he says he only takes a 45L pack for a 3 day trip up Liberty Ridge, and that he could easily do the DC with less than 30 lbs, but that doesn't mean that it's the only answer.

Having a light pack is always nice (especially on technical terrain), but I admit that I carry more than the ultra-lighters. For example, you can save weight by sleeping in your clothes and carrying carrying a lighter bag. I can't sleep in my clothes though; it doesn't work for me. Some of the ultra light bags I bought don't really fit me well either (the kids used them now). Get something as light as you can, but that still fits and is comfortable. What works for some may not work for others. Heck, I even bring a full sized pillow with me now on all overnight climbs. Otherwise I won't sleep.

I also tend to drink more water than most people. I would start off with at least a full gallon of water on each day on a peak like Rainier. That's 8 lbs alone.

So everyone is different. Trim all the weight you can, but don't be too fixed on an exact weight number unless you really need to in order to be successful. Do however, look for ways to trim your weight from your pack using the article you pointed out and other sources.

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ExcitableBoy

 
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Re: Packing for Mt Rainier

by ExcitableBoy » Mon Feb 05, 2018 12:49 am

infinityjellyD wrote:As for your tent, EB: I'm curious what your 1.5lb tent was. My 4-season tent is 7 lbs!! HA! I definitely need to upgrade.


BD Betalight. No exactly a tent per se, but I have not climbed Rainier with anything more than a BD Beta/light since 2001, except in winter on north side routes. I have the luxury of living within 2 hours driving time of Rainier, so I can cherry pick good weather and take fewer clothes and a lighter kit than someone traveling that may run into bad weather. Still, in the middle of winter I took a 75 liter pack for a 7 day ski and climb of Ptarmigan Ridge, perhaps close to 50 miles round trip. My pack weighed about 50 pounds with 7 days food, 9 days fuel, full winter mixed alpine rack and two ice tools and a real tent (ID MK1 Light).

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ExcitableBoy

 
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Re: Packing for Mt Rainier

by ExcitableBoy » Mon Feb 05, 2018 7:48 pm

twoup1200 wrote:I've read the article "so you want to climb Mt Rainier". The article listed the items one should pack. I have everything in the list but the article said use a 50L pack and all that gear should weigh about 35pounds. I have 3 backpacks, a 50/55L, 60L and 70L pack. Can you really get all that gear into a 50L pack? I can't. And certainly not at 35 lbs. When all the gear on the list is packed up along with water, food, stove, fuel, pickets, rope....basically everything needed, the pack is around 50 to 55 lbs.
What am I missing? I've got to find a way to lighten the load.Thanks for any suggestions.

I re-read the gear list. The 30-35 pound estimate is based on not including any of the optional or early/late season gear/clothing that I mentioned. The assumption for the weight assumes you are not a particularly cold person and are attempting May-August and your gear is high quality and reasonably light weight.


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