Rainier: Cramp-on Sparks

Page Type Page Type: Trip Report
Location Lat/Lon: 46.85280°N / 121.759°W
Date Date Climbed/Hiked: Aug 13, 1999
Drove over with Bryan and headed up from Paradise to Camp Muir in the evening. Got up to Muir in about three hours and set up the tent in some windy conditions. We heard a tremendous crash and ice was calving off the glacier and crashing into crevasses. We boiled some water, ate and then got ready to rope up. The Perseids meteor shower was spectacular above us in the clear sky. We headed out the same time as a guided group that emerged from a buried shelter like some gnomes. We had to pass two large groups of 30 people. We made our way across the glacier and past a camp around 11,000 feet. We got onto the Disappointment Cleaver and the snow became rock. The sparks from my cramp-ons in the night was quite amazing. I accidentally stabbed my leg in the dark. I still have the scar to remember that by. We saw lightning in the distance. The sun came up as we made our way across and up the glacier. It was awesome to look into the icy dark blue depths of the crevasses. We made our way over snow bridges just a foot or two wide. The trail was cut out and wanded well. We reached the summit crater and we had to go down and across a sunken snow covered cinder cone of sorts. I could see areas that were steaming where there was no snow. These are sulphur vents that actually saved some peoples lives once by providing warmth during a storm. At around 8am, we reached the actual summit on a broad area and it was somewhat anti-climatic. Nevertheless, the view was superb as we were way above the clouds. Little Tahoma stuck out above the clouds and in the distance some other Cascade volcanoes jutted above the clouds. It was very windy at the summit and we quickly descended and made our way back to Camp Muir where we broke camp and headed to the car as it started to rain and snow on us.


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