Saturday, October 21, 2006

A Second Year on Mount Rainier

This past summer, a few friends and I were able to squeeze in a climb of Mount Rainier. Climbing Mount Rainier in a white outThree in the group had never done any “real mountaineering,” as they called it so we decided to climb via the disappointment cleaver (DC).

The DC is often referred to as the “highway” of routes for Rainier. Even so, it provides an awesome experience for the unfamiliar climber with outstanding views, and great practice of glacier and mountain travel.

What a difference…to climb during the middle of the season instead of the end. Labor Day of 2005, I lead a ground of students from the University of Utah up the DC. We barely ever saw the mountain. When we arrived, and left, we were surrounded by fog. During the majority of our climb, we were either blinded by a white out or dense fog. Even with the bad weather, we were able to reach the summit.

This time, the weather was amazing. From the trailhead, the entire mountain was in view. Also, we didn’t encounter any altitude concerns for all six of us. The only issues we had included some wind and colder temperatures on the last mile push to the summit, and me breaking through the trail into a crevasse with one leg on our decent just shy of the summit plateau (kind of shook me up for a little bit, never let the conditions of a trail fool you).

Mount Rainier on a sunny day.Rainier is an incredible mountain. I look forward to returning next summer. I plan to assist some friends attempt the DC for their first time, and possibly a personal attempt via a more technical route up the Liberty Ridge. I highly recommend to all climbers to take advantage of Rainier’s opportunities if they haven’t done so already.



Blogger A. Buchanan said...

Cool pictures...I am heading up there in June for the second time. In 02 it was totally awesome!

10/22/2006 11:12 PM


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