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Dhruv Garg

[TR] Mt. Rainier - Emmons Glacier 7/24/2017

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Trip: Mt. Rainier - Emmons Glacier

 

Date: 7/24/2017

 

Trip Report:

We had been planning on doing a trip up Rainier for a while. A couple of first-timers along with the 3 of us who had done Rainier before picked this weekend to attempt Emmons after looking at the recent beta posted by the rangers. Since we had people who had never been at such an elevation, we decided to take it as a slow and relaxed 3-day trip.

 

Most of the trip-report centric activity happened during our summit bid, so let's just get the 1st two days out of the way -

1st day - White River campground to Camp Curtis (8,900')

2nd day - Camp Curtis to Camp Schurman (9,400') (a rest day basically)

 

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baby brother with crevasses on the Lower Emmons

 

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settling in for the night at Schurman

 

Summit bid -

For our summit bid, we decided to start at 11 PM with a summit time window of 8-9 AM. The rangers had told us that the route was still in pretty good shape. A snow bridge on the highly visible crevasse at 12.2k had collapsed earlier in the day but was quickly rerouted via another snow bridge. Moreover, the DC route was meeting up with Emmons near the 'schrund that was prone to bottlenecks/crowds later in the day. Someone had suffered a crevasse fall on the 1st crossing on their way to Emmons Flats from Schurman and the rangers were begging people to, "end run a crevasse rather than jump it, especially if the end run is 10 ft away!!" After the ranger gave us all the good juju he could muster, we crawled into our sleeping bags to try to sleep until the 10 PM ding-dong.

 

Our start from Schurman was rather ominous since we hadn't climbed more than 700 ft that someone suffered a nosebleed along with shortness of breath. Even though it was a sad beginning, we had to safely drop the team member off at camp before our second climb from camp around 12.30 AM. Despite the gloomy start, we made good time up the corridor, along the diagonal traverse beyond the 12.2k crevasse and things were starting to look up. With our speed, it looked like we might make it to the top as early as 8 AM. However, a team member (had summitted via DC a year ago) who had been feeling sluggish since the latter half of the corridor had been asking for more frequent breaks along the traverse and finally reached a breaking point around 12.3k and threw up. We could clearly see the slopes leading up to the summit but at that point, the summit bid was pretty much over. We quickly descended down to camp at 7 AM to let the AMS-afflicted team member some much needed rest.

 

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we'll be back

 

In the picture above, we're on the way down the corridor with the tracks (and people) on the diagonal traverse clearly visible in the upper right reaches of the slope.

 

Despite the failed attempt, it was a beautiful 3 days spent in the mountains and some of the best weather I've seen on Big Tahoma. You had the last say this time, but don't you worry, we'll be back!

 

For more visuals on the route, flickr/Mt. Rainier 2017

 

Gear Notes:

1 60m rope, a picket each

 

Approach Notes:

Interglacier has some sketchy crevasses that might not be visible on the way down. Don't blindly follow the glissade tracks if unroped.

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Really nice pics. I especially like the flickr one of Camp Shurman with the prayers flags strung out in an arc. Thanks for sharing!

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