Trip: Mt Rainier - D.C Route
Warm stable weather over 26-27th September.
Started out from Paradise at 10.30 hrs and set up camp at Muir. Two larger guided parties and a few small non-guided parties present on the evening of the 26th. Beautiful sunset at Muir.
This was the lastest in the season I had been up on Rainier and I was amazed at how much the conditions had changed since my last trip up at the end of June.
Stephane and I headed out across the Cowlitz from Muir at 02:00 hrs. Definately the warmest I've been on Rainier. Climbed the entire route in just a base layer and a softshell.
as we crested Cathedral gap, we met two non guided parties on descent, who reported that the Ingram was very broken.
The worn trail up the Ingram was difficult to follow at night and we ended up off course and quickly found ourselves dead ended by impassable crevasses. The glacier conditions just off the main route felt very unstable with some loud cracking noises underneath us. We were forced to back track through the crevasse maze, loosing approximately 1 hour on our ascent.
We quickly found a ladder crossing a large crevasse high on the SW corner of the Ingram, and it was obvious we were back on the guided route. We crossed a total of 3 ladders on the Ingram glacier, installed by the guiding companies at approximately 11350ft, without these the route would be considerably more difficult.
the Clever is now one long scree section up too about 12,400ft. Some fascinating Sastrugi formations above this.
There was alot of zig zagging up higher, around large open crevasse lines between 12,500ft and approximately 14,000ft due to the broken state of the Glacier. We reached the crater rim at approximately 0900 hrs. We descended via the same route.
The descent featured some interesting moments over one or two melting snow bridges and a slightly tedious section getting off the Clever and back onto the Ingram glacier, which seemed to be moating out as the Glacier moves outwards from the Clever with the warm conditions.
We returned to camp Muir at 1330 hrs making it an 11hr 27 return trip from Muir to summit.
WED 26 - Mostly sunny. free air freezing 11,500ft
THU 26 - Mostly sunny. free air freezing 13,000ft
wed night Muir - 37f - summit 22f (wind westerly 15mph)
thu day Muir - 43f - summit 27f (wind north westerly 8mph)
Standard Glacier travel equipment.
2 ice screws / 2 pickets