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mountainsandsound

Kautz Glacier question

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Planning on a Rainier climb via the Kautz within the next couple weeks. Just wanted to hear opinions on descending the route vs. a carryover to the DC. I guess my main concern is being underneath an ice cliff later in the day in the case of a Kautz descent, but I'm not sure how much of an objective hazard that poses these days.

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Dig high camp in at 11,000' and you should be sheltered from the icefall. Also a good camp at 13,000' after the little bit of technical climbing. Realistically, the Kautz can be done in a single push if you're fit and acclimatized. If not, then it's a 2 day climb. Descending the route only makes sense to me if you're going to spend an extra night at high camp after summitting on a three or four day climb. Otherwise, going lighter, moving faster, and carrying over to the DC is a simple descent.

Edited by Chris Magness

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I've climbed it 12 times, skied it 6.But it's been 15 years since I was last up there. I always camped at c.9'500. running water there. But I'm old so it always takes me 2 days. Don't camp at Hazard. You are only exposed to danger from the icefall for about 200 feet horizontally. Just go through that area quickly. It's no more dangerous than crossing a busy street. You can get a good view of the route from Longmire or that pullout a little before Paradise. That should inform your decision to descend it or carry over. Or do what Chris said.

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There is always objective danger. Here this is what can happen:

 

Where it flushed is right where one would come back up on the return to gain Camp Hazard. As well as where one crosses at the start.

 

That said, one does not need to bivy right at Camp Hazard. There are safe bivies a few hundred feet down where the access on to the glacier can be found with a very short rappel. I have heard of some people climbing back up the rappel. But it is a grungy loose rappel.

 

If you are fit going up an over is easy as the descent is fast.

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I had to laugh. Here's 2 guys, one of whom has climbed Curtis Ridge and the other Willis Wall, giving advice about objective danger on the Kautz.

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I had to laugh. Here's 2 guys, one of whom has climbed Curtis Ridge and the other Willis Wall, giving advice about objective danger on the Kautz.

 

In other words the OP should not trust it :D.

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