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jtarshis

[TR] MRNP - Gib Ledges 02/13/2018

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Trip: MRNP - Gib Ledges

Trip Date: 02/13/2018

Trip Report:

 

On Monday afternoon, Taylor and I skied up to Camp Muir under bluebird skies with temps

 

hovering around freezing and the wind blowing what felt like about 15-20 mph. Upon arriving at

the hut, we were greeted by 2 other guys with the same plan to climb Gib Ledges.

On Tuesday 2/13/2018, Taylor and I left the hut at 2:30am and summited at 10:50am via the

Gib Ledges route. Several of the ledges consisted of less cohesive, larger granule snow. I

assume this is an effect of proximity to rock that cooks the snow from the inside during solar

hours.

Aside from the ledges, we encountered consistent styrofoam wind-buffed snow with pockets

of softer wind-transport and firmer sastrugi. The only cracks we came across on the way up

were within the first 100m above Gib Rock and they were less than 1m wide. Most less than

50cm. We assumed we would encounter ice and bulletproof snow so we opted to leave our

skis at Camp Muir. Mistake. Oh well..

Upon reaching the crater rim, we were greeted with consistently stronger wind with intermittent

gusts of what felt like about 40mph. This was my first time going above Camp Muir and

Taylor’s first time to the park, therefore, neither of us knew which ‘mound’ along the rim was

the true summit. We decided that one of two prominent features on the other side of the crater

had to be it so we set off walking (counter-clockwise) around the rim, cutting off sections by

walking through the crater on the supportable surface.

On our walk over, clouds engulfed our destination so we made our way back to the rim to

follow the ridge. Wind was stronger now and the temperature felt significantly colder. Upon

reaching the first ‘mound’ which was just off the rim, we seemed to think the next ‘mound’

further along the rim might be taller so we left our first possible summit and kept walking, now

getting blasted even harder by wind and tiny ice crystals. Upon standing atop the second

potential summit, we decided that one of these two had to be it so basked in our efforts for a

sec and decided to get the f#$k off the top.

We continued along the rim, admiring the awesome power of the wind. As cold as we were, our

psych to be there was higher than the summit. We continued in a counter-clockwise direction

and found where we initially crested. We had a quick laugh at our little circumnav and started

walking back down attempting to follow our tracks as the wind rapidly blew them away.

As we lost elevation, we looked back at our progress and saw that we had just exited one of

the classic lenticular clouds that often hangout atop the mountain. We agreed that we were

stoked to be on our way down, with less wind.

We ran into the other party of two on our way down about 500m from the top of Gib Rock at

about 11:30am. They told us they had left Camp Muir at 6am. They let us know our boot track

was great. They were wondering about weather at the top so we let them know about the wind

and lenticular. We parted ways and looked back every so often as they approached one of

several false-crests of the slog to the top.

We decided not to down climb the ledges route in order to stay out of rock fall from Gib rock.

We opted to take a direct line down the gut of the Ingraham glacier which was filled in and firm

at the top. Our plan was to pop through Cadaver Gap and walk back to Muir and ski back

down to the car.

The bottom few hundred meters of the glacier leading to Cadaver Gap was pretty damn broken

up. Slower-going, careful navigation and down climbing allowed us to safely pick a line to the

gap.

Upon reaching the gap, we down climbed the couloir/chute feature. At this point the snow

there was solar effected, soft and really loved to ball up on our crampons making down

climbing the steep snow quite tenuous and slow going. All I could think about was how

awesome the turns would be on skis…

After descending the pitch we walked back to the hut and packed our stuff for our ski decent

back to the car. Obviously we ran into Amar who was just getting to camp muir as we left the

hut. After a brief catch up and chat we skied down the wind-blasted snice/sastrugi to the ice

rink that was Pan Point and down to the soft fun snow below Pan Face all the way to the

Paradise parking lot.

It was an awesome first trip up Tahoma and certainly will not be our last!

 

IMG_2101.thumb.jpg.aea56808ba8efd44403631a2af867be8.jpg

IMG_2162.thumb.JPG.02c0b732283c14f900ab3ab4df17b337.JPG

IMG_2135.thumb.jpg.15e03cbbbe56c0cd357a493d502c0b20.jpg

 

IMG_2168.thumb.JPG.f19c36fdb435cc02df4cb061fdd623c7.JPG

IMG_2169.thumb.JPG.f030589b0ea4daf1c63c1824d5016421.JPG

Gear Notes:
Wish we brought skis to the summit...

Approach Notes:
NA

Edited by Uphill
  • Rawk on! 2

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DAMN!  First time up Rainier, and it was in winter??!!  Crazy.

Well done guys!:moondance:

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Yeah, he parked his Pathfinder right by the toilets at Camp Muir.

 

Edited by Uphill

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23 minutes ago, JasonG said:

Someone has to collect the climbing permit fees.

I mean like he never leaves the mountain! :laf:

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On 2/20/2018 at 10:54 AM, JasonG said:

DAMN!  First time up Rainier, and it was in winter??!!  Crazy.

Well done guys!:moondance:

yeah, that ain't no shit - damn near like winning the lotto :)

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Jeff - great report and well done on the climb. Especially shooting the ledges in the dark. My buddy Judah and I were the other climbers you met at Muir. We appreciate your steps up the exit chute. We actually came down Gib Ledges though it wasn't fun - the snow was really sloppy and soft in the afternoon sun. It was slow going until the Cowlitz but a nice direct route regardless. 

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Of the 3 routes I've done on the mountain, my favorite by far was the ledges. Early June 2011 there were no ledges per se, just a spicy, rising traverse, under that big rock to the ramp...

Nice report thanks for posting.

d

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