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Safarir

question Backpacking Tent on Rainier DC (Muir + Ingraham Flat) Mid July

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Hi,

Me and 4 of my firends will be attempting to climb rainier in mid July via the DC route and this will all be our first mountaineering experience. We have extensive backpacking experience and some winter camping experience up here in Ontario. We will also be taking 3 days of mountaineering course/crevasse rescue before our summit attempt.

I am finalizing my gear selection and was hoping to save a couple of pounds on the tent. Our current plan is to rent real 4 seasons tents but a part of me just want to believe my Hubba Hubba tent would be sufficient.

I am looking for expert opinion on the subject. Is it too risky ? What kind of wind can I expect up there ?

Thank You

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expert opinion?  you better go ask a professional guide service.  just nice (and some mean) monkeys here.

my opinion (for what it is worth) is the backpacking tent may be fine.  I used a 3 person tent in the volcanoes for quite a while but they had guy line attachments half way up the tent body.  If your tent does not have high guye line attachments, it will have a hard time staying up in wind which is almost guaranteed.    you basically want a fly that comes down really low to ground (to avoid wind getting underneath) and plenty of guy lines up high, the more better.  Mine had 8 total, one each corner, one on each long side and 2 for the vestibule all mid way up body.  it could take a beating well.  it must have had 8 low attachments for the fly.  when I had thing strung out, it was like a spider web and I was in the cacoon.

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@genepires is spot on.  I'll add that with an excellent forecast a good quality backpacking tent is fine on Rainier.  I don't own a 4 season tent and have climbed Rainier several times.  But you have to be willing to change plans if high winds are forecast on the upper mountain. i.e. not climb Rainier.

Which brings up another pet peeve of mine.  Teams heading up on Rainier with a poor forecast.  We have a big state with lots of fun climbing.  If the forecast is bad, don't go up high on the mountain.  It'll be there next time and you'll have more fun somewhere else (i.e. on the east side and not on a volcano).  That said, mid July is a great time of year and you'll probably have decent weather.....

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yeah, if you had to go to rainier and want good conditions all around, july is the best.   your biggest tent disaster is prolly coming back down and the stakes melted out and tent flew away.  it happens.....alot.  many collapse the tent (just remove poles but leave it all staked) before leaving in the dark.  seems silly till you see a tent roll into a crevase.  take your wallet and keys with you on summit day.

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I'd agree with the above, adding that in 1982 I used an ultralight backpacking tent on Denali -- more critical is how/where you pitch your tent.  Whether you go with an ultralight or expedition weight tent, I'd carry shovel and snow-saw (I carry a big folding pruning saw - cheaper and more readily available than  an "official snow saw"), and be prepared to construct substantial windbreaks, or even pack up the tent and get under the snow.   A consideration that hasn't been mentioned is the typically larger amount of room in a  "four-season" or "expedition" tent, but if room is not a factor, and you're comfortable in your hubba-hubba,  and are ok with building snow-walls, you should be fine.
 

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Stake your tent with ski poles, take it completely down when you make your summit bid. If the wind is big ... sleep in the public shelter at Muir. Worst case, you spend the night in the shitters.

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On 6/21/2018 at 11:21 AM, genepires said:

  take your wallet and keys with you on summit day.

that piece of advice alone is worth the price of admission!

 

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The past 18 years I have climbed Rainier using a BD Betamid tarp, except for North side routes in winter.  Staked and guyed out properly I have rode out 30+ MPH winds in exposed bivi sites with no trouble.  Also, consider using the Muir shelter. It gets a bad rap but you can save the weight of the tent.  Choosing a sheltered camp site, digging in and properly staking/guying out your Hubba Hubba tent should be fine.  I find the parachute style tent anchors are superior in snow to traditional stakes.

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So how did it turn out?

I've used a 3 season tent at Muir in May.  It sucked.  Too much mesh paneling so the wind just blew straight on through.  Also the poles got a little bent.  Still usable, but the poles will never quite be the same.  

Why not just stay at the hut?

 

 

Edited by bstach

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