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Loco Raindrops

Climbing Rainier with RMI(5 day)

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Posted (edited)

 

So, 30+ year east coast solo backpacker who does more off trail than anything.

Mostly I am out late winter. Im weird like that. Won't catch me on trail in summer. 

Im 42 and work out like a madman.

My pack weight for a late winter multi week solo is around 80lbs. 

(I dont do resupply points)

Im not a ul guy(I own 3 Hilleberg tents, heavy durable comfy pack, blah blah blah.)

I use my gear and dont baby it. 

Have done some climbing years back but lets face it the east doesnt have much to prep for Rainier. 

Ive been on crampons. I own 2 pair(AirTech Steel semis and g20s for gnarlier stuff/full auto)but am taking this as a learning experience as well. Im a sponge when it comes to outdoor related stuff. 

So I consider myself a noob and always have because no matter your skill set you are always learning something new. 

I have a ton of gear and years of knowledge on how to use it(was a gear tester.)

Wife tells me the mancave looks like a REI lol.

I am going to take a stab at Rainier with RMI(5 day in summer of 2020.)

Waiting for schedule to drop in September so I can pay them.

Im not foolish enough to think I could take this endeavor on my own and dont feel my knowledge level is solid enough to try and jump on a rope team. Not fair to others.

I have also on a few occasions made the choice to bail on a trip so I would have no problem making that decision if it comes to it. 

Im not above that. 

Its not about the summit for me. Granted I would like to make summit but a lot of whether or not I do is out of my hands. 

Any suggestions or advice?

Most likely staying in Ashford. 

I could get into the littney of gear I am using but wont pollute this post with all of that unless asked.

I guess just any gen info on the DC route from those who have done it.

Gonna book for late July to early to mid August.

Thanks in advance. 

Keep on keeping on folks.

***originally posted in climbers section, Im new and clueless so dont yell at me lol***

Edited by Loco Raindrops

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Welcome to CC.com!  I'd suggest getting your pack weight down (80 lbs!) and do some steep snow hikes if you have access.  RMI should have some other recommendations for your gear (don't bring more than what they list) and training on their website.  I was able to climb the DC route with RMI in the year of 2000 so keep that in mind.

The RMI bivy shack at Camp Muir is a smelly place that I wouldn't depend on getting a lot of sound sleep the night before summit day.  You're in one room with a bunch of other strangers farting and snoring.  I think they get you up at midnight anyway so it's not like you're trying to get 8 hours of sleep.

On summit day, you'll be teamed up on a rope with people who don't have as much experience/fitness and some folks who have more than you. RMI may turn around folks who aren't comfortable or able to continue at certain points.  When I climbed with them (a long time ago) on summit day I switched rope teams 3-4 times as folks dropped off.  So long as you have ok weather and you're able to physically keep up, you should  be able to continue on to the summit.  The DC route in prime climbing season is a circus but interesting enough terrain to keep your attention. 

Hope that helps -

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Posted (edited)

My pack weight wont be anywhere near 80lbs. I was just pointing out that is what I am use to toting and most likely using slowshoes when I am.

Postholing sucks lol.

Again, that is for 2 week late winter solo with no resupply. 

Im looking at max 40lbs to Muir then maybe 25lbs to summit. 

I am gonna try to get a tent at Muir for the exact reasons you state. If they say none available I may ask if I can drag my Hille Soulo up the ridge. 

Gear wise there is nothing required that I dont already own in some various form or fashion. 

Most likely will rent a transceiver, and big puffy because I dont see justification in buying either. 

Only a few places here in the east that have avalanche potential(Mt Wash, etc.)

Ive done some climbing. Will hit Lions Head route on Mt Wash here in the coming winter which I have done many years ago. 

Ive heard of the circus/congo lines lol. 

Cant wait. :)

 

Edited by Loco Raindrops

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2 hours ago, Loco Raindrops said:

My pack weight wont be anywhere near 80lbs. I was just pointing out that is what I am use to toting and most likely using slowshoes. 

Postholing sucks lol.

Again, that is for 2 week late winter solo with no resupply. 

Im looking at max 40lbs to Muir then maybe 25lbs to summit. 

I am gonna try to get a tent at Muir for the exact reasons you state. If they say none available I may ask if I can drag my Hille Soulo up the ridge. 

Gear wise there is nothing required that I dont already own in some various form or fashion. 

Most likely will rent a transceiver, and big puffy because I dont see justification in buying either. 

Only a few places here in the east that have avalanche potential(Mt Wash, etc.)

Ive done some climbing. Will hit Lions Head route on Mt Wash here in the coming winter which I have done many years ago. 

Ive heard of the circus/congo lines lol. 

Cant wait. :)

 

I don't mind sleeping in the shelter, I have always slept well and if you don't have to carry the weight of the tent all the better.  Transceiver is not needed in July/August.  Don't need a BIG puffy either, a hooded 100 gram Primaloft or similar is the ticket. 

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I think more than gear advice I am looking for any info you all may feel is useful that you may have learned along the way or in your travels up there. 

What type of pace do the guides run ya at? Obviously I would assume slower above Muir than below. 

 

Im considering using my Camelbak All Clear over my pump. I have a pre filter but a little tundra seasoning isnt always a bad thing. ;)

Any caveats you all see to this?

Is it worth me rocking approach shoes to Muir from Paradise?

If so I will just wear my Scarpas.

Nalgenes up high but I think a bladder would make sense low...

Yeah, Im excited. Been wanting to get into climbing for a long time amd want to learn everything I can. 

I was a gear tester so anything I get into I study til my eyeballs want to fall out lol. 

So yeah, Im open to any advice I can get. 

Oh, here is one. Shuttles from SeaTac?

Im staying in Ashford and dont really see a need to leave once I get there so renting a car to sit in a parking lot for 5+ days doesnt make much sense.

RMI told me once the 2020 schedule is dropped I can pay at which time they will give me access to chat forums?

Thats what I got from the convo lol. 

I just want to get a jump on it, cross my t's and dot my i's persay. 

So anything you can provide me is extremely appreciated on my end.

 

 

 

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Posted (edited)
23 minutes ago, DPS said:

I don't mind sleeping in the shelter, I have always slept well and if you don't have to carry the weight of the tent all the better.  Transceiver is not needed in July/August.  Don't need a BIG puffy either, a hooded 100 gram Primaloft or similar is the ticket. 

My layers I currently have are Smartwool NTS250 qtr zip, MH Monkeyman fleece, OR Uberlayer mid, Alpha SV shell, and I am debating on my MH Stretchdown DS which is a 800fp hooded puffy. 

I may deep 6 the Monkeyman for the puffy 

Thinking of picking up a hooded sunshirt for Muir. 

Def open to any suggestions.

Bottoms.. Cap midweights, OR cirques, and Alpha AR shells if needed.

I think climbing with RMI a transceiver is required. 

I could be wrong tho.

Im here ro learn as much as possible from you all so.

Edited by Loco Raindrops

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I'd ditch the water filter. Once you get above snowline the only source of water is melting snow, at that point you may as well just boil it. Also the guides will likely take care of that for you.

The guides also typically take care of tents/shelters and will likely discourage you from bringing your own tent.

In mid to late summer the snowline could be as high as 8000ft (parking lot is at 5400ft) so depending on how comfortable your mountaineering boots are for hiking on trails you might want to consider some lightweight approach shoes.

Don't under-estimate how hot and sunny it will get. I'd recommend a sunshirt, sunhat, thin gloves and good sunscreen. Cover up as much skin as possible and apply sunscreen to the rest frequently. A sunhat that you can fit under a helmet (I have an OR sun runner hat) is a huge plus.

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Posted (edited)

I have a Swift cap already. Maybe will get the thingy that attaches to it for neck protection. 

Boots... My beloved Lhotses finally died after many years and just didnt see the justification in a resole so picked up a pair of Nepal Cubes that fit very well. 

Think the last was built around my feet tbh lol.

Added SF blues to them but I personally dont want to use them for the trek from Paradise to Muir. 

I have many pairs of various backpacking/trail boots so may just wear my Scarpa Zodiacs on the plane and rock them the whole trip til I have to dawn heavier footwear. 

Is there ever a need for a traction aid in Muir snowfield? I have a pair of HS Trail crampons (which are not crampons imo) but again, dont want to tote them just for the sake of carrying them.

Keep in mind I am going to be making the slog late July early August. 

Im reserving my spot the second dates are released so I have no doubt this will be the time frame. 

I was aware of the fact that "melted snow water" is provided but would there still be need to treat it with UV?

I mean do they heat it to the point where they just melt it or do they actually boil which would alleviate the need to treat?

 

Edited by Loco Raindrops

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Posted (edited)
1 hour ago, NikiY said:

I'd ditch the water filter. 

Yeah, Ive used a filter in sub freezing temps and in all honesty its a pita taking the ceramic element out, putting it in a ziploc, then in a pocket close to your body to keep it from freezing.

Why I was just gonna go UV with the All Clear.

Edited by Loco Raindrops

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Krikes, you are discussing bringing MULTIPLE items of the same thing: two pairs of foot wear, two types of crampons.  The only thing I bring a second pair of is socks.  The one BIG recommendation I would make, is look into outfits other than RMI.  They would be my last choice.

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So, FWIW, here is my DC gear list, assuming I'm sleeping in the hut.  This kit weighs ~25 lbs total with food and water for an overnight trip.

Clothing  
Head   
Warm hat Fleece, should fit under helmet
Helmet Black Diamond Tracer
   
Hands  
Warm gloves Lowe Alpine Primaloft
Liner gloves Cheap poly pro/light fleece
   
Feet  
Boots Kayland Super Ice Evo (similar to LS Nepal Top or Scarpa Mont Blanc)
Warm socks Goodhew warm (x 2 pair) 
Sleeping socks Smartwool -heavy 
   
Legs  
Briefs Poly
Tights/long johns Patgonia mid weight
Pants EMS Pinnacle migweight softshell
   
Torso  
Warm shirt Patagonia light weight, long sleeve, zip tee
light fleece jacket Marmot DriClime
Shell Montbel Versalite (10 oz hard shell)
Vest Marmot Alpha (highly breathable synthetic down)
Belay Jacket Mountain Hardwear Super Compressor (or any other 100 gram Primaloft with hood)
   
Personal climbing equipment  
Backpack Montbel Balance Light 40L
Harness Black Diamond Couloir
HMS Carabiner Small Black Daimond
Small carabiners locking x 2, wire gate x 2
Slings 2 x 120cm spectra with small lockers
Ice Axe Petzl Summit Evo
Crampons Grivel Air Tech
Prusik cords 5mm perlon
Picket MSR Coyote
Pulley REI
   
Odds and ends  
Water bottles 1 Nalgene, 1 bladder - bottle doubles as mug
TP Partial roll
First aid kit Blister stuff, gauze pads, analgesics, athletic tape, asthma inhaler
Camera with pouch Panasonic Lumix
   
Essentials Kit  
Stuff sack Small, red silnylon stuff sack
Sunglasses Cebe glacier glasses
Knife 2.5" Buck with 1/2 serrated blade
Sunblock Aloe Gator Gel
Lip balm Bannana Boat SPF 15
Lotion Coconut oil
Lighter Small Bic with guard removed
Extra batteres for headlamp 4 x AAA lithium
Headlamp Black Diamond Storm
Water treatent tablets ClO2
Compass Brunton
Spoon Titanium
   
Shared climbing equipment  
Ropes 50m x 8.5 mm Edelweiss Sharp Everdry half rope
   
Camping equipment  
Sleeping bag Stoic Somnus 30 degree
Sleeping pad Evazotte
Stove MSR Pocket Rocket with heat exchanger
Pot 1 liter, black anadozied aluminum with handle
Fuel 16 oz MSR Isopro
Spoon  Titanium
Bowl Thin plastic
Lighter Mini Bic
   
Hygeine Kit  
Toothbrush Travel size
Tooth paste Trial size
Floss Trial size
Hand santizer Trial size alcohol gel
Foot powder Gold Bond trial size

 

 

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1 hour ago, DPS said:

Krikes, you are discussing bringing MULTIPLE items of the same thing: two pairs of foot wear, two types of crampons.  The only thing I bring a second pair of is socks.  The one BIG recommendation I would make, is look into outfits other than RMI.  They would be my last choice.

Just stating some gear. Im pretty covered gear wise.

Why the shade towards RMI?

Feedback Ive heard about them was 100% positive.

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On 3/26/2019 at 1:27 PM, Loco Raindrops said:

Is there ever a need for a traction aid in Muir snowfield? I have a pair of HS Trail crampons (which are not crampons imo) but again, dont want to tote them just for the sake of carrying them.

I was aware of the fact that "melted snow water" is provided but would there still be need to treat it with UV?

I mean do they heat it to the point where they just melt it or do they actually boil which would alleviate the need to treat?

 

Probably not, especially July/August. There is only one steep section (pan face) and it will almost certainly be melted out by then.

If they are going to be providing you with water I would assume that it has been treated in some form or another. Additionally their equipment list on their website does not include a filter.

No personal experience with RMI, but I've heard that their groups are very large and that their goal is just to get you up and down the mountain, not to teach you anything.

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Just now, NikiY said:

Probably not, especially July/August. There is only one steep section (pan face) and it will almost certainly be melted out by then.

If they are going to be providing you with water I would assume that it has been treated in some form or another. Additionally their equipment list on their website does not include a filter.

No personal experience with RMI, but I've heard that their groups are very large and that their goal is just to get you up and down the mountain, not to teach you anything.

I was under the thought that on the 5 day you get taught crevasse rescue, etc on day 2, 1st is more to see ur gear and a meet & greet during the evening. 

Then with 2 nights at Muir you either get to summit the night u get there or the next day dependent on weather.

Whatever time you are down whether it be day 4 or 5 u use that day for skills. 

Ive heard a lot of other services there u actually learn on the fly as you climb.

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Posted (edited)

Sorry, should have been more specific. They may teach you stuff, but that is not their *goal*. This is probably true of most guides taking people up the DC though.

Again, this is hearsay. I don't have any personal experience.

Edit: Put another way, there are people who hire guides because they want to become more competent climbers, and there are people who hire guides because they want to get to the top. From what I have heard, RMI caters to the latter. I don't think there is anything wrong with that, but it's something to keep in mind depending on what your expectations are.

Edited by NikiY
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Posted (edited)
27 minutes ago, NikiY said:

Sorry, should have been more specific. They may teach you stuff, but that is not their *goal*. This is probably true of most guides taking people up the DC though.

Again, this is hearsay. I don't have any personal experience.

Edit: Put another way, there are people who hire guides because they want to become more competent climbers, and there are people who hire guides because they want to get to the top. From what I have heard, RMI caters to the latter. I don't think there is anything wrong with that, but it's something to keep in mind depending on what your expectations are.

Yeah, honeslty Im really not sweating summit. If it happens cool, if not still cool. Im just amped to plant my feet there and give it a shot. 

Im more into the journey than the trip. How I have always viewed my forays whether it be a weekend or a 150 mile death march late winter on snowshoes with a heavy pack or dragging a sled. 

Ive bailed many a time because things didnt feel right so I have no problem with that. 

Just want to take what I can from it from an experience perspective, build on it, and if it goes well turn the dial up and off to the next objective. 

This is by no means a 1 and done or bucket lister for me. Not why I am doing it or do anything for that matter.

If this goes well then there will be a next climb, and a next, and a next lol. 

Im so envious of you all who live out that way. I would give just about anything to have that type of access to that type of terrain.

Im more focused on learning and experience than anything though and sometime real world is better than what ya learn in a controlled environment.

Edited by Loco Raindrops

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You don't need the stove or the rope. RMI will provide those and will probably be annoyed if you show up with them.  You might add gators to your list, it seems like that was a requirement in the olden days.

I'm sure they'll send you a very detailed packing list once you register.

 

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Posted (edited)
42 minutes ago, Bronco said:

You don't need the stove or the rope. RMI will provide those and will probably be annoyed if you show up with them.  You might add gators to your list, it seems like that was a requirement in the olden days.

I'm sure they'll send you a very detailed packing list once you register.

 

Definitely bringing gaiters. Have a pair that will be fine for up there. 

More for not turning my lower pant legs into swiss cheese than anything.

I never considered showing up with a rope but did think the Simmerlite would be necessary and a bottle but zero need to melt snow being RMI does it for me. 

Wouldnt have minded in the least tho.

Part ofthe journey as far as I am concerned. 

 

 

 

 

 

Edited by Loco Raindrops

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Whoops, that was DPS' list, for some reason I though it was yours.  Carry on -

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53 minutes ago, Bronco said:

Whoops, that was DPS' list, for some reason I though it was yours.  Carry on -

Lol all good. 

Anyone here ever stay in the cottages in Ashford?

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Posted (edited)

Im considering doing their seminar climb which is more focused on education and skills instead of the base 5 day.

Granted u make a run at the summit but its honesltly not about that for me. 

Edited by Loco Raindrops

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Definitely bring gaiters, I accidently left those off my list.  Yeah, don't bring a rope, I just cut and pasted my personal gear list to give you an idea of what I bring and I always rope up for Rainier.

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On 4/10/2019 at 5:06 PM, DPS said:

Definitely bring gaiters, I accidently left those off my list.  Yeah, don't bring a rope, I just cut and pasted my personal gear list to give you an idea of what I bring and I always rope up for Rainier.

I wonder if folks actually show up to these guided trips/seminars with rope. 

I bet some of the stories of what some bring are hilarious. 

I'm reading a book on the Hood tragedy that was written by Karen James. 

Apparently she brought a butane hair curler on one climb. 

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3 hours ago, Loco Raindrops said:

I wonder if folks actually show up to these guided trips/seminars with rope. 

So, I tried guiding for a season, I was terrible at it.  Anyhoo, one guest showed up with 4 gallons of water.  I explained that we would be melting snow for our water and she did not need more than 2 liters.

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On 4/12/2019 at 12:52 PM, DPS said:

So, I tried guiding for a season, I was terrible at it.  Anyhoo, one guest showed up with 4 gallons of water.  I explained that we would be melting snow for our water and she did not need more than 2 liters.

4 gallons?

Thats what I tote for a dayhike. 

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