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JasonG

Climber killed, others injured at Thumb Rock

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14 hours ago, bigeo said:

If the objective danger hasn't changed over time, 

Says who? Melting of ice off the mountains significantly added to risk factor. North Faces in the Cascades were routinely done mid summer, now they would be nearly suicidal. Because of climate change, risk factors went up. It was showing in the Alps already since the 90's, but it's showing now here as well. 

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23 minutes ago, glassgowkiss said:

Says who? Melting of ice off the mountains significantly added to risk factor. North Faces in the Cascades were routinely done mid summer, now they would be nearly suicidal. Because of climate change, risk factors went up. It was showing in the Alps already since the 90's, but it's showing now here as well. 

Liberty Ridge was first climbed in SEPTEMBER (1936?). 

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6 hours ago, DPS said:

In 1994 we were the last of six parties at to arrive Thumb Rock. 

I agree with Gene, since 50 Classics was published (1978?) I suspect the number of climbers on Liberty Ridge has been more or less consistent.

I could be completely wrong, but I think the number of climbers on Rainier in general has not increased significantly over the last 30 years because the park de facto limits the number of climbers through camping permits.  Also, a significant portion of climbers go with guide services, who are also limited to a certain number of climbers.

The MRNP has required climbers to register for many years, and this would include info on party size, route, and date. There's probably a lot of interest info and trends on those data.

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Posted (edited)

It's rather nauseating contemplating how close I was to being up there, having bailed from Curtis Ridge Camp Monday morning. But for a quirk of my partner's schedule, we very likely would have been on the same itinerary as the stranded party. Rooting hard for both them and the rescuers to get a good outcome. 

 Some of the wind gusts Monday morning were pretty vicious at 7300', I shudder to imagine what they were going through at the top. 

EDIT: I briefly speculated in this post that we may have seen them as dots high on the ridge Sunday afternoon/evening, but I removed that as possibly irresponsible and impossible to confirm.

Edited by Dylan Colon

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¡Ay, caramba! I can remember topping out on Ptarmigan in similar conditions. We got our tent set up in one of the flat areas below Liberty Cap and hunkered down for the night. Got up in the morning to continued wicked winds but clear weather. We got the hell up Liberty Cap and down the Emmons. I remember walking into Sherman, with folks thinking we were bad azz hard men when we said we spend the night on top. People had lost tents that night at Sherman. We got something to to drink and eat and then went down the Whintrop and back to Ipsut Creek.

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3 days exposed at that location is pretty tough. Hope they hang in there.

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Posted (edited)

Well with the weather crapping out through at least Friday with significant precipitation it's going to be a bit more than 3 days.

Edited by dberdinka
excessive insensitivity

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Did anyone else look at the photos posted by the NPS? It looks to me that they might have hunkered down in a crevasse as there is no sign of them in the photos.

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16 hours ago, JasonG said:

Sort of surprised to see the data point from the Willis Wall in 2011. The only WW climb I can recall was Loren and Jens' ascent as a party of two around that time. Anyone recall any other WW ascents? 

Kind of interesting that most of the activity on Willis Wall, from what I can recall, was in the early 60's through the mid-70's, which coincides with the post WWII cold period. My sense is that it's just a coincidence that that period of time just happened to be when the rest of the mountain had been climbed out and Willis Wall was the only place left people seeking out first ascents could go for FAs on big lines. Having said that, I wonder if the colder, snowier conditions made those lines more or less dangerous. I could see it going either way.  Always Russian roulette, but interesting to contemplate from an armchair a long way away from that face. 

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"Despite the objective hazards, the Willis Wall is a popular objective, in

theory if not in practice. To climb Willis Wall and survive seems to elevate

one to “”immortal”” status among Northwest climbers”.

Climbing The Northwest Volcanoes, Jeff Smoot, 2nd Ed.

From a TR in the db from a 1989 ascent of the wall

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According to posts by strangers on facebook they were rescued alive. Hopefully they are not badly frostbitten, and what a relief to hear this outcome.

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Whoah.  Those boys knew how to suffer.       :moondance:

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So nice to hear good news for a change!

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3 hours ago, JayB said:

Sort of surprised to see the data point from the Willis Wall in 2011. The only WW climb I can recall was Loren and Jens' ascent as a party of two around that time. Anyone recall any other WW ascents? 

The numbers are for people attempting the routes ... not necessarily those who were successful.

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3 hours ago, JasonG said:

"Despite the objective hazards, the Willis Wall is a popular objective, in

theory if not in practice. To climb Willis Wall and survive seems to elevate

one to “”immortal”” status among Northwest climbers”.

Climbing The Northwest Volcanoes, Jeff Smoot, 2nd Ed.

From a TR in the db from a 1989 ascent of the wall

Great find - thanks for posting the link. 

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Posted (edited)
On 6/5/2019 at 1:26 PM, glassgowkiss said:

Says who? Melting of ice off the mountains significantly added to risk factor. North Faces in the Cascades were routinely done mid summer, now they would be nearly suicidal. Because of climate change, risk factors went up. It was showing in the Alps already since the 90's, but it's showing now here as well. 

"If" 

I don't profess to know and was making a point about risk in general versus risk on the individual level.

Edited by bigeo

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BTW, I was West of Rainier at Riff Lake, and by Sunday early afternoon it was pretty obvious storm was moving in. At 3500ft level winds picked up significantly and cloud was pointing to high moisture, strong wind combination. By 2 pm Rainier was engulfed in clouds. 

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