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climber_x

Emmons vs. DC/ID

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Friends and I want to climb Rainier this summer and are currently working our butts into shape. We have climbed Adams and Baker via the standard trade routes in preparation. On Rainier I have climbed the DC midweek and had a great time. For this trip we are forced into a weekend slot and I have heard the crowds on the DC can be dangerous. I am thinking about heading to Emmons for lower crowds but the route looks somewhat boring. One glacier all the way up. Not that the DC is the bee's knees but it seems to have more geographic appeal. What do people think DC or Emmons (or perhaps Ingrahm Direct which will hopefully be an option within the next couple of weeks)?

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Don't count on the lower crowds on the Emmons, that route packs 'em in on a weekend. And you're right early to mid season it's mostly a boring slog (later on it can get interesting with route finding and crevasse problems).

 

Instead of DC and/or Emmons have you considered something like furhr finger? It's not any harder and way more interesting. Probably shortest approach on the mountain, and you have a good shot of having the route to yourselves (even on a weekend). Go light and do a carryover and come down dc, that way you don't have to worry about decsending the kautz if you don't think you're ready for that. The route usually stays in till the end of June, early July.

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Despite what people say, I like the Emmons route. It's not technical, per say, but it's very long and nice. When I went, it was pretty broken up and presented a few hairy challenges. The glacier travel is nice, and keeps you alert when the slots are open. Good views of Little Tahoma. Good sunrises. Glacier sloggin is boring sometimes, but I find being on that huge glacier very fun.

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I'd second the recommendation for the Finger. Looked like it was in great shape a couple of weeks ago, and (argueably) exposes climbers to less severe objective hazards than the Kautz route.

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The DC/ID is much more interesting in that you're kinda winding your way around and up the mountain. The emmons is all laid out for you from Camp Schurman.

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JayB said:

I'd second the recommendation for the Finger. Looked like it was in great shape a couple of weeks ago, and (argueably) exposes climbers to less severe objective hazards than the Kautz route.

 

This sounds great laugh.gif I have now heard several bids for the finger and it sounds like the conditions are good (and hopefully will remain so for the next two weeks). I will look into it more. Anyone have more thoughts on the technical difficulty of this route?

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climber_x said:

JayB said:

I'd second the recommendation for the Finger. Looked like it was in great shape a couple of weeks ago, and (argueably) exposes climbers to less severe objective hazards than the Kautz route.

 

This sounds great laugh.gif I have now heard several bids for the finger and it sounds like the conditions are good (and hopefully will remain so for the next two weeks). I will look into it more. Anyone have more thoughts on the technical difficulty of this route?

 

technical difficulty? low to moderate I'd say. the first part of the finger is the steepest at ~40 degrees or so and takes a direct line up the right side of the waptowy(sp?) cleaver. If you've got good frenchy style going on, no need to front point on it - single axe works fine too.

 

Route finding is easy, just keep the cleaver on your left and the nisqually on your right till you reach 13K or so where the route joins the kautz route to the summit. Descend the kautz back to high camp or carryover and decend the dc. start early to avoid rock fall. the route is narrow in spots and fairly aesthetic.

 

did it on a june weekend a couple of years ago when that side of the mtn was teaming with climbers, everyone was on kautz and dc, we were the only party on the finger that weekend!

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ditto on the shape of the finger...4 days ago it was looking in excellent condition...sadly, you'll have to be a real mountaineer and break your own trail over to & up it...no big bootholes for you! looked pretty sweet, the wilson headwall even better

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