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fear

Lib Ridge gear/planning questions....

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...Would you then suggest staying at the base of Curtis Ridge and going for the summit the next day even though it would be a really long summit day? Thanks for the info. cool.gif

 

Damn! That would be a long summit day. shocked.gif

 

Lib Ridge snaf.gif

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Planning to climb LR on Rainier the last week in May with one other partner...

 

The last time I did it, we went as a group of three. It was the last week of May/first week of June, 1991. Our route was the same as you plan to do.

 

Your rack looks good. When we did it, we took a "shared" technical tool. Only the leader got the second tool, whenever we swapped leads. The other two followed with standard ice axes (this tactic proved interesting above the Black Pyramid). We did not take any ice screws or screamers, but everyone carried one picket and a fluke. In late May of that year, the flukes proved more valuable than the pickets. One shovel, one light rope, same as you (10mm back then, I think).

 

Bivy sacks all around, 0-5 degree polarguard/synth bags.

 

We went in White River late in the day, camped at Glacier Basin below St. Elmo's Pass. Day two ended up at TR. Sunday put us on the top, but not until after rescuing two other groups of two (4 folks total) and putting them on the summit so a helo lift could be staged, but that's a story for another time.

 

Weather indicators at TR: Look uphill toward summit for presence of lenticular (we had one late on the final day - they can form fast), also look left (west) for approaching maritime weather systems.

 

We couldn't afford cell phones way back in ole '91. rolleyes.gif

 

If you can, do the short ice pitch right out of TR and up the steep snow-covered ramp to its left. It's way more fun than the open snowfield around to the right, IMHO (especially sans pro).

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Would you then suggest staying at the base of Curtis Ridge and going for the summit the next day even though it would be a really long summit day?

 

Even though what you suggest is a real possibility, I wouldnt recommend it if you havent been on that side of the mountain before. You should make your best effort to get to Thumb (some have bivied on the ridge between the Carbon and Thumb before, not bad if you really have to). One strategy you should consider is that if you really do make it to Thumb "early" from wherever you camp (edge of the Carbon?) the night before, and the conditions are good, might as well just continue on up to the summit. The actual climb from the base of the Carbon to the summit plateau is on the order of around 5000+ ft, which is a bit of a chore in one push but not really an unusually long route for the Cascades (though a bit higher than most), but the real time sink might be navigating the Carbon, which (depending on snow pack) may or may not be difficult. I've navigated it twice: the first time we didnt even rope up, and walked straight to the base of Lib Ridge without a blink; the second time was very time consuming and scary, and we didnt even get to the base of the route. Getting to Thumb is important not because the final climb is so long, but the combined route finding from the edge of the Carbon to the plateau can make for a long day if you are moving even a little slow. But as you can guess, good weather will make even a slow day not particularly unpleasant...

 

Alex

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There is room for twenty at Thumb rock. If you have a shovel. If there are twenty there, someone will.

I went straight up also. But we had a block to use as a ramp and only had about 10 ft of vertical neve. The route some people take goes way right and skirts around the crevasses and the vertical snow. But then you miss the incredible snowfield at the top of Liberty Cap. When you look down between your toes, you see the edge of the cliff and below that, the Carbon river 7000' below.

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Thanks for the beta. I've never been on that side of the mountain, so the route finding issues (to me) are pretty daunting. I don't mind the 5K gain at such a high altitude, but as you described the Carbon it would just seem a heck of a lot easier and safer (no time crunch) to just head to Thumb Rock. I guess navigating the Carbon is pretty much going to depend on the snowpack and the temps.

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You may find some soft snowbridges and a crevasse fall is possible, but I highly doubt that, in May, the Carbon Glacier will be so busted up that it will be extra challenging just to cross it -- at least from the standpoint of crevasses. The possibility of deep snow or breakable crust, or maybe for poor visibility, will likely be greater issues than crevasses as you cross the Carbon.

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Hey Dulton, I was up there 2003 May first weekend. We went with summer bags (10 y.o. 32 degree) and bivy sacks no tent, we were ok, but it did get cold one night in a storm at 13,800. You should be fine with 20 degree and tent. Definitely bring at least a picket per person, it can get soft out there, and ice screws would be useless for an extraction. Early in the year you should not have any problem negotiating the Carbon, and unless you get fresh snow you probably don't need snow shoes. One thing that has been mentioned is the descent. Go Winthrop to Emmons if it is passable, it is lot fast than what we did, which was cutting all the way across to the top of Emmons and descending. Have fun.

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Ken-

When you suggest descending the Winthrop to reach the Emmons, are you envisioning that they would descend after reaching Liberty Cap without climbing to Columbia Crest? I have always felt that Liberty Cap was the "climber's summit" as most of the more technical routes on the mountain terminate there, and I consider an ascent of Liberty Ridge complete if one does not go to Columbia Crest, but I bet there are many people out there who feel it is only complete if you actually go to the very summit of the mountain.

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I'd certainly like to topout again at Columbia (4 for 4 baby) but only if the weather/time/health/etc is also in agreement. Cutting across the Winthrop sounds interesting and looks like it would save a lot of time, on paper anyway. I heard the upper Winthrop can be a nasty maze of slots though... With only one partner not dropping into a slot is priority #1 for me....

 

If the climbing and conditions are truly easy we might just descend LR too...

 

Got my Superfly Ascent stove working great down to 5-10 degrees now! Planning for that forced 14k trench bivy already! shocked.gif

-Fear

Edited by fear

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There is room for twenty at Thumb rock. If you have a shovel. If there are twenty there, someone will.

 

Question to all: say you were bivying at Thumb Rock and you had packed a shovel up there to dig a platform. So someone from another party (who didn't bring a shovel in order to save weight) comes along and wants to borrow yours, would you let them? Part 2, would you ever do this; that is, rely on borrowing gear from some other person, not in your party, at a popular bivy site? (not talking about emergency situations here, thats obviously different).

wazzup.gif

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Part 1, of course!

 

Part 2, I dont rely on others, as there isnt a guarantee that there will be others where I am going

 

shovels don't weigh *that* much!

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Dustin,

 

One option I use often (although not on Lib Ridge, which I've never climbed) is to just carry an aluminum shovel blade, without the shovel handle. I use my ice tool (straight-shafted) as the handle. The shovel blade works great as a stove base, too. I've also used the shovel blade as a primitive snow anchor (sort of like a fluke). The BD Lynx shovel blade is very small and lightweight.

 

Cheers,

Steve

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Relying on someone else bringing a shovel is a realative thing. I have chopped out tent platforms with my adz. If you are going up there and want to give me a pm a few days prior, I'll try to arrange to take a shovel up there for you to borrow. Just don't try to borrow my wife.

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Ken-

When you suggest descending the Winthrop to reach the Emmons, are you envisioning that they would descend after reaching Liberty Cap without climbing to Columbia Crest? I have always felt that Liberty Cap was the "climber's summit" as most of the more technical routes on the mountain terminate there, and I consider an ascent of Liberty Ridge complete if one does not go to Columbia Crest, but I bet there are many people out there who feel it is only complete if you actually go to the very summit of the mountain.

 

Good point, I have always looked a Liberty Ridge as a route with out any care if I go to the top of Lib Cap or Columbia Crest. Eventually I will get up on both points, but haven't bothered. Last time cause I was whooped after a cold night bivying high so going all the way up was the last thing on my mind. I just wanted to get down to and eat some food. As far as what people consider complete or not complete doesn't matter to me, I climbed what I did and not claiming to climb any more or less than I did. So I guess it depends on what your personal goals are.

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There is room for twenty at Thumb rock. If you have a shovel. If there are twenty there, someone will.

 

Question to all: say you were bivying at Thumb Rock and you had packed a shovel up there to dig a platform. So someone from another party (who didn't bring a shovel in order to save weight) comes along and wants to borrow yours, would you let them? Part 2, would you ever do this; that is, rely on borrowing gear from some other person, not in your party, at a popular bivy site? (not talking about emergency situations here, thats obviously different).

wazzup.gif

 

As long as I wasn't using the shovel, yeah I would let them use it. I would think of myself as being really rude if I didn't.

I would think it sort of foolish not to bring a shovel though. They are light and they are multi fuctional (digging, deadman anchor, and as someone mentioned before in another thread smoking instrument).

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There is room for twenty at Thumb rock. If you have a shovel. If there are twenty there, someone will.

 

Question to all: say you were bivying at Thumb Rock and you had packed a shovel up there to dig a platform. So someone from another party (who didn't bring a shovel in order to save weight) comes along and wants to borrow yours, would you let them? Part 2, would you ever do this; that is, rely on borrowing gear from some other person, not in your party, at a popular bivy site? (not talking about emergency situations here, thats obviously different).

wazzup.gif

 

As long as I wasn't using the shovel, yeah I would let them use it. I would think of myself as being really rude if I didn't.

I would think it sort of foolish not to bring a shovel though. They are light and they are multi fuctional (digging, deadman anchor, and as someone mentioned before in another thread smoking instrument).

pitty.gif

That would be me at times. By the time June rolls around and a high pressure ridge is sticking around, I'll go up and use somebody else's platform. Shovels are handy though. I often bring my tricked out titanium snow saw too. Making snow forts is fun.

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Damnit! The worst part of every climb I've done is finding partners that stick to the plan....

 

I'm posting this in the partners section too but:

 

Partner just bailed on a planned Mt. Rainier / Liberty Ridge climb.

 

Planned to go last week of May. Times are still flex. Figure 4-5 days tops.

 

I'm looking for either another partner or joining another team.

 

Potential partners MUST have:

 

A sense of humor

Solid multi-pitch lead climbing experience on ice.

Ability to lead Grade 2+/3 ice and at least follow or TR a 3+/4

Glacier experience (complete crevasse rescue skills)

Solid general mountaineering skills (whiteout navigation, self-arrest, winter camping)

Experience on at least one technical multi-day climb over ~13,000 feet.

Obviously previous experience on Rainier/high cascades is a big plus.

 

 

I've got the Bibler eldo tent/stove/rope/rack(screws and pickets)

 

You'll need your own tools, bag, glacier gear, etc.

 

If you think you might be interested please e-mail me ASAP!

 

I'm in Central Connecticut.

 

Thanks

 

-Fear

 

rmb@angelfire.com

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While doing my homework on Lib Ridge I came across these five TRs. They open quite a few useful details on pro to use and possible snow/ice conditions. At least one of them looks like a mild epic.

Here is the main page:

http://naclassics.com/climbs/rainier/beta.htm

Here are direct links to TRs:

http://naclassics.com/climbs/rainier/da_501.pdf

http://naclassics.com/climbs/rainier/dr_700.pdf

http://naclassics.com/climbs/rainier/ls_699.pdf

http://naclassics.com/climbs/rainier/me_598.pdf

http://naclassics.com/climbs/rainier/gk_795.pdf

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There is room for twenty at Thumb rock. If you have a shovel. If there are twenty there, someone will.

 

There may be room for (20), but the rangers have a restriction on the number of climbers at Thumb. I'm not sure what the numbers are.

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