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Mike_Gauthier

Updated Info 5-6-04

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Update, lots of questions floating in and I want to respond and help where I can. Hopefully this will answer some specific queries.

 

Overall: “The Mountain” is exhibiting excellent climbing conditions. I’ve been flying around the peak quite a bit and many of the routes look as though they are in good shape with few issues to mitigate (other than the regular weather, altitude, trail breaking, and misc. subjective hazards.)

 

As a reminder, this has been a WONDERFUL spring, with lots of great weather and very light snowfall. The climbing still remains great, but the winter snow-pack is melting quickly. If you’re interested in non-standard routes on Mount Rainier, I suggest going soon.

 

Muir Snowfield: The route is snow covered. At this time, there is a boot track to Camp Muir, but new precipitation may bury. If this happens, consider bringing snowshoes or skies. If you’re into skiing/boarding, definitely bring the gear. It’s awesome and this is the time of year to do it.

 

Ingraham Direct: going well, it’s been climbed and skied. Many teams headed over to top of DC.

 

Gib Ledges: melting out fast, but new snowfall will help extend the route. Some loose volcanic mud/rock (choss??) is exposed early to mid ledges, but was stable due to cold temps.

 

Success Cleaver: I think the fastest access is via the Westside road, up to Tahoma Creek trail (somewhat hidden, b/c of washout but easy to locate beyond the closed road) hike to Indian Henry’s and up north flank of Pyramid Peak. It’s a good route to solo, but not so great to ski, unless your skiing the Success Couloirs. They are steep; this would be classified by many as extreme skiing, play it safe.

 

For a solo permit, see: http://www.nps.gov/mora/climb/solo.htm It generally takes two weeks for approval.

 

Sunset Ridge: Four to five days should be enough time to round trip the route, but it will be tough and one must factor weather conditions. Start on the Westside road, climb route, via Puyallup Cleaver and descend Tahoma Glacier/Sickle back to Westside road. If you want to descend to Paradise, descend over Columbia Crest back to Muir (not much easier.)

 

As for camping, you’ll be able to find many bivy sites along the way, except on the route itself (there are “some small” platforms on route around 10K, depending on which line you choose). Ideally, camp at base of the ridge near the small rock ridge that separates the Edmunds Glacier from the South Mowich Glacier (9K+). If you need the extra time or are feeling extravagant, camp on the summit/Liberty Cap.

 

Access/Roads:

 

Chinook and Cayuse Passes are open.

 

White River Road (410 to White River Campground) is still closed. That’s a 6-mile one-way hike. Bring your bikes, as the road is plowed, but not quite ready. The road is scheduled to open the Friday before Memorial Day weekend (5/28).

 

Longmire to Paradise, scheduled to open 24/7 this Saturday. If the weather really moves in, this may change/postpone.

 

The Carbon Road to Ipsut Creek is open.

 

NPS Stuff: Self-Registration (with self explanatory instructions) is open on the front porch of the Paradise Old Station. This will remain in effect till May 27th. The climbing ranger station at Paradise is now open weekends, Fri-Sun, Friday night till 7 PM. If interested, here is link to the 2003 mountaineering report: http://www.nps.gov/mora/climb/Climb03.mht There is a lot of neat info about last year there.

 

Hope you are enjoying the spring and enjoying the mountains.

 

Mike

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Mike,

 

Thanks for theupdate. Do you or anyone else have any info on the conditions on the Fuhrer Finger? We're looking to split-board it, at the end of this month.

 

Zach

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Mike,

 

Thursday's Tacoma News Tribune ran a piece in Soundlife stating that the White River access would not open until July 2. Is your info more current?

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