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I was wondering what the views are like from the Thumb Rock camp site on Liberty Ridge? I'm thinking of heading up there for a photo trip, I don't plan on summiting this will strickly be for photography. Also, how is the approach? Is it extreme technical climbing or straight forward?


Any information would be greatly appreciated (including any photos showing the view).





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I dunno if I'd go there strictly for the photography. It's got nice views, but you're kind of on the side of the mountain. I don't think you can see a whole lot above you , but the views of Willis Wall and the other wall are good. If you stay there long enough you'll probably get an avalanche on film:




Getting there is somewhere in between straightforward and extreme technical climbing. The Carbon glacier can be pretty tricky to navigate, especially by summer, and there could be a short bit of low 4th class or low 5th class getting on to the base of the ridge. Then its sustained 40+ degree snow or ice (or scree?) getting up to Thumb Rock, with pretty significant rockfall danger.

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sorry for the low resolution pic...but at least it shows what to expect. Its been several years since I've been there, but just crossing the carbon glacier you should expect a fair amount of crevasse navigation and probably some bad snowbridges too.

I had the unfortunate experience of having a storm (that wasn't in the forecast) roll in while bivied at Thumb Rock, no viz, lots of snow, could hear avies all around us, took eight hours just to descend back to the base of the ridge from Thumb Rock, then we started punching through snowbridges once back on the glacier...yuck.


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I have never seen bigger or more numerous crevasses on Rainier than on the Carbon in mid June 93. It will depend on where the bridges are though. You might be able to squeak around the part I had to go through.

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Attached is another picture from 6/02. Red is the Carbon to Thumb Rock approach. Orange is a variation around the toe of the ridge, also subject to big icefall from the Liberty Cap Glacier. Purple is the route from Thumb Rock to Liberty Cap.


I agree, down climbing would seriously suck, especially having your back turned to all the potential rocks that could literally remove your head...even with a helmet on! pitty.gif


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