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Chriznitch

[TR] Mt Rainier- Kautz Glacier 8/8/2004

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Climb: Mt Rainier-Kautz Glacier

 

Date of Climb: 8/7-8/2004

 

Trip Report:

My buddy Nate and I climbed the Kautz Glacier route from Paradise. We crossed over the Nisqually and climbed up to the Wilson Glacier. This was straightforward and efficient--we were glad that we went this way instead of starting at the lower trailhead. The approach we used avoided the fan.

 

6016crossing_Nisqually-med.jpg

 

After starting in the rain we quickly climbed above the clouds and into a beautiful day.

 

6016approach_above_clouds-med.jpg

 

We camped at about 10500', and there were 4 other parties camped nearby. No running water was found--it was all buried under new snow. The views from camp were pretty good:

 

6016camp_view1-med.jpg

 

That night we watched some large ice chunks break off the Kautz ice cliff and realized that we'd better get an early start and move quickly. We left camp a few minutes before 5am, dropped down to the Kautz and climbed through the ice chute leading through the cliffs. The top layers of ice were poor quality and shattered off in sheets, but the understuff held pretty good. We used a running belay here and placed 3 ice screws--the only protection used on the whole trip.

 

6016climbing_ice_chute-med.jpg

 

After getting through the chutes we climbed up the Kautz, traversing under some more seracs before getting to the summit plateau. This route was direct and simple, but was still long. I'm not sure what happened to the other parties that were with us at camp, but we ended up breaking trail the whole way (ugh!) through the foot of fresh snow on the upper mountain. This was brutal! The summit offered spectacular views with hardly a cloud in the sky. We lingered for a while:

 

6016summit-med.jpg

 

Descent was by the DC route--well broken in by the time we got there. Being my first time on the mountain I was amazed at the chaos of Camp Muir but glad to descend this side and get to see some more angles of the mountain.

Time: about 7 hours to camp at 10500', 7 hours to the summit, and 5 hours on the descent.

Overall it was an excellent trip and great introduction to what the mountain has to offer.

 

Gear Notes:

used 3 ice screws & 2nd tool

 

Approach Notes:

crossed Nisqually directly below Glacier Vista and followed a waterfall to the Wilson

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I took two friends up the emmons that day and ran into two different climbers who went up the kautz and down the emmons, maybe they were behind you guys. Great day to be on the mountain! nice photos.

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well, that would account for 1 of the 4 parties we camped with. We met 3 guys at Columbia Crest who climbed the Emmons--sounded like it was in great shape

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My friend Ted and I climbed the Kautz as well. We saw you guys on Sat on the turtle (We were on the rock ridge to the west). We left Sun at 1 am and got to the top at 9am. Breaking trail was pretty tough, wish you guys had been able to follow our trail, would have been much easier. We carried over and came down the Emmons and must be the group Scott was referring to.

Excellent climb and nice job on the trip report.

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crazy--yeah I remember you guys on Saturday. I did see some tracks below the ice chute, but that was it. You guys must've gone low up the upper Kautz? We ended up going way high above the broken area with seracs, and came out even on the plateau. No tracks at all.

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ahh, russellp, your the two that followed our group down the emmons. nice job thumbs_up.gif

 

first post on cc.com, I am a new member too...this is a great, informative site.

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We crossed below the seracs on the upper Kautz and threaded our way through some big crevasses towards the crater rim. A couple of times we ended up on the lip of some really big ones and had to do an end run around them. It was pretty tough going through the new snow. Did you guys go up towards point success and then angle over to the summit?

I agree with AJ about the site, I'm glad something got me to finally sign up and post after just visiting the site for a long time.

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yeah--we checked out the seracs about 1/2 way up, and then decided to traverse under them heading uphill towards Point Success. We came out on the plateau directly above the major crevasse, maybe 200yds, that was spanning the plateau south to north and trudged over to CC. You guys were long gone by that point!

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not to rain on your parade, but 5AM isn't really considered an early start...especially in august.

 

Great job though, i'm going to give this route a second attempt, I think. We got blown off by hurricane force winds in early july which shredded our tent.

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5am isn't that early, but this was a great time to capitalize on maximum cold temperature hardening effects...sometimes midnight-3am is TOO early, especially in August

PS--since this report is pretty old you would be better off getting out and climbing instead of critiquing it yellowsleep.gif

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you linked it in the other thread, i read it, was confused. it's not an attack...easy now.

 

I've been on Rainier three times in the past month. Hopefully another time or two before I leave for AK in 10 days.

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