SmilingWhiteKnuckles Posted December 20, 2004 Share Posted December 20, 2004 (edited) Climb: Pinnacle Peak-East Ridge Date of Climb: 12/18/2004 Trip Report: After calling Rainier NP Friday and getting the word that the park gate would open at 9am, we elected to leave Seattle at 5:30am hoping that it would open earlier. The drive took us only about two hours, and as we neared the park, the day dawned around the big mountain. Got to the park, and there was no gate to stop us, no one at the teller's booth...hmmmm. Anyhow we drove on up to Narada Falls and parked. We (3 of us) brought skis for the approach. We lugged these up the crux, which was the boulderfield with light snow cover up to the Stevens Pass road. This was snow covered (barely) and made for an easy ski to Reflection Lakes--we didn't even put skins on. We decided to leave the skis by the road. The snow conditions were shit for skiing, but not too bad for walking. Still, we thought the best tool all in all would have been snow shoes...next time. We left the road about 10am and broke a trail loosely following an older one up to the col. 11:20am. We had heard that the north face of Castle gets some ice, but as we approached the col, it did not entice us. There is big potential on the left side of this face (see pic below) however, if the big drip were to come all the way to the snow! We ended up doing the east ridge of Pinnacle Peak(picture). This climb was a blast on this beautiful and unfathomably warm, sunny day. It entailed some ridge scrambling, one pitch of low fifth class climbing(picture) and then up the snowy ridge some more to a generous summit area. (Rock is kind of loose but not perilously so) We were treated to a view of the big one all day(picture), noting tracks up the Kautz Glacier. This was a great place to be Saturday. We had a huge snowball fight up on the ridge and took our sweet time getting down. Got down to the road about dark and skied out. Yeehaw! Gear Notes: Should have brought snowshoes instead of skis. A light rack is all that's necessary. We slung horns for pro almost entirely. One other thing to say: what the hell is up with Rainier NP policies?? First of all, they lied about their hours. Maybe these apply only when there is snow to plow, but the hours as they were told to me!?? What the!...they open at 9am and close the Longmire gate at 4:30pm and the park gate at 6pm--ludicrous. How are you supposed to do any event (the Tatoosh being one exception) in that time frame? Tough to bet on your alpine start... Edited December 20, 2004 by SmilingWhiteKnuckles Quote Link to comment Share on other sites More sharing options...
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