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ondra

cell phone on Mt.Rainier?

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it seems to depend on the phone - pete's phone got no signal anywhere on the mountain on our ptarmigan trip (right next to liberty ridge) - and yet i know a phone was involved during one of those rescues/tragedies from last year.

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Don't count on it... I brought one on a Ptarmigan trip a few weeks ago and got not a single bar of service, even though I was looking right at the city. No service on the summit. No service at camp Sherman, but then, right at the base of the interglacier, with huge friggan mountains on all sides, I got like, 7 million bars of service. So yeah, who knows what the explanation for that is, but I would seriously not expect to have any cell phone service on the mountain. Maybe bring a radio? shocked.gif

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i know that Denali gets cell phone service. Kinda funny I think since it's a loooong way from any big city.

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Depends on the type of cell phones. I'm thinkin' most the folks responding so far have pure digital phones?

 

I've got an old NEC analog phone that kicks ass in the mountains - as long as you're on a ridge somewhere and have line of sight for a while. I've made calls from Schurman, as well as from the bivy sight on Ptarmigan. Not great signal strength, but good enough.

 

Your mileage may vary.

 

-kurt

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I have an older AT&T phone that will Roam in Analog. I go to Cingular and purchase a pre-paid card and have them activate the phone. It works well up there. Using a digital phone does not from my experience.

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When were were up there last weekend (Paradise) the ranger told me that AT&T sucks on Rainier, but Verizon has good service. That's been my experience as well (with AT&T, anyhow.) I've given up bringing the cell phone; it's just dead weight.

I used to get fine service in the analog days -- on the Muir snowfield, on Stuart, on Glacier Peak... Digital just doesn't have the distance, I guess.

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my t-mobile coverage is great in urban areas, but it bites in the mountains. no coverage anywhere on rainier, none to 17k on denali. continuous from seattle to bellingham, but none in darrington, concrete, etc. (although decent at snoq. pass and environs.)

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thanks all. so the conclusion is that my Cingular (AT&T) GSM phone would be dead weight there.

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A quick FYI on cell phone coverage -

 

Verizon picked up most of the older cell phone companies back in the day. These older companies built their towers higher in order to get more bang for the buck. That's why Verizon has better coverage in the hills.

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I think Verizon has an antenna at Crystal Mountain.

 

They do, for the skiers. No service from just past Enumscratch until you can see the parking areas at the ski hill, and then it's perfect.

 

I third the notion that Verizon has the best mountain coverage, though I guess I'd rather not see/hear your phone out there unless there is an emergency/accident situation.

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