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ogre

gear info for the Emmons?

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Going to do Rainier in about 3 weeks and was considering via the Emmons Glacier. Had some inquiries so any info would be appreciated. Where is the best take-off spot, Sunrise or White River. Also is a helmet a needed item on the route. Are poles used on any part of the route or is it the axe all the way? That or any other info would be greatly appreciated. Thanks! fruit.gif

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Check the route conditions page for Rainier.

Be ready for the snow to be melted out to hard ice in places. Sharp points would be helpful. I would not trust poles to stop me on that. I have a long shaft I use for dog routes. Helmets on the Emmons are good if you fall in a crevasse or slide fast.. Not much rockfall.

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I was on Emmons 2 weekends ago.

 

GEAR TO BRING (IF YOU LIKE LIFE):

helmet!!!****** you are crazy if you would ever consider climbing rainier, anytime of year, day, level of conditioning, etc, without a helmet.

The exception being a select few climbers like gauthier and maybe some guides and rangers that know the mountain so well, they can guage exactly where you could get away relatively safely without one. Any route that is crowded, you are nutz to think you are immune to parties knocking down chunks of snow, ice, rocks, nalgenes, gear, or bodies on you. And then there is the possibility of slipping on ice and slamming your noggin or getting the smack-down in a crevasse fall.

 

The fact alone that you are asking is a big red rescue flag. This would be a good time to reassess if you have the experience to takle this mountain safely. Maybe you want to push yourself to the limit. it sounds like you will if you go, thats fine. just keep it in perspective. I hope your partners are more experienced.

 

 

 

Note: I am NOT trying to rip you a new one. Just trying to give you a wake-up call before you get yourself or someone else hurt.

 

Poles v Axe. This really depends on snow conditions and your level of proficiency decending and ascending. Again, it sounds like you dont really know what you are getting into.

 

I know Anatoli Boukreev was a fan of climbing many 5000 m ( a little higher than rainier) peaks in Kazykstan with just ski poles and sneakers. But he was in a class unto himself, and besides, now he's dead.

 

I hope you were planning on bringing crampons and know how to use them and when not to use them.

 

SIDENOTE: IS there anyone out there that would bring crampons on a climb and not an ice axe? it seems like I first consider bringing an axe, and then later crampons, if needed.

 

My suggestion: Set your sights a little lower or have a flexible plan. The climb just getting to camp Schurman can be pretty taxing especially if its a hot sunny day. Use the interglacier as your testing ground. We passed one party chasing its tent down the mountain, and another climber was being helicoptered out with a broken leg from glissading in crampons (the last 1000 ft of the interglacier). There is great potential to fuck up just getting to schurman. And if you make it with little incident then think about resting a full day before tackling the summit.

 

Thats about all the beta I want to give. I hope to god you are going to be with experienced people.

 

My best advice: Check your ego at the ranger station. HONESTLY assess your comfort, conditioning, objective dangers, your rate of ascent, if someone has constructive criticism (consider what they have to say but ultimately the choices you make, how effectively you comunicate and how honest you are with your partner, and how you listen to the mountain, and ultimately execute will determine your experience on rainier.

 

My wish is you return with an eye-opening experience, learn about yourself, and get a new perspective on life. Thats what its all about in my opinion.

 

 

(it generally takes at the very least as long to summit from schurman as it does to climb from glacier basin to schurman)

 

 

 

GEAR THAT WILL LIKELY BE DEAD WEIGHT: anything that makes your pack heavier than 45 lbs (but try to pare down to 35-40) may be impossible to achieve at your experience level.

Edited by SemoreJugs

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Semore,

 

Actually, listening to you over several threads, it seems like you don't have that much experience yourself. I am not "ripping you a new one" and it is always good to be over- rather than under-cautious, but asking if people ever bring crampons without an ice axe leads me to believe you haven't done much alpine climbing and that you stick to glacier slogs. What about the traverse over to Triumph for the NE Ridge? What about the traverse to the upper N. Ridge of Stuart? What about heading up to Sahale Peak up the dog route? S. Side of Adams? I would take a whippet on all of these climbs with aluminum crampons and never think of taking an axe unless it seemed like really icy conditions.

 

Also, regarding your poll, there is not category for me as I climbed in the Tetons, Winds, and S. America on big volcanoes before ever setting foot in the PacNW, yet I had not done 100s of glacier or alpine climbs and still would never consider myself a "jedi". I would assume there are many other "transplants" out there with a similar experience to me.

 

I think you need to relax a little and be less concerned with others and more concerned with yourself. It is good to play devil's advocate and represent someone's good conscience from time to time, but every time you post, you are passing judgement on someone else's ability. Yeah, so you had a bad experience on Rainier. I've had them too on Hood with crowds. I even wrote an article about it in CLimbing Rag one time, but have changed my tune and pretty much looked after myself and my well-being. Is it truly your responsibility to tell everyone who has less ability than you what they are doing wrong? I used to think so, but now I don't anymore. They have just as much of a right to be there as you, regardless of skill, and they are responsible for taking on the inherent dangers that are involved in climbing. You also have to take those on, but just make sure that your worrying about someone else doesn't distract from your own ability to keep you and your partners safe.

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Be ready for the snow to be melted out to hard ice in places. Sharp points would be helpful.

 

Just echoing that thought. A couple weeks ago there was bare ice on the Inter glacier, though generally it could be avoided (the ice was gray or blue; not white like snow). Later in the season I'd guess there may be more patches of it in places.

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Going to do Rainier in about 3 weeks and was considering via the Emmons Glacier. Had some inquiries so any info would be appreciated. Where is the best take-off spot, Sunrise or White River. Also is a helmet a needed item on the route. Are poles used on any part of the route or is it the axe all the way? That or any other info would be greatly appreciated. Thanks! fruit.gif

i have never done the emmons but i have a comment about the poles. personally, i generally use poles on snow up to high camp and all the way down from camp to the car (because i'm usually exhausted and begin using them as crutches yellaf.gif). you don't generally NEED poles, but it tends to make things easier. i generally use only an ice axe for the actual climb. i have seen people use one pole along with their axe and i have considered going that way myself.

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GEAR TO BRING (IF YOU LIKE LIFE):

helmet!!!****** you are crazy if you would ever consider climbing rainier, anytime of year, day, level of conditioning, etc, without a helmet.

The exception being a select few climbers like gauthier and maybe some guides and rangers that know the mountain so well, they can guage exactly where you could get away relatively safely without one. Any route that is crowded, you are nutz to think you are immune to parties knocking down chunks of snow, ice, rocks, nalgenes, gear, or bodies on you. And then there is the possibility of slipping on ice and slamming your noggin or getting the smack-down in a crevasse fall.

 

The fact alone that you are asking is a big red rescue flag. This would be a good time to reassess if you have the experience to takle this mountain safely. Maybe you want to push yourself to the limit. it sounds like you will if you go, thats fine. just keep it in perspective. I hope your partners are more experienced.

 

 

 

Note: I am NOT trying to rip you a new one. Just trying to give you a wake-up call before you get yourself or someone else hurt.

 

Poles v Axe. This really depends on snow conditions and your level of proficiency decending and ascending. Again, it sounds like you dont really know what you are getting into.

 

I know Anatoli Boukreev was a fan of climbing many 5000 m ( a little higher than rainier) peaks in Kazykstan with just ski poles and sneakers. But he was in a class unto himself, and besides, now he's dead.

 

I hope you were planning on bringing crampons and know how to use them and when not to use them.

 

SIDENOTE: IS there anyone out there that would bring crampons on a climb and not an ice axe? it seems like I first consider bringing an axe, and then later crampons, if needed.

 

My suggestion: Set your sights a little lower or have a flexible plan. The climb just getting to camp Schurman can be pretty taxing especially if its a hot sunny day. Use the interglacier as your testing ground. We passed one party chasing its tent down the mountain, and another climber was being helicoptered out with a broken leg from glissading in crampons (the last 1000 ft of the interglacier). There is great potential to fuck up just getting to schurman. And if you make it with little incident then think about resting a full day before tackling the summit.

 

Thats about all the beta I want to give. I hope to god you are going to be with experienced people.

 

My best advice: Check your ego at the ranger station. HONESTLY assess your comfort, conditioning, objective dangers, your rate of ascent, if someone has constructive criticism (consider what they have to say but ultimately the choices you make, how effectively you comunicate and how honest you are with your partner, and how you listen to the mountain, and ultimately execute will determine your experience on rainier.

 

My wish is you return with an eye-opening experience, learn about yourself, and get a new perspective on life. Thats what its all about in my opinion.

 

 

(it generally takes at the very least as long to summit from schurman as it does to climb from glacier basin to schurman)

 

 

 

GEAR THAT WILL LIKELY BE DEAD WEIGHT: anything that makes your pack heavier than 45 lbs (but try to pare down to 35-40) may be impossible to achieve at your experience level.

 

yellaf.gifrolleyes.gif

 

CmoreJugs is a tool.

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I agree. Ryland made some valid points. I tend to worry about others too much. I'm working on it. I also can be too intense with my beta, who the fuck am I anyway? Need to show more restraint.

 

The crampon-axe comment: I was referring to climbing snow or ice in exposed conditions where a slip could be baaaad. The context was climbing mt rainier. Not a snow or ice approach on a protected snow field or a mixed alpine route. Granted, most slopes on the Rainier Dog routes are not too exposed. But there are a few sections on all the climbs I've been on, Kautz, DC, Emmons, where a slip in icy conditions could be one wild ride. Am I wrong or off-base on this? Would you really want to be without an axe???

 

I just reread the OP. I realized you asked if poles were used on the route at all. MY bad. I thought you were asking if an axe was needed. I used either 2 poles, pole/axe, or just an ax (on the bergschrund and "steeper" sections).

 

Ryland, thanks for the reminder. I still have much to learn and reflect on.

 

Alpinfox, you might have a point, but regardless, you can still kiss my ass.

Geek_em8.gifmoon.gif

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I tried the pole/axe combo on Glacier Peak a couple of years ago (doing the Frostbite Ridge carryover). With just a summit pack i'm not sure if it would have made a difference but with the full overnight kit it helped a great deal with balance, and i'd certainly recommend it. Just be sure not to stick your hand through the keeper strap on the pole and be ready to ditch it in a hurry.

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Personally, I think people put waaaay too much faith in their ice ax to start with. In my opinion, without scientific study, there seems to be a fairly narrow range of snow conditions where an ax will actually help you arrest a team. If it truly is hard hard snow or ice, and you're trying to arrest an unexpected TEAM fall, you're going to be damn lucky to do it. (Hats off the fellow on Rainier that DID do it and month back or so!) I'm talking TEAM fall... not individual. There is just such a fine line between "so soft I could arrest with my elbows" and "so hard that I won't even dig in" - that's why I always hear the mantra my old sage instructor drummed into my head: "Don't fall."

 

Yeah... it sounds stupid, and it sounded stupid at the time, but with more and more experience, it made more sense. Don't rely on your equipment to save your ass... get your technique down, get your head in the right place, and climb.

 

And good point Selkirk about the keeper strap on the pole. If you need to switch to that ax, launch that pole so you're not flogging yourself with it all the way down. Hard to do when it's attached to you.

 

-kurt

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First of all, thanks for the heads up and/or info on the Emmons for those who cared to. And thanks RM for covering my back.

Dear Seymore,

I am ,I suppose, new to the pastime of climbing(3 years running),However I have summitted all of the Washington volcanoes. I'm sure you are aware,though, with all your knowledge and wisdom that some routes on some mountains require more,or less, gear than others. I am sure too ,with your vast experience, that you are aware that ounces = pounds at higher altitudes. So you must have come to know that inquiries about necessary gear on various routes is commonplace in the climbing realm.

Try, for instance, the Easton G. route on Baker in August. Leave the helmet and poles at camp but you sure as hell better be hanging on to your axe for dear life and take a pet elephant as an anchor to be roped to. Of course most routes on Rainier reqire a helmet, and then their is something like the South route up Adams (which is where i'm taking my wife this weekend) which doesn't require anything but a pair of boots,windbreaker, a ham sammich, and an axe for the glissade down.

So the nature of my inquiry was a matter of how much weight I really needed to lug around therefore I'm truly sorry for alarming your types with my pathetic and unworthy inquiry. I will notify my shrink of my wrongdoing.

Should you ever have any children I have a kind word of advice for you. Don't practice beating your chest in front of them when they ask you for a bit of guidance as you will surely find that in time they will leave you out entirely as one whom they can turn to for direction. Thanks for your time ,though.

Ogre bigdrink.gif

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