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[TR] Mt Rainier- DC with Overnight in the crater 8/8/2005

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Climb: Mt Rainier-DC with Overnight in the crater

 

Date of Climb: 8/8/2005

 

Trip Report:

Rainier Trip report 8/08/05 ( No epic here! Just a satisfying trip)

The first time I attempted to climbed Rainier I was successful. I thought it was always that easy. Since then I have failed 5 times due to circumstances beyond my control. This would be my last chance this year.

Bruce and I started out from Paradise at 8 PM Sunday evening August 7th. The sky was clear and temp was into the 70’s. The Sun was setting by Pebble creek. We enjoyed a beautiful Orange sunset. The 8th of a moon was low in the sky with one bright star to its left.

I filled a water bottle in the stream and changed from my running shoes to my heavy boots. We headed up the Muir snowfield in no hurry. Somewhere along the way we turned on our headlamps. We saw only a couple of people along the way. 5 and a half hours into the climb we reached Muir. A little slow but we were in no hurry. The camp at Muir was closed for remodeling so we melted snow over by RMI. It was hard to find clean snow this late. We lingered for an hour or so and headed up for Ingraham flats. No wind at all. Nice. We passed over a large number of skinny crevasses on the Cowlitz. I think 7 or 8. We decided to unrope at Cathedral Gap. It’s pretty quick with only two guys. I think it’s easier and just as safe. The rope was re-clipped at the top of the gap and we made easy progress to the flats. 4:30 am at the flats. We could see climbers on the cleaver and higher on the mountain. Got in the Bivy and slept. Around 6:30 am I thought that my Bivy had burst into flame it was so hot. When the Sun hits the flats, sleep is over. I looked over to Bruce and he was up too. We hadn’t figured on only 2 hours sleep here. We got up and really took our time eating and getting ready for a slow climb. We knew that we would be slow because we were carrying full packs to the summit. A few times a year the conditions are good enough that even inexperienced climbers like us can safely camp on the Summit. That was our plan. The weather report was in complete cooperation. Clear skies and temps in the 80’s in Seattle. Not sure what time we left. This was the first time I had gone up the Cleaver in the daylight. Its nasty yes, but, well its just nasty. We rested at the top of the cleaver. Upon leaving the cleaver, I was surprised how far we had to traverse right to get around the big crevasses be for heading for the summit. It was hot and sunny. No wind and not a cloud in sight. I was comfortable in an unzipped fleece jacket the whole way. We came to the crater rim at mid morning.We had come from sea level to 14,000+ in a very short time and I was feeling it. My appetite was gone and I was some what queasy. We were in the crater alone. About 4:30 pm we set up camp which consisted of throwing the bivies on the snow. Still no wind. We could see the shadow crossing the crater. As soon as the shade hit us it got very cold. I decide to turn in early. About 6:30. I was hoping that I could gag down a cliff bar or 2 and drink enough water to get rid of the queasies. This was a dream of mine, to camp over night on the Summit of Mt Rainier. In short it got pretty cold. Because we carried everything to the summit, I had only brought a 1lb 40 degree bag so I put on my fleece jacket and down parka. I awoke about once an hour to adjust for the cold. My water bottle froze solid. I slept for a surprising 9 hours! I still felt bad in the morning and tried to force myself to eat a cup of Bruce’s spaghetti but I couldn’t. I asked Bruce to boil me some snow for water since I was out of fuel. He did, in the same pot he had made the spaghetti. He didn’t bother to clean the pot out. It was quite chunky water. I needed it though. We welcomed the Summiters as they came up. I didn’t want to use the energy but I forced myself to the sign in Book and on to Columbia Crest.

On the way down my water quickly thawed and I quickly discarded the water Bruce had made for me. Yuck! We headed down in bright sunlight all the way. On the cleaver the balling became dangerous but the transitions from snow to rock were often icy so we kept the crampons on knocking snow balls off every other step. I fell once on the cleaver from the balling but Bruce was keeping a tight lease just for that reason. Bruce broke through the crevasse at top of Ingraham flats just leaving the Cleaver. I was down hill from him leading so there was know chance of him slipping very far. I outweigh him by 50 lbs. There were lots of people at Muir on the way down. I put my running shoes back on at Pebble Creek and enjoyed the rest of the walk down.

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Yep Thats your Gib Ledges Bruce! He has gained a lot of expierience this season. That was his 4th Summit this year. He has sharpened his Crampons and is in terrific shape. He said you and Andy taught him a lot. He was a solid partner on this trip. No liability.

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Hey there..

 

Congrats on the summit campout. We talked to you guys at the top of Cathedral Gap Tuesday morning. We were the group of 4 heading up.

 

I was wondering how you did in the altitude up there.. We all had some decent headaches coming down from the summit. But with a 14,000+ ft gain in that short of a time, I'd say you did pretty good.

 

I can't believe you brought a 40 degree bag! I would have died up there for sure. I was chilly in my 0 degree bag at the Flats.

 

So why did you start so late on Sunday night? time constraints?

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Yeah Bruce is a nice guy. I'm really glad he's doing so well. I happened to bump into him on the way down from Muir in mid July. He told me that he was climbing that day and then again on this trip.

 

Say hello to him from me, if you get the chance.

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Its important to note that my parka is rated around 0 degrees so between the 40 degree bag the parka and the Bivy sack I was very safe. The altitude was definely a problem for me. I had wanted to explore the vents but I was just not up to it.I had delusions of finding the underground lake in Gator's book. Bruce on the other hand circumnavigated the rim and had me take several pictures of him playing frisbe.

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The vents are pretty damn cool. I spent about 10 minutes down there the last time I was on the top. I went in one vent, crawled/walked around under there, and then came out of another hole about 100 feet down the crater. It was really cool. I'd love to spend a few hours down there playing around in them some time.

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One interesting equipment note. My Jetboil stove worked perfectly on the Summit. Anyone else use those up high?

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Very cool adventure! I've wanted to camp on top for years now...but I can't seem to make it all the way, for one reason or another...I'm 3 for 6 now. I think one more try before I hit 50! (two more years!)

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Nice work! I've spent 3 nights in the summit crater and explored the steam caves on two trips. It's well worth the effort of carrying up overnight gear.

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Yes Marie, it's the same as Camp Muir, you kinda have to register at the guide office. It's not a big deal, I looked into it.

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Nice job.

The altitude can be a bummer going that high that fast.

I spent the night on the summit a few days later & it was perfect weather. Ended up acclimatizing for 2 days prior at Camp Schurman.

We spent the night on the West crater rim & ended up right on top of a steam vent in the dirt.

Warmest bivy I've had all summer!

Explored the caves all day the next day & headed down around 3:30pm.

Well worth it to spend the night on top!

Props to both y'all! bigdrink.gifrockband.gif

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