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transplant

Help getting up the mountain!

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To the point.

I am new to Washington and want to go up Mt Rainier next summer. I have some equipment and have some backcountry/altitude experience. I am in good shape and don't want to pay $1000 to go up the mountain. Do I just find a climbing buddy and go for it or what?

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You can check out one of the area mountaineering classes. I believe there will be a presentation talking about the various organization's offerings at the Seattle REI on December 8 at 7:00 pm.

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You could do some reading right now. Learn about the routes. Mike Gauthier wrote an excellent guide that has some great advice about what your experience level should be. This forum has a ton of information. Go to the Rainier area and start studying the Trail Reports.

 

There was a great post about a guy that fell into a crevasse on his way to Camp Shurman. Oh yea, you'll want to practice your crevasse rescue procedures.

 

Drive up to Paradise and check it out. Maybe hike up to Camp Muir.

 

You'll have a lot of new questions after a couple of weeks. We'll be here.

 

But you can do it. Good luck! smile.gif

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I don't understand why new climbers always target Rainier. It's a big serious mountain. Sure, they can luck out on a three day stint of high pressure, and it'll seem like a cinch, but if the planets aren't aligned, if the weather comes in, someone falls in a crevasse... you could be fucked (let me rephrase that, be fucked quicker) being a newbie on that mountain.

 

Learn your skills on a less committing peak. There's plenty of them around. And IMHO, they'll generally be way more interesting climbs.

 

yoda.gif

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I don't understand why new climbers always target Rainier. It's a big serious mountain. Sure, they can luck out on a three day stint of high pressure, and it'll seem like a cinch, but if the planets aren't aligned, if the weather comes in, someone falls in a crevasse... you could be fucked (let me rephrase that, be fucked quicker) being a newbie on that mountain.

 

Learn your skills on a less committing peak. There's plenty of them around. And IMHO, they'll generally be way more interesting climbs.

 

yoda.gif

 

Listen to yoda.gif this advice is wise. Why Rainier? It better not be cause you want to tell everyone at home that you did it. If you are doing it cause of the interesting and technical nature of the routes, consider something different (unless you are going for the techincal and interesting routes, which I wouldn't advise for the first climb). I admit that the rainier experience is one of a kind, but you can have just as much fun elsewhere (I've been twice and haven't enjoyed the last 1000 slog to the summit yet). Sure it's rad to set goals, and I don't think your's is unreasonable whatsoever (cause I had the same one when I got here). Just make sure your shit is dialed before you go up there. Have a plan worked out for every circumstance. Memorize the guidebook for your specific route. Find someone who is way more experienced than you and learn as much as possible from them (I did!).

Have a plan for:

-Shitay Weather

-Crevasse Fall

-Altitude Sickness

-Avalanche/Rockfall

 

Think through every possible circumstance, even if you think there is only a 5% chance of it happening, and find out the right way to deal with it. Practice everything possible and get in excellent shape. Then when the time comes, you will be ready and you will have a blast! You are already on the right track asking for other people to help you out. Welcome, and I hope to see you up there! snugtop.gifbigdrink.gif

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In the end, there are two ways for you to get up Rainier:

1. Pay RMI $1000 and get in shape

2. Learn your shit.

 

I recommend the latter.

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By most accounts climbing Rainer isn't a "fun" climb. From everything i've heard the standard routes are relatively straight forward uphill walks at an altitude roughly 10-12,000 ft above where you live, with a whole 1 night to acclimitize. If your looking to learn to climb, and to have some fun pick some more enjoyable and slightly easier climbs to start with. Baker is good and the Boulder route doesn't see that many people, Sahale is easy and gorgeous, Glacier is a hump in but the scenery is beautiful there will likely be almost no-one there and the Sitkum route is pretty benign. Loads of cool stuff in this area besides Rainer!

 

That said, I haven't been up Rainer yet but am planning on slogging up the Coleman this year wink.gif

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By most accounts climbing Rainer isn't a "fun" climb. From everything i've heard the standard routes are relatively straight forward uphill walks at an altitude roughly 10-12,000 ft above where you live, with a whole 1 night to acclimitize.

That said, I haven't been up Rainer yet but am planning on slogging up the Coleman this year wink.gif

 

It'll be a long ass hike if you're on the Coleman and tryin to summit the big R... cantfocus.gifyellaf.gif

 

- bigdrink.gif

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Why Rainier? It better not be cause you want to tell everyone at home that you did it.

 

There is nothing wrong with wanting to climb Rainier so that you can say that you did it. If nobody talked about the peaks they had climbed this site would be nothing but spray. It is mostly spray as it is, but that is not the point. If transplant wants to climb Rainier for any reason he should do it. I am not saying he should try for the summit this weekend, but there is nothing wrong with making Rainier the goal. Who knows where he might go in mountaineering after Rainier. When I first saw Rainier from Red Square I knew that I wanted to climb it. I grew up on Orcas Island and the tallest mountain there has a road to the top. I wasn’t a climber, heck I was barely a hiker, but I wanted to climb Rainier. I never could put my finger on it, but I am sure that at least some of it was want to tell people I had done it. To non-climbers Rainier is a much bigger deal than it is to old hands.

 

Transplant, if you want to climb Rainer the best thing to do is get hooked up with some more experienced climbers and start building skills. That could mean taking an RMI trip, a Mountaineers class, or finding a partner in the climbing partners section.

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Adams is a great first volcanoe.

South Ridge is pure trudge.

North Ridge is a little more remote and technical but still pretty straight forward. And there is a great snowfield near the bottom of it to the west. Practice self arrest (take your crampons off) Pull a friend up several meters using a Z system. Try to stay warm. Dig a snow cave. Poop in a blizzard. Enjoy.

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Definitely pick some peaks to build your skills on and to see what your endurance is like before trying Rainier. Bug's suggestion of Adams South Side is good. Hood too.

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Volcanoes are big and stupid. It's ok to climb something big and stupid every once and a while, but there's so much more out there...

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I think some of the anti-Mount Rainier stuff is a little overstated here. Yes, there are lots of peaks with more challenging climbing packed into a smaller overall effort, or better rock, or perhaps a more aesthetic profile, but Mt. Rainier is awesome. It dominates the skyline as viewed from the Puget Sound area and a sizeable part of eastern Washington, it is probably the biggest thing for a thousand miles around, and it is just plain cool. I've climbed it a dozen times by six different routes and I'm sure I'll be back for another go. Do it, Transplant!

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