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kit_from_Montreal

Ptarmigan next weekend

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Hi, I'll be flying from Montreal with a friend on Friday. We would like to climb the Ptarmigan Ridge next weekend/week but we still have a few questions left:

 

1)Anyone aware of what the conditions are on that side of the mountain ?

 

2)How long is the ski/walk from the campground to the high camp of the Ptarmigan route ? I have been able to find some information for the high camp to summit section but since these climbs were done in the summer, I am not sure what to expect for the approach ?

 

3) From personal experience and what I have read up to now, I think skis would be best for the approach (as opposed to snowshoes), can anyone confirm ?

 

4)Do we have to rent a SUV/4x4 to be able to drive to the Ipsut Creek Campground or is the road in a good enough condition to go with the cheaper option of renting a car ? I don't mind driving in the snow, I just don't know how well this road is maintained in the winter.

 

5) and ... any suggestions or must stop by gear shop in Seattle/Tacoma/Rainier Area cool.gif ?

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1) very cold with lots of snow

2) From Ipsut Creek CG, its roughly 9000 ft verticle gain to the Ptarmigan High camp. I've done the approach once from Ipsut to Liberty Ridge in winter conditions and it took us a day and a half or so, I don't really remember - it was a long way.

3) personal perference. Snowshoes will be more portable and unless you are planning on climbing in an AT setup, won't require double packing boots

4) shouldnt need to...the amount of distance you might gain on the road the the campground is really insignificant compared the the amount of distance you are going to be putting in on foot round trip, whats an extra mile or two? And remember, its a rental car.

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Thanks for your comments Alex !

 

3) personal perference. Snowshoes will be more portable and unless you are planning on climbing in an AT setup, won't require double packing boots

 

Sorry, I forgot to mention that my climbing boots do fit in my AT binding

 

4)And remember, its a rental car.

 

That's true ! but rental car usually have four season tires instead of real winter tires as well.... If there is as less as 6 inches of snow on the road, we may have to ski/snowshoe all the way up from the entrance. I'm playing devil's advocate here, but I just want to make sure we wont regret our decision !

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better check the weather before you go........

 

http://www.atmos.washington.edu/data/rainier_report.html

 

Don't worry ! We are following it closely ! We will also bring an extra 3 days of food so that we can wait for good weather and increase our chance to make it to the summit.

 

I've heard that road to Ipsut is closed few miles before TH due to washout, check with rangers

 

I spoke to a ranger last week. He did not mention anything regarding washouts ... I will call again this afternoon !

 

 

And ... don't worry Magellan ! I will post a TR with lotssssssssss of pictures ! wink.gif

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Hey, good luck with your climb! If you get a chance, check out the Liberty Ridge. I will be there in about a month.

Sounds like you have a great climb planned. Have fun and stay warm-ish.

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A couple of guys checked out that approach over the weekend. Ask them (one is skykilo).

 

Thanks for the info ! I'll send him a PM

 

By the way, are there any other numbers to reach the rangers ? I am using 360-569-2211 and it does not work. it rings 2 or 3 times and then it stops ...... confused.gif

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More Props for the Mount Rainier Climbing Page... See: www.mountrainierclimbing.blogspot.com

 

I'll put some answers in CAPS BELOW

 

1)Anyone aware of what the conditions are on that side of the mountain ?

NO ONE HAS REPORTED ANY CLIMBING CONDITIONS FOR THAT ROUTE, OR THE NORTHSIDE OF RAINIER FOR THAT MATTER... BUT AFTER SEEING THE MOUNTAIN OVER THE LAST FEW WEEKENDS, IT'S MY GUESS THAT MOST THINGS ARE QUITE FROZEN AND SOLID UP THERE. OF COURSE, WHAT NOW MATTERS NOW IS WHAT'S GOING TO HAPPEN (WEATHER-WISE) THIS WEEK...

 

2)How long is the ski/walk from the campground to the high camp of the Ptarmigan route ? I have been able to find some information for the high camp to summit section but since these climbs were done in the summer, I am not sure what to expect for the approach ?

 

BETTER GIVE YOURSELF AT LEAST ONE DAY, PROBABLY TWO.

 

3) From personal experience and what I have read up to now, I think skis would be best for the approach (as opposed to snowshoes), can anyone confirm ?

 

DEPENDS ON WHETHER YOU WANT TO CARRY SKIS OVER A TECHNICAL CLIMBING ROUTE. IF SO, AND YOU WANT TO SKI THE SUMMIT, THEN YES... BUT, YOU MAY HAVE MORE SUCCESS IF YOU BRING SNOWSHOES AND FOCUS ON THE ASCENT. SNOWSHOES WILL PROBABLY WORK WELL.

 

4)Do we have to rent a SUV/4x4 to be able to drive to the Ipsut Creek Campground or is the road in a good enough condition to go with the cheaper option of renting a car ? I don't mind driving in the snow, I just don't know how well this road is maintained in the winter.

 

SEE THE ACCESS ON THE RAINIER CLIMBING PAGE

 

5) and ... any suggestions or must stop by gear shop in Seattle/Tacoma/Rainier Area cool.gif ?

 

FEDERAL WAY REI IS PROBABLY YOUR MOST CONVENIENT STOP. SEE GOOGLE/MAPQUEST.

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Thanks Mike ! You just saved me $200 + the extra fuel required for an SUV !!! I did read your blog earlier this week. I don't understand how I missed the info !

 

Skykilo, thanks for the picture ! Even if we don't see that much of the Ptarmigan ridge, it is nice to see !

 

I just hope we get good weather !!!!

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5) and ... any suggestions or must stop by gear shop in Seattle/Tacoma/Rainier Area cool.gif ?

 

FEDERAL WAY REI IS PROBABLY YOUR MOST CONVENIENT STOP. SEE GOOGLE/MAPQUEST.

 

Federal Way REI is no longer open. Actually, it's been closed for a while. (You really need to get out more Mike! tongue.gif) Backpacker Supply in Tacoma would be a good shop for ya.

 

If you need REI, then the closest one is in Southcenter (Tukwila) but they don't have &*$^, unless you're looking to stock up on Gu and Toblerone. If you're in need of an REI fix, your best bet for selection is the flagship store in Seattle.

 

And along the lines of someone else's comment... there sure doesn't look like much snow up there for a "good snow" year. Wierd.

 

-kurt

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And along the lines of someone else's comment... there sure doesn't look like much snow up there for a "good snow" year. Wierd.

yellaf.gif

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Federal Way REI is no longer open. Actually, it's been closed for a while. (You really need to get out more Mike! tongue.gif) Backpacker Supply in Tacoma would be a good shop for ya.

 

blush.gifgrin.gif

 

RE: Low snowfall... I've a few observations about the upper mountain snowpack. But more on that later... As I see it, Ptarmigan is probably in FABULOUS shape if you like lots and lots of steep ice at altitude.

 

Hey Couloir, you asked on another thread about PDX, I'll be there next week at The North Face. I'll put something up soon.

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we were in the area last weekend and climbing conditions were stellar. Firm snow and ice. Approach was fairly quick on skis up the Carbon Glacier. Wouldn't have needed snowshoes last weekend but with snow in the forecast for this week snowshoes might be a good idea...or skis, of course.

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I'm guessing that based on the weather that this trip is coming to a very unfortunate halt. Sucks trying to plan for a big trip and then having weather screw it up! Specially if you're from outta town and have already organized transportation! Let us know what you end up doing anyway (specially if your up there!)! bigdrink.gif

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As a matter of fact, we got our ass kicked by the weather !!!! We started the climb on sunday morning and decided to retreat on tuesday as the weather was still looking bad and everything was getting wet from the rain/wet snow that was falling.

 

The good thing about it though is that we had still enough time to get our equipment dry and give mount Rainier a second try. On Thursday afternoon, we were back on the mountain via the Gibraltar ledges this time.

 

No summit again, but at least we got some good climbing and a lot of fun ! I'll post a TR with pictures later this week.

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