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JERRY_SANCHEZ

MT. RAINIER CONDITIONS

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"She Go!" means we did it on the 19th to 22nd. Pretty much perfect weather and nobody on the route.

The lower glaciers were OK but soft, lots of postholeing, no real problems with crevasses. The lower part of the ridge is OK but melting out. I imagine with the continued hot weather things have only gotten worse. On the descent we were wading knee deep on some lower sections.

Above Thumb Rock the route is pretty icy. I can't really say how icy as I've not done it before but comparing it to other descriptions it seemed so. The majority of the route was front pointing with some sections of windslab/neve.

We made it up and over the top and part way down the Emmons on the third day before bivving in sight to Camp Sherman. This was slower than expected but from most of the accounts I've read doing the whole thing in three days car to car requires good conditions. For the most part we were postholeing or front pointing.

Ade

Thanks to whomever it was who decided to not use a blue bag at Thumb Rock, and the guy who "forgot" his full bag there. May you forever melt yellow snow. frown.gif

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!!MY GUESS IS THEY HEADED IN FROM MOWICH LAKE OR IPSUT CREEK, CONSIDERING THEY APPROACHED THE RIDGE FROM THE WEST !?!!

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I was in the party of three heading to Kautz on that weekend. We were wearing snowshoes and still punching in a bit in places. The other reason we were slow was that the two guys I was with were training for Denali (they left last Wed.) They were carrying heavier packs to play with all their Denali gear.

There was another party of two much slower than us from Russia. At our alpine start time, we decided against getting out of bed as the wind folded my VE25 in half all night long. When we started heading down the next morning, the two Russians, again moving increadibly slowly, were just heading up the chute at around 10AM... I doubt they made it at that pace in those conditions.

GOing to look at Lib Ridge this weekend...

quote:

Originally posted by To The Top:

I was at Muir saturday with a friend, and we saw a party of 3 going to Kautz across the way, and they were going really slow, I bet they were sinking like we were once off the boot track, and there probably was no track there. The conditions aren't firm at all, and with this recent storm, and more snow means more of the same.

 

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Alright someone had to have been on Lib Ridge over these last few days. Looking for some good beta......re: how much ICE!!!

Thanks mucho....

------------------

 

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I hardly post here anymore, actually, I've never posted in the Rainier forum. But I wanted to say we're givng a go at the Wilson Headwall this weekend, IF the mountain complies. We may opt for the Kautz as soon as we get to the Ranger Shack, depending on what they have to say. Wish me luck. I'll make a post when I get back on conditions on that side.

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Hey, bcollins -- now you KNOW that I had great conditions on Lib Ridge last year!! J and I missed ya!!

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Hi guys. Back from Rainier where we didn't make it. Our intention was the Wilson Headwall, with Kautz as a possible alternative. But on the way there our strongest guy (who flew in from North Carolina and I called "reinforcements" only half-joking) blew out his knee in the heavy deep snow. He rested and tried in the morning to go up (giving up in the tent is bad juju to me, him too) and felt good for about an hour, but then was finished, done. That makes a long story short. Also, we tried blitzing the mountain in 2 days before the wind and cold came in (and it did get windy on the way out), which some teams do, but that's too fast for us, especially considering the soft snow. Going back down in the soft snow, winds, and carrying the extra weight (to help my friend) was absolute hell. The "slippery slide" was pretty much "out of order", due to the mush.

From what the Rangers said, the Wilson Headwall had not been climbed this year, but to be honest, it looked nasty, the water ice that often forms on the rock bands was all but gone, and the chute around them to the left was littered with debris from the Kautz Cliff. The Fuhrer Finger looked good, but we saw two teams that tried it, and both said when the sun hits it on the top, it turned to bad slush, even at 13,000'. There are some precarious looking snow bridges crossing the Wilson to get to it though. The 'schrund under the Fuhrer's Thumb is open now, which scares most people away. The Kautz looked good, with the crevasses under the cliff (to get to the chute) still mostly closed and easy to navigate, but the area littered with debris from the Kautz Ice Cliff. Hard to tell though, as it was first light then and still pretty dark. I didn't get a look at the chute, as this is where we stopped, then turned around (what a disappointing place to turn around huh?! Right when it gets fun). For those with more skills/stamina than I, the Kautz Headwall looked in fantastic condition. Beautiful snow chutes with little or no sluffing, very little rockfall, and a few sections of short water ice.

Now, a final environmental/political note: We found at least 3 used blue bags just sitting in the snow at the Turtle and Camp Hazard. This is so major uncool I can't believe it. If you're going to not take your excrement down, at least shovel it in a crevasse. I don't want to encourage this, as it's environmentally questionable, but just leaving it in a double plastic bag right there, on the snow, for everyone to see, to sit there for many years and deteriorate and then end up in the snow/meltwater, for others to drink, is one of the most unethical, and environmentally damaging things a climber can do. I only hope that the Mountain Gods punish those people fittingly during their future climbs.

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quote:

Originally posted by JERRY SANCHEZ:

HOW DID YOU GET TO LIBERTY RIDGE ROUTE ON MAY 12TH WHEN WHITE RIVER ROAD WAS STILL CLOSED???


Maybe he was cool and rode a bike from the gate to the campground. That's what I'd do.

 

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Originally posted by gschryer:

Going to look at Lib Ridge this weekend...

/QUOTE]

A fortunate misfortune....

My party did not get a permit for Thumb Rock on Saturday morning. So we were redirected by the climbing ranger to do the Kautz Cleaver Route, as a comparable alternative to Liberty Ridge.

Starting at Paradise, we traversed(slogged) across the Nisqually, Wilson, Van Trump and Kautz Glaciers for 10 hours to get to the 10200' high camp on the clever. Boiling water and eating dinner did not leave a lot of time to rest before our 4 AM start up the Cleaver.

On Sunday morning we headed up the cleaver, broke left into the success glacier couloir on much firmer snow, merged into the upper success/kautz headwall area. Just below 13,000 we traversed left around a buttress and continued along a steep exposed slope finishing on what I believe is the South Tahoma Head-wall route, toping out on the west side of Point Success (141xx).

The climbing consisted of generally easy to moderately steep slopes with a couple short sections of rubble scrambling. We did have to cross one short step of mixed rock and water ice, which we rapped over on the descent.

We reached the top around 10:30AM just as the winds picked up and the clouds began to rush in. In better conditions we would have slogged over to the crater, but this seemed like a fine time to turn around. We did see two parties of two people topping out on Liberty Cap at the same time. They looked to be in a rush to descend as well. We beat the weather back down to camp at 3:30 and crashed.

Descended Monday in mixed weather consisting of high winds, poor visibility and occassional blizzard snow conditions. Descended down through the comet falls trail and hitched a ride back to Paradise.

Can't say I'd recommend the route as highly as the climbing ranger did, but it was off the beaten track, and we had the route to ourselves. It was also cool to effectively touch several routes that I no longer need to experience fully in the future (Success Glacier Couloir, Success Cleaver, South Tahoma Headwall)... Though the Kautz Headwall looks worthwhile on its own. The route provided great views over to the Kautz Glacier route (though we didn't see anyone ascending it.)

Given the reports of the four climbers needing rescue on Liberty Ridge right now makes for a definite claim of a fortunate misfortune with respect to our climb results.

Does anyone know who they are? Best of luck to them either way.

GS

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Ipsut Creek was open.

You can hike up the Carbon River, access Curtis Ridge, and drop onto the Carbon at 7200 ft. We left a car at Paradise so that we wouldn't have to back-track on the way out.

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Route info on Lib Ridge as of last weekend.

Getting on the ridge will become problematic as the burg will open up in the next few weeks. Don't linger crossing the Carbon glacier - we witnessed two massive avalanches sweep way down. Lots of loose rock below the Thumb - traverse early in the morning. Also, last 200 feet below Thumb Rock is very icy! Don't be shy using your ice tool(s)- we went with one tool and one ice axe which worked well. We had good conditions for most of Sunday. Did close to 1000' of easy (40 to 50 degrees) ice climbing. There are two steps (10' to 15' vertical each) at around 13,200' - 13,400' that can become difficult as the snow melts out. Great route but go as soon as the weather will allow.

 

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Hi Mike

Some friends and I are planning to attempt Liberty during the first week of July. Due to the low snow year do you have any predictions as to what we will find?

John

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Hey gshryer,

I think we ran into you and your partner on the summit Sunday morning. We were the group that followed you up the last bit to the crater rim after crossing Liberty Cap. Way to go on the climb. I dont know about you but I was thankful for our timing as conditions obviously deteriorated as we were heading down. We had a difficult time descending with the wind and low visibility but managed to find a reasonable way to get off the mountain. Happy Climbing

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Camp Muir 6/8 - 6/9

Hiked to camp muir Friday intending to make a summit attmpt about midnight or 1am Saturday Morning. Melted snow, prepped the ropes, packs, organized all climbing gear and set up the stove in the vest. for quick coffee in the AM. Thanks to the thunder, lighning, flapping tent, pelting ice pellets and snow, we didnt have to bother opening the door to check condidtions at midnight We could hear other campers abandoning thier tents and scrambleing for the public shelter through the night. Although the thunderstorm went away a couple hours later, the 0 visibility did not break until 10:30am and the wind persisted. Opened the door to the vestubele at 6am to make some coffee to find the enitre area filled with spindrift and stove burried. We dicided to hang out and no hurry as we had Sunday also. We finally accepted our fate and headed down to Paradise through the clouds and wind around noon. We considered staying at Muir until Sunday, but no good reason in the forecast for tormenting my tentmates any longer than necesary. Plan to hit it again in 2 weeks.

We are considering the single push starting from Paradise Friday evening to top out Saturday morning (alpine style). Anyone want to offer advice or route suggestions feel free.

Bronco

 

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