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pontus

rainier summit 25-26 july

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just got back from a summit climb on Rainier via Dissappointment Cleaver (DC). Three of us started around 1130 pm 25 july with approx 1 gl of H2O each. First time on Rainier for any of us. Our team belonged to the not-so-fast, but 1130 pm is a good time to start anyway. I've heard people starting already at 0900 pm. Got to the summit in PERFECT weather around 0730 am. No wind during the night and warm. Used my down jacket once...when sleeping in the crater. Spent 2 hours in the crater sleeping, eating, peeking down into the ice caves.

Crevass situation: no big crevasses and i found myself thinking about why we roped up in the first place. But safety first.

Started down around 1000 am after the 20 people RMI group in slushy snow. Tried to tread like cats on the DC not to be the cause of any uneccessary rockfall on people below us. DC was as any rotten pile of gravel, but not too bad. RMI guides have as usual done a great job marking up the best routes both on the snow and the gravel.

Now some inquisitive words about RMI standards: Around 0500-0600 am, we passed the RMI group with one (maybe two) client looking very pale and fatigued...and scared. The guides were tucking him in a sleeping bag about 500-1000 ft above the top of the DC. According to the other teams on the mountain they left their client(s) alone(!!!?) as the rest of the RMI group including guides headed for the summit.

Can anyone confirm or denie this odd behavior??

The DC route wouldn't be what it is if it weren't for the RMI guides and I do understand they have to 'babywalk' naively inexperienced people up the mountain day by day. And I can understand that this may shape them into military-like guides. But leaving clients alone is at best stupid.

I'm not an expert-ultra experienced climber myself, but spent most of my time doing climbs in the arctic, where you need to know where your ass is and, especially, where the asses of your buddies are, due to the less friendly climate. I hope what I heard is not true.

Other than that, a very giving climb/hike with some variety. Much more for the 'feet' than for example the Mazama route on Mt Adams. Part of the beauty is the 100 headlamps below you (another reason to start early) bobbing away in the darkness.

 

thanx USA for WA!!...The Swedish Speedo Team

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quote:

Originally posted by pontus:

Now some inquisitive words about RMI standards: Around 0500-0600 am, we passed the RMI group with one (maybe two) client looking very pale and fatigued...and scared. The guides were tucking him in a sleeping bag about 500-1000 ft above the top of the DC. According to the other teams on the mountain they left their client(s) alone(!!!?) as the rest of the RMI group including guides headed for the summit.

Can anyone confirm or denie this odd behavior??


 

I've heard this is common RMI practise. In fact, some friends of mine, a private party, did this when one of their members became sick at the top of DC. Seemed to work well. The others made the summit, and the sick guy slept and got better.

 

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I have seen other private parties leave their altitude-sick members in a sleeping bag on the way up rainier, while the rest of the team goes to the summit. I don't think its that great of an idea, but whatever floats your boat...

Alex

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Headed up there in about an hour .I've seen them do this also . I'm sure that they have signed all the appropriate waivers and have been instructed on not to do anything but stay in thier bag. The top of the cleaver seems to be a safe place as long as there are good snow conditions . If the conditions weren't good then they would turn the whole group around anyways.See ya when I get back......Dan

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I don't get it, why carry bags and waste time stuffing sick ones in, aren't there any crevasses up there?

(yep, too much time on my hands... wink.gif

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At the RMI rest stops, they'll take an inventory of who needs to go down...if there's enough they'll send a rope team down with a guide to Muir. If it's just one or two people, it makes more sense to leave them in a safe spot than waste a guide for one person, sacrificing a higher guide:client ratio for the rest of the group. They just get to go back to sleep...there's not much that can happen to them.

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alright, i agree there's not much that can happen to a sick client on top of the DC and, maybe, that it makes more sense having the two guides with the larger group. BUT still i would think that leaving a client alone is a no-no. something that you just dont do.

I think i also just react strongly to the way they treat their clients. In a military fashion. I did not see one client smiling on the way up. As if the guides are trying to select 'the right stuff' by keeping a high pace. we all know, there's no 'right stuff' especially by selecting by keeping a high pace. it only makes the clients more focussed on getting to the top than the complete experience. the mountain becomes only an object for their own personal achievements. A person with that attitude won't get very far in my opinion.

i shouldnt say too much. i should probably take a guided tour myself to find out.

Attitude is everything...p

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