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Dan_Larson

Rainier in January./ Gibraltar Ledge

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I am trying to get a group of at least 4 together for a Jan. attempt on Mt. Rainier via the Gib Ledge. There are 2 of us so far. I have 6 attempts and 3 summits all this past summer. The other person is more experienced and has 8 Rainier climbs.Trying to get people together early and get together before hand and make sure we are all dialed in as a team and do some refresher crevasse practice on a day trip up to the flats beforehand. Thanks ..Dan

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A party of four would be good if they are four strong climbers, but if you only have two and your partner is solid, go for it! The Gib Ledge route has minimal glacier travel, and if we get a good early season snowfall there should be little problem with crevasses up there. A crevasse fall could occur, of course, and you better be prepared for this. I have stated in an earlier thread that I am somewhat deoubtful about a two person crevasse rescue, but in my view the greater hazards on a January climb of the Gib Ledge would be related to getting caught by bad weather high on the mountain, and finding falling rock or unstable snow on the Gib Ledges theirselves. More climbers, especially if somebody is either inexperienced or unfit, is not what you want for that climb.

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Depending what type of climbers you'd like to join the team, I'd be interested. I've heard a lot of good things about that route and have never found anybody willing to do it at that time of year. I'm pretty fit now and have done Rainier once via the Emmons, but that was about six years ago. I've done some glacier climbing since then but the refresher you mentioned would be good. What kind of timeframe are you looking to do it it? 1-2 days? I agree w/ Mattp that a party of four would be best.

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I was just looking at gauthier's rainier book and was thinking of doing the ledge route again. I tried that route about 8 winters ago and got to the top of the ledges. If you are still looking for people then count me in. Looking back though I think allowing 3 or 4 days to do it would be a good idea. Allowing for weather to pin us down at muir for a day and not remove any chance of summiting, would be a good idea. email me at genepires@hotmail.com

 

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I'm interested. Been up Rainier via DC, Emmons, & Tahoma routes...most recently this past August. I'm fit & handle altitude well. Email me at sergio@gocougs.wsu.edu.

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I tried Gib Ledges twice last year- March & April. First time the winds at Muir were 50-75 mph's and the 2nd time Gib Ledges high avy danger-wind slabs so we turned around. January is a bit early, alot of storms, and very short days. I know some people that summited via the Ledges in late March, April, and early May. This generally seems the best time to do it.

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Hey there, you all better bring the headlamps, sounds like long days to me. I am kinda interested. I am new to the area last january, psyched on that killer mountain I was able to make it up the Liberty for my first Rainer trip in mid july. It was a killer three and a half days round trip from the car. The thing never ended and midnight caught us on an ice ledge just before the tiny vertical section at the very top. up super early and back at the car by two the following afternoon. Good thing too cause with consistent sixty miles an hour on the summit we we in a full on raging blizzard by seven am. Things are looking like I might be headed far south for Febuary. This sounds like a good warm up. Maybe we should go out and do some ice climbing. just to see how we all mesh. that trip could be killer, but it also sounds like it could get serious in a hurry. This is the front line and storms out here hit way hard. I am not super fit now but I am slowly getting back there, but i am definately dialed. E-mail me if you are interested.

[ 12-11-2001: Message edited by: nightfly ]

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Just a few notes:

except for two permanent cracks/schrunds on the steep slopes to the right and above the beehive on Cowlitz Cleaver, crevasses are not really an issue until climbing above the top of Gib. Mainly, be careful immediately above the top of Gib, in recent years there have been some tricky and deceptive cracks there, which in winter are particularly hard to spot due to the high winds at that location creating featured, sastrugi snow conditions.

Also, two areas of extra caution relative to avy danger: the leeward slopes of Cowlitz cleaver between Muir and the ledges, and also, particularly the chute exiting the upper ledges which leads to the top of Gib- the snow can be unstable here due to loading from east winds which often hit in times of high pressure.

Falling rocks and ice from Gibraltar are not usually as serious an issue in winter, however, it's still advisable to cross very early AM. Also, depending on how warm it is and on the snow conditions encountered in the chute (50 degrees), consider descending the DC if coming down mid morning.

The route is a great choice for winter and is fast and direct. Good luck and have fun.

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Thanks W there are 5 of us maybe 6.The bad part is 3 of the guys are from New Hampshire and they had to set a certain time frame for the climb. Jan 5-9 are the dates we will be on the mountain . Hopefully we will be lucky and have favorable conditions and won,t have to sit at muir the whole time.Either way it should be a good experience...Thanks again for the Beta

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Brother Dan: Here's just a little tip from Dwayner. I did the Gib. Ledge trip in January once and it was smooth sailing until the descent. We almost had a catastrophe as we approached the top of Gib. rock and chute. It get's pretty narrow there and you can look down to the Ingraham glacier on one side and the chute on the other. There were three of us roped up when we approached this exposed spot and I was in the middle when the guy behind me lost a crampon. He had these big leather-bottomed step-in gaitors ("overboots") that folks used to wear back in the day and he slipped and took off like a rocket down the ice. It was self-arrest or die and the guy picked up a lot of speed. I felt as if someone had dropped a giant anvil from my harness as I tore through several feet of ice or so it seemed. Definitely a close call and fortunately the rest of the descent was uneventful. That was 25 years ago and it still gives me the creeps when I think about it because I know the first guy wouldn't have been able to hold his two careening buddies if my self-arrest failed. Anyway, be safe on the whole trip, and extra-careful at that spot. And don't let your out-of-town buddies and their tight schedule pressure you into climbing if the weather or conditions suck.

aloha, Dwayner

P.S. And sometime I'll have to tell you about the guy in our group who slipped in his down booties in camp and fell 2,000 from Camp Hazard on the Kautz Route. Ouch!

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Thanks Dwayner,I truly appreciate the advice and I will follow it.I was thinking about going with overboots over my leathers . All of a sudden I feel like renting some plastics. Happy Holidays to you and yours...Dan

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The leathers are a little easier on the bunion than plastics. I was hoping for the same warmth but more comfort with the overboots.

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Dan... If you go with plastics, check out the Scarpa Invernos.. In my opinion they seem as if they'd be accomodating for bunions. I don't think REI rents them, but maybe one of the other shops up there does. Good luck on the climb.

-Ted

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The report was for 60mph winds at 7000 ft. yesterday on Rainier as we pulled into register. Weather for the next day was worse and was told by rangers that heavy precip the following 2 days. Who in thier right minds would want to go in that weather.We headed up like idiots anyways (not taking Dwayners advice about being pressured by partners from out of towns tight schedule)It didn't take long (pan point ) to realize that this could be bad.I pulled the plug and said we had to turn back , I was sorry about them travelling that far. but two of them (lot less glacier experience that even me)werre pissed at me, long ride home and this formally ends me climbing with people that I meet the day of the climb.The only good things that came from this were I got to see my buddy Greg(not upset at all)Learned to use the Tracker at Whittakers the night before(gate closed at 430 not 600)and keep common sense in mind always ......very dissapointing.

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It always amazes me when people get mad when you want to turn around on the big R, I remember a friend that I climbed with that was mad when we turned around, we can't turn around he said, so I played back by going to Ingraham Flats, during a whiteout and winds that would knock you down, he was stunned at the first crevasse we saw that was 20 feet deep. After he climbed Rainier on his own, he thought I was crazy to go to the flats....I just laughed. That was summer too.

TTT shocked.gif" border="0

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Its all in the specifics of what actually happened. I've been mad when, for example, we got to a difficult point or encountered poor weather when these were exactly as expected and my partner simply announced that he would go no further and was not apologetic about it. Mount Rainier in bad weather IS something to be respected, however, and I bet Dan made a good call.

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There's no doubt if you plan a big Rainier ascent that it's hard to back out. When my brother in law came from Denver to climb it, I urged us to go ahead even though it was nearly white out at Paradise and, of course, nastier the higher we went. We were unwilling to rest and hydrate on the way, due to conditions being so unpleasant, and were all at stage I hypothermia by the time we staggered into the hut. We spent a wet night there (one hundred percent humidity inside, everything soaked) and slogged out the next day with a little more respect for Rainier weather. Makes a decent story, but almost any alternative would have been more fun, and certainly safer. We would have bailed if Steve hadn't flown all the way in, and the lesson is that if the weather is wrong, you bail no matter how far you came to get there.

One guy on that above trip has proposed a 4 day West Side ascent in June, with a bivy on the summit. Though it adds time, a West Side approach makes this more of a wilderness mountain, without having to do it in the winter. Just one other idea for you.

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Dan I still think you suck, but you seem to have some common sense.

Fuck your wanker partner. Just because he came from the east coast to climb Rainier doesn't mean you should all get lost, or die, or sit in a tent for 5 days. He sounds like he sucks more than you.

If I might offer some serious advice. I would move on from your Rainier obsession. Just because its the highest in the state doesn't mean its the best. You will get more experience in alpine climbing faster by climbing other peaks in the state. Rainier will still be there (unless it erupts). Try some alpine rock climbs or peaks in the N Cascades. Steep good quality rock peaks are better than tall choss piles. You just won't seem as impressive to non climbers.

PS You sure didn't need those 200 wands.

PPS You still suck tongue.gif" border="0

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I,m not worried about it. Shame on me anyone can look out thier window today and see from here it's not a good time to be up there

[ 01-06-2002: Message edited by: Dan Larson ]

[ 01-07-2002: Message edited by: Dan Larson ]

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