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Rainier Xmas Eve Climb

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I took advantage of the great weather and headed for Rainier on Saturday the 22th. We hiked up the Muir trail to Camp Muir Sunday afternoon. Needed snowshoes the entire distance. Athough there was a faint trail, the fresh snow was 3-24" deep.

We had the Muir shelter to ourselves. There was one other party of 2 climbers at Muir in a tent. Camping in the shelter was a blessing. It was cold as a witches tit that night.

At 6am we left Muir for the Nisqually Ice Fall. Climbing the icefall was very straight forward. It was mostly buried in snow, we seldom got on ice. We did not even rope up for the ascent.

We encountered deep snow on most of the route, slowing us to a crawl. At about 13,000' we decided not to summit. We had climbed the icefall, our objective, so heading down was an easy decision. It had taken us 7 hours just to get this far.

We decended the Gib ledges route to Muir.

Overall the climb was great, but the deep snow conditions hampered our efforts. I would image that conditions will continue to improve throughout the week with the high pressure system that has moved in.

Rainier is prime for winter ascents.

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