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pete_a

which route to ski?

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Some buddies of mine and I are hoping the weather will cooperate for a shot at skiing Rainier on Memorial Day weekend. The two routes under consideration are of course two of the easiest climbing routes on the mountain, Ingraham Direct and the Emmons. Has anyone had a good view of either route this spring and has any beta to offer as to which might be the better choice? I've climbed both routes several times before, but never skied 'em.

Thanks.

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Sorry to be a little off-topic pete, just thought I'd relate this story (keep in mind I just spent last weekend unroped on a glacier and don't intend to lecture here)

 

In July 2000, I was having a good 'ol time in the valley. Walking back from the village store to Camp 4 one day, I spotted a familiar sticker on a vehicle...ORGT (outdoor recreation georgia tech) and then realized that I knew the car as well. It belonged to my friend Trey, a fellow GT student when I was an undergrad, fellow climber, and all around likable guy. Some dude was getting out of the car so I strolled up and asked him about the car. The story he related went like this:

 

This guy was on rescue at Ranier the previous year. He bought the car when a snowboarder turned up missing and his folks came out to recover his things. Of course, the snowboarder was Trey. After Ga Tech, Trey went on to med school at Emory University...a top 25 school. He had just been assigned to residency at a Seattle area hospital and had been in the area for only three weeks. Deciding to hike up to Muir one day for the ride down, Trey was reported seen in the hut and never again. Crevasse lunch, no doubt. Storm rolled in for the next couple of days and his body was never recovered.

 

Here's a clip from the rescue notes:

 

William "Trey" Teitjen, 28, who recently had completed medical school in Georgia and

moved to Seattle, was last seen June 20 at Camp Muir preparing to descend the

mountain on a snowboard during conditions of blowing snow. We never saw a trace

of him again, Krambrink said. The search cost was $30,752.

 

Hate to be a bummer (you can imagine how I felt standing in the camp4 lot listening to the tale of one of my very first climbing buddies getting the chop when I didn't even know he was gone), but it's something to think about anyway...I went out and soloed the arches, sat at the top and cried for a while and wished him well.

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That is a sad story, I'm sorry you had to learn of your friend's disappearance that way. Add it to the number of unresolved "disappearances" in that area in bad weather.

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Wow.

Will, not only must it have been a very difficult means to find out about the loss of a friend, but it is very strange for me to hear about it here. My heart goes out to you.

Being a regular "rainier rat" I tend to follow the stories of those that run into problems on Rainier, and I remember well, that of your friend. That is why when I heard they found the remains of a snowboarder last summer one day when we were up skiing the Nisqually Chutes I remember saying to a friend at the time, "that has to be that young doctor from Georgia". Sure enough the park service later confirmed it and notified his family. As I recall he was discovered in the Pebble Creek drainage at about the 6700 ft level. There's some cliffs in there; he might have gon off and been hurt in the fall; possibly buried in a slide. Mike Gauthier probably knows more.

A quick search yeilded this excerpt of the article:

Rainier remains may be young doctor's

The News Tribune; Tacoma, Wash.; Jul 19, 2001; Skip Card;

Words in Document: 245

Available Formats:

Buy Full Text

Abstract:

Mount Rainier rangers Wednesday recovered what appear to be the remains of William "Tres" [Tres Teitjen], a medical school graduate who disappeared in 1999 while snowboarding down the Muir Snowfield.

Teitjen, 28, moved from Georgia to Seattle in June 1999 to begin a residency program at Harborview Medical Center. Although active in the outdoors, he never before had been to Mount Rainier ...

 

Sorry man...

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i was in the emmonds last weekend after an ascent of liberty ridge, and i being a snowboarder who likes to ride big mountain terrain imagined the conditions going down the emmonds to be unpleasant for riding due to the abundance of ice...i would not personally chose this route for a enjoyable descent, though it could be skied. just my two cents... have a blast!

hope this helps?

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Will,

Sorry to hear of the loss. I remember that one. The person who you saw in Treys car posts here often, and is out climbing right now, up in Alaska.

TTT [big Drink][big Drink][big Drink]

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Hey Bobbyperu,

thanks for the info...I was hoping that you'd have some beta to share since you were just up there last weekend, congrats on the Liberty Ridge ascent!

I think I'm just going to have to keep an eye on the weather and just wait until conditions are perfect sometime this summer...although I'm still keeping my fingers crossed for Mem. weekend.

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Small world- I think SeanHalling who posts here was the last to see him alive. I remember faintly Sean relaying the story to me about seeing him about to descend and the obligitory "be safe"...

 

What a suckey way to find out about your bud...

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6 people died on the lower mountain that year. No deaths occurred above 10,000'. At least 2 of the people who died were descending from Muir in whiteout conditions, I believe Tres was one of them. My acquaintance's body was found over 3 months later in his bivy sack at the confluence of the Cowlitz and Paradise glaciers. It's incredibly easy to get off route in poor visibility, and incredibly difficult to find you once you're lost in those conditions.

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all this talk of death... and the skiing is SO good this year...

i recommend the Ingraham Direct for a nice, early season descent. if you're really lucky, ski back to muir via cadaver gap, it's a great ride and makes for a better line than the cathedral gap (where most of the climbers ascend.) the route does have some crevasses, but you shouldn't have any problems if you wand your descent line and move quickly across the crevasses... (personally, i feel much safer crossing some crevasses on a snowboard than on foot.)

2. The Emmons/Wintrop glacier is another classic. when last i saw it, (2 weeks ago) it looked a bit icy up high, but things could have changed. if you don't get it this weekend, come back later in june...

other routes (kautz, tahoma glacier) are a go, but try the ID or EW first to see if you like it.

good luck,

mike

ps, the tatoosh is looking PHAT and AWESOME these days. we should have some great skiing/boarding well into july...

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Sean Halling WAS the last person to see that person alive. I believe his advice was that he should not to descend into a whiteout.

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Hey Mike,

 

Thanks for the info and the advice about skiing cadaver gap...I've thought thats always looked like a nice line to take back to camp muir. The weather doesn't look like its going to cooperate for my buddies and I this weekend for getting high up on Rainier, but we may go horse around up in the Tatoosh or ski the Inter glacier. Guess I'll just have to keep hoping for summer to make an appearance sometime soon.

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Get up The Fuhrer Finger before the rock starts to fall. As far as skiing anything in The Pacific Northwest, including Camp Muir to Paradise. If you can't see your hand in front of your face, then you better strap your skis or board to your pack and hike down. There are no heroes on big mountains, only humble souls.

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so its kinda weird that I was the one who started this thread, two years ago - that original post is from 2002, and for some reason it was resurrected recently....anyways, yes- as a matter of fact I was goofing around on rainier this weekend, we climbed the Ingraham glacier route and skied most of it, we downclimbed about 500vf by the ingraham headwall that was a little too ugly for us to ski safely, so it was a fun weekend, but no true continuous ski descent.

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