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marcus

[TR] Mount Rainier- Curtis Ridge 6/19/2006

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Climb: Mount Rainier-Curtis Ridge

 

Date of Climb: 6/19/2006

 

Trip Report:

After viewing some pics of a big 'ol ice dagger hanging off Russel Cliffs last week and a relatively cool forecast in the works, we had reason to think things might still be good and locked up on Curtis Ridge...decided to head up and take a look.

 

For a little cultural diversion on the drive up from PDX we stopped briefly in Woodland, WA for their "Planter Days" festival: muscle cars and farmer's daughters. Sweet inspiration!

 

Sunday a.m. hiked from White River TH(Inter Glacier is still in great shape) passing Lib Ridge troopers en route until the broad slopes of lower Curtis opened up before us. Some cloud breaks and a little dead reckoning allowed us to gain the ridge proper through drifting cloud cover. We gained Pt. 10,284 and rapped west, hitting snow ramps and the occasional broken steps. Even found a trickle of water to re-up from and drink deep - a nice bonus to supplement our meager fuel. Continuing up towards the Gendarme we may have tried to regain the ridge crest a bit too early, as we ended up doing a funky downward-traversing 5th class ropelength to hit easier terrain and make the bivy site. Other options might have lain on the west side - grass is always greener...

 

...set up our happy little home on the bestest bivy ledge ever, brewed up and nestled down for a few...

 

Monday a.m. was breezy, clouds were still in solid down below us. The chicken that lives inside my head also mentioned that an awful lot of rock(looking chossy...possibly zombie-filled?) was showing on that face up there that's already loosening up in the morning sun, mister. So I thought,"Yeah, I better go home...as soon as I climb this."

 

Took the open book variation through the 1st rockband. An M5-ish kitty litter bulge at the start spit me off once, still clutching the 'good handhold' on the way down. The gulley above led to a short zigzag pitch: rightward up to a rock step, down a leftward snowramp and then back up a step onto the 1st snowfield.

2nd rockband routefinding was no problem. At the second snowfield we continued up toward the exit gulleys. Staying oriented on skyline features was helpful getting into the gulleys, as easier terrain appeared to draw us further right than necessary, back towards upper Willis Wall.

 

Took a "GU-thirty" break one pitch below the exit, as we could see snow tailings whipping pretty good above. So much for alpine climbing...now its time for some good 'ol mountaineering!

Shuffleshuffleshuffle...wheeze...shuffleshuffle...whippereffingwinds...shuffleshuffleshuffle...brilliantsun...shuffle...Imustbeonthemoon!! Anyways, after about 1700ft of that, we topped out the ridge and trucked down Emmons.

 

Good times.

 

 

 

 

 

Gear Notes:

Light rack:

1 NOLSe

4 cams

4 stoppers

3 tri-cams

2 KBs

2 angles

3 shorty screws(2 woulda been fine)

 

 

 

Approach Notes:

no floatation necessary

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How is the Emmons looking for a ski?

 

 

Starting to open up a little bit - actually dropped a leg in a slot once - but looked much more appealing as a ski than a climb!!

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With the exception of the last one all pics were taken on Sat en route to the bivy... the last one was taken from the bivy of the route (partially obscured by thumb rock) just before tackling the upper portion of the route... I know... I suck for not documenting the gnar but I was preoccupied with watching for dislodged kitty litter.

 

Coolest/hardest route I have ever done... on a volcano tongue.gif

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Oh yeah... big THANKS to cascadeclimber Loren for pics of the route taken the week prior thumbs_up.gif

 

After viewing some pics of a big 'ol ice dagger hanging off Russel Cliffs last week

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Righit on, Gents. I have long held the opinion that might be a good climb. thumbs_up.gif

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They finally "Straightened out" and "freed" the curtis.

 

Thanks for always doing the good climbs during my finals or midterms weeks a-holes!

 

Nice job!

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Very cool. I'd hoped to do that one this year. Good job guys. Looks like lots of fun.

 

Marcus- nice Knight Rider avatarthumbs_up.gif

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Last weekend while walking into Mowich and then back around to Carbon Creek I was wondering if anyone had been up on Curtis since we were on the route in 98. Seems so. Cool. Sound like you had a good time. Not many venture up on the ridge.

 

I am curious to know where you went through the rock band. (Can you mark up an image of your rout?) We more or less followed Wickwire's variation (which is on snow and ice and is a free variation) but turned before he did which not too long after the small step and climbed up some easy 5th class conglomerate rock. Which from your photos I am not sure it how fun it would be as it appears the lower steps are prety melted out. We had more snow lower down, though the snow around the steps was quite rotten. Oddly you certainly had more snow on the upper part of the ridge than we did. We had some pretty good ice in places and the lower part of the exit chutes were mostly rock in places.

 

If I can get to a scanner I will post some images of the upper part of the climb. Good fun.

Edited by ScaredSilly

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