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scott

rainier in winter

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any thoughts on what routes are accessible, which of these are safest (least threatened from avalanche) etc?

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Cadaver Gap is at a really swell angle for avalanches. In the wrong conditions, I think there are no safe routes. Start from Paradise with a good weather window and go fast. The hut at Muir is much more attractive in the winter than in the summer.

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Any of the south side routes are relatively accessible and, in general, will tend to "set up" after a new snowfall more quickly than routes facing away from the sun. The Gib Ledges route utilizes the standard approach to Camp Muir and then follows the shortest route to the summit, but it is more exposed then the Ingraham (people fall off of it once in a while and I have not heard of similar falls on the Ingraham) and the ledges are subject to bombardment by rock and ice fall on sunny days, while the Ingraham is more prone to a lingering avalanche hazard. In some ways, a winter ascent can be easier than a summer ascent, with the glaciers more filled in and with approaches made on skis rather than on rock piles.

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Winter is actually the best time to attempt the Gib Ledge if you don't mind climbing, traversing steep exposed snow.(ledges are snow covered)

Return via Ingraham Direct, Cadaver gap, that way you avoid potential rockfall and downclimbing steep shit.

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March with nice long days is still winter on Rainier... This is a great time to do Gib Ledges. More likely than not you'll be the only party in the muir hut.

 

Jason

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Attempted the Nisqually Ice fall route in Dec 2001. The route seemed pretty straight forward, the icefall was predominately buried in snow, so little or no technical climbing was involved. However, we turned back at around 11,500' after watching two seperate avalanches sweep down the Nisqually Cleaver. Got the hell out of there quick.

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quote:

Originally posted by Noway:

Winter is actually the best time to attempt the Gib Ledge

just curious how you define "winter" ... and is earlier or later generally best?

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QUOTE]just curious how you define "winter" ... and is earlier or later generally best?[/QB

 

Late winter, early spring, just wait for felicitous weather conditions and go for it.

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quote:

Originally posted by Fence Sitter:

cadaver gap is good if the snow sets up...it is a really nice direct route that doesn't see much action...

I agree, I have done it twice, (once in winter, once in spring) If conditions are good and firm, it is a great line to the Ingraham Direct.

[Cool]

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Are there any winter ski descent routes that are relatively safe?

 

I am thinking of doing Gib's Ledges in winter and I would like to ski off too if possible. I've heard that there are some good lines in the spring but haven't heard much about February and March. Anyone done it?

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My first trip up Rainier went by way of Cadaver Gap and the Ingraham Glacier early in january(88'). We had had six days of clear weather previous to this new years weekend climb, which did much to stabilize conditions. Although we needed snowshoes to reach Muir, conditions were rather icy once we got above the Gap.

 

[ 10-14-2002, 11:13 PM: Message edited by: tread tramp ]

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The Ingraham Glacier or even the Nisqually Icefall can be good ski descents in the winter. The later being a bit more committing. Then there's the obvious stuff like the Finger or the Kautz if they look good...But looks can be deceiving! [big Drink]

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We were a party of three. Someone had gone up Cadaver Gap the day Before us and very kindly kicked the steps that we followed. If that was you thanks a lot. Apparently someone in that party had leather boots and didn't make it because of frostbite on six toes. So at least part of that party turned back. Were you in that group. I think also that there was someone who came down the Nisqually Chute very late and had us all worried for a while.

 

[ 10-15-2002, 09:28 AM: Message edited by: tread tramp ]

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Yer welcome for the steps TT. On Jan.1st two parties set out for the top. A friend and I thru Cadaver Gap and another group of 3 via the D.C. The other guys made it to around 13000 and turned around because of frozen feet. We had talked to them before leaving the hut about their leather boots not being warm enough but they decided to go for it anyway. I had the feeling they weren’t from around here and only had one crack at the mtn. in winter. They were moving pretty good and would have topped out but for their footwear. It was pretty damn cold out. I learned the importance of insulated briefs that day :-} The guy with the frozen toes was wearing Raichle Eigers. He was in a lot of pain going down from Muir. By the time he got to the Ranger station 1/8 inch flesh had sluffed off the ends of his toes.

As for my friend and I, we summitted and came down via Gib chute. We had to wait till the bombing from Gibralter subsided a few hours after dark before we could drop down it. I remember being pretty bonked when we finally got to the hut as I had eaten and drank very little during the day. I mentioned the trip in a post last February.[sorry, don’t know how to link]

I’m impressed that your first climb of Rainier was in the winter. It’s much more exciting than joining the herds in the summer isn’t it. Way to go

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quote:

Originally posted by Chepe:

I hear Willis Wall is a great winter climb
[Wazzup]

Isn't that a walkup? [Eek!]

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