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Bronco

Mt. Rainier "Alpine Style"

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Has anyone attempted Mt. Rainier in a single push?

What Route?

Any Suggestions?

This has worked on some other long routes for me but havent had the balls to try it on the Big R.

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What do you mean by in a single push?

I know many people who have done it in a day, round trip non-stop.

Chad Kellog did it two seasons ago in just under 6 hours round trip, via DC route.

Many have done Liberty Ridge in a day. Last year even Ptarmagin Ridge went in a day.

In my experience apline styple does not mean in a single day, but means that you do not use moving camps. Put simply, everyone does Rainier apline style.

If conditions are good, the Furher Finger is widely considered to be the most direct line and is the home to most of the speed ascents.

Hope that helps.....

later

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quote:

Originally posted by Rodchester:

In my experience apline styple does not mean in a single day, but means that you do not use moving camps. Put simply, everyone does Rainier apline style.


The concept of alpine style ascents stems from the days when big mountains were climbed using seige tactics-strings of camps along a climbing route with the final push starting from the highest camp. With the advent of better equipment and techniques, people began abondoning the idea of erecting succesively higher camps and instead choosing to carry everything needed (fuel, food, shelter), bivying when/if necessary. This new ideal was called "alpine-style".

Put simply, most people do not ascend Rainier alpine-style.

[This message has been edited by ScottP (edited 06-11-2001).]

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So does using camp Muir to sleep a few hours negate a "single push"? The problem with a single push is what time of day does that put you on the upper reaches of the mountain and what is happening to conditions? It's often not safe to be up there late when things are getting mushy down lower. I climbed Gibralter ledges route arriving at Muir at 8:30 pm and leaving at 2:00 am. To me this was "alpine" but not a single push. (I'll also argue this is more direct than Fuher Finger) I agree that single push and "alpine style" is not necessarily the same thing and most of all the Cascade peaks are climbed alpine style. I don't think using a tent and sleeping means you aren't climbing "alpine." Maybe I'm wrong.

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Stop defining my consciousness you guys! My gift doesn't want to keep on giving anymore!

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The "single push" would be as follows:

Leave Paradise late evening say 8 pm friday only in excellent weather, Stop at camp muir between 12 and 1am saturday morning only long enough to refil water bottles then move on to the upper mountian, attempting to summit by 5 am and decending to Paradise by noon.

No bivy gear, if weather or route or health problems come up, you go down.

My Main concern is not acclimating and causing health complications.

PS thanks for your input Dur.

 

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quote:

Originally posted by Alpine Tom:

The phrase "alpine style" only makes sense in mountains high enough for siege tactics (a string of camps, established in a series of increasingly high climbs, with fixed ropes, sherpas, etc.)

 

But, spending the night at Camp Muir (or Thumb Rock, or the summit) doesn't make it a non-alpine ascent.


Technically, I believe it does. You plan to camp at a particular location on the route (not a base camp), then you have an intermediate camp. Hence, it isn't an alpine-style ascent.

 

 

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Scott the rarified air you suffered while make the second first ascent of Princely Ambitions must have adled your mind. Simply put most do climb Rainier alpine style. Alpine Tom gets the award for cogency. Scott for sophistry.

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ScottP,

So I guess when Charlie Fowler and Christine Boskoff climbed Shishapangma last year in "alpine style" not using any "moving" camps or fixed line but made two bivys, they weren't actually climbing alpine style....hmmmmm.

I guess all of the greats, Rienhold Messner, Scott Fisher, Carlos Buhler, Mark Twight, and the like will have to rewrite their books and traditions. I'll get a hold of them ASAP.

Now, I've said, and say, this somewhat tongue and cheek. I don't want to come off as arrogant here, but think about the term itself and then think about its application.

When climbing really took off in Europe in the ALPS (get it) a style of climbing developed (long time ago 150 years ago). That was, to them, the only style. When they began to take on huge peaks in the Himalaya, (1900-today) they had to change their style/tactics. Soon there developed two main styles: expedition and ALPine.

They began to call it ALPine style because it was the style they used at home...in the ALPS. (Seems so clear now) It has been called this, "ALPine Style," for years and years and years. See Maurice Herzog in the 1950s attempting alpine style ascents in Hinalaya. See ealry ascents in the Tetons and Wind Range referred to as ALPine ascents.

The advance in equipment and training as well as access has allowed climbers to climb routes and peaks in alpine style. (We even have a local guide service called Alpine Ascents International).

Now-a-days: if you are fixing rope you are not climbing alpine style; if you are using fixed facilities or pre-cached gear you are not climbing alpine style; if you are hualing/ferrying loads you are not climbing alpine style; if you are stocking high camps you are not climbing alpine style; if you are aiding you are not climbing alpine style.

Of course many of these general rules are open to challenge. Many cutting edge "ALPine style" ascents invlove some AID sections. Questions arise about use of porters into a basecamp, etc.

But the general rule is that the route is climbed in a straight shot/line by the climbers with out aid, or retreat, or having to stock higher camps.

Lately a very select few of true hard core alpinist have been taking it to the next level by climbing routes in a single push, stopping only for food and water. No bivy.

Put simply: myself and everyone I know climbing locally climbs "ALPine style."

I can't honestly say I have seen others climb any other style on Rainier. (Besides the schools teaching "expedition" style for use on big mountains) Although a cogent argument can be made that the use of the hut and other facilites at Muir makes it no longer "ALPine style." The counter to that is...yeah right...have you ever climbed in the alps...huts everywhere.

Anyway...have a nice day.

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Scott,

There is no way the average climb of Rainier is a siege. No one uses fixed ropes, no one hires porters, and you climb the mountain in one push (even if you do sleep). Alpine style refers to climbing like you would in the alps where they have huts ect.

Thats the standard everyone I know climbs by, but perhaps you are a lawyer in wich case Alpine style means whatever you say it does. wink.gif

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"Alpine" doesn't mean "non-stop push," it means not using previously establishing camps to leapfrog up.

If you were climbing a mountain like Everest, you couldn't climb it in a day. The "traditional" siege method involved going up and setting up and stocking camps increasingly high up, so that on your summit bid you'd leapfrog from one camp to the next, essentially, a day at a time, and at each camp you'd have food, fuel, and tents waiting for you. (or to be more accurate, using the Lohtse face as an example probably from base camp, to camp 3, to the south summit, and then to the summit.)

An alpine ascent would still mean taking three or four days to climb the mountain, but you'd haul your bivy gear with you as you went.

To extend himalayan tactics to Rainier:

You'd push up to Camp Muir the first day, and establish a camp, and call it Camp 1. The next day you'd descend to the parking lot. After a rest day, you'd push up to the top of DC, and establish a camp up there. Camp 2. Probably you'd fix lines up the cleaver. You'd retreat back down to Muir and spent the night. The next day you might descend back down to Longmire, to breathe thick air. Then, when you're ready for your summit push, you'd climb to camp 1, spend the night in your prepared camp, the next day you'd push to your camp 2, using the fixed lines you put in place earlier, and spend the night there, then on your glorious summit day, you'd push nonstop from the top of DC all the way to the summit, and back down to camp 1, in a single day! You'd retreat to base camp (the parking lot) the following day, and send out your press releases on the satellite phone, and you and your sherpas would spend the next few days bringing down the gear from your camps, and the expedition would be over.

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Scott,

You definitely have a different definition of Alpine-style than I have ever read or heard of. Alpine-style as far as I'm concerned is carrying your own gear up the mountain without caching, multiple camps or outside support.

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Scott:

Actually, there are currently fixed lines on the Disapointment Cleaver, and I can verify porter work being done to camp muir about 3 weeks ago.

I really dont care about the definition of "alpine" and I appologize for the confusion. I simply meant climbing to the summit with only climbing gear, water and food, no tent, no sleeping bag, no pad, only a sumit pack.

Thanks for the 2 out of 13 replys pertaining to the question!!!

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Bronco, see my inadvertant thread under 'removing spray'.

I feel your pain.

However, the information was interesting...

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Hi Bronco,

I have done Rainier in a day twice out of three tries (the two were at a moments notice). The main consideration IMO is the issue of sleep. The two times (one sucessful) I had a overwhelming need for sleep. Try to get tons of sleep the day before. The one time I did the climb with a lot of sleep it went pretty well. We slept a little at Cougar Rock CG, but if you don't get caught you can sleep at Paradise in the car. The Rangers only issue permits now between 5-8pm for a one day climb, so take this in consideration. Also Ginko Bibola helps with altitude, take some along.

When we did it we left Paradise at 1:00am, got to Muir at 3:30, melted water, cached the stove and boiling pot, and left at 4:00am. We got to the summit at 9:00am, caught RMI on the way down before the Cleaver, and were back at Muir at 1:00pm.

I almost think it is easier than a 2 day climb (we do this when we climb Baker). You might think about leaving earlier, but we wanted the trip to Muir to be on firm snow for a fast climb.

Bill

[This message has been edited by To The Top (edited 06-11-2001).]

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The phrase "alpine style" only makes sense in mountains high enough for siege tactics (a string of camps, established in a series of increasingly high climbs, with fixed ropes, sherpas, etc.)

No place in the the US, except maybe Denali, is high enough for some sort of siege climbing to make sense. "Alpine style" doesn't mean you don't take a tent, or don't sleep, it just means you haul your gear with you, as opposed to setting up a series of camps, stocking them, and working your way up the mountain over a few weeks.

When I did Rainier in a single day, we left Paradise around 1:00 AM, and went up via Fuhrer Finger, which is the shortest route to the summit. We got to the summit by around 11:00, hung out there for a couple of hours, and were back to Paradise by 5:30 or so. We didn't bring tents or stoves or anything, but I did haul along an emergency shelter (basically an oversized Hefty bag.)

But, spending the night at Camp Muir (or Thumb Rock, or the summit) doesn't make it a non-alpine ascent.

It just occurs to me: there's probably still room in the record books for a first himalayan ascent of Rainier, complete with sherpas, fixed ropes, three or four camps, and bottled oxygen!

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quote:

Originally posted by Peter Puget:

Scott -

please explain to me how most people ascend Mt. R

They tend to walk.

Some people, however, use skiis with skins.

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To The Top,

I'm interested in how you do with acclimatization? Are you just not affected very much by elevation? Your hiking time is outstanding! How would you gage your level of fitness? - it seems that you would have to be in world class shape. I'm not sure everyone could pull this off, even with negligable weight in their pack.

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quote:

Originally posted by Rodchester:

ScottP,

So I guess when Charlie Fowler and Christine Boskoff climbed Shishapangma last year in "alpine style" not using any "moving" camps or fixed line but made two bivys, they weren't actually climbing alpine style....hmmmmm.

I guess all of the greats, Rienhold Messner, Scott Fisher, Carlos Buhler, Mark Twight, and the like will have to rewrite their books and traditions. I'll get a hold of them ASAP.

.

This is where we differ in our understanding.

I believe that the modern meaning of "Alpine-style" means light and fast, bivying when and if necessary, but not carrying the gear to set up an intermediate camp or camps between the base and summit. Stopping for the night at Muir, Sherman, Hazard etc. means that you carry the tent, etc for a CAMP not a BIVY.

The people you mention do alpine-style climbs.

The majority of the people who go up on Rainier establish a camp, spend (some of)the night, and continue from there. While this is not seige climbing per se, it is not alpine-style in the modern sense of the word.

 

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Scott and all you people talking about definitions are really just funny.

I think style is great but this conversation has really turned into an I am not wrong you are bickerfest tongue.gif

Keep me entertained.

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ScottP,

Where can I find some resource, i.e. very experienced and highly regarded alpinist, recognized liturature, recognized organization, etc. that redefines "ALPine style" to your definition.

Per Se...no. Per ScottP...yes.

Seriously, you are welcome to your own definition. No one expects every climber to agree on everything. But when you ask a question or base an answer on your own definition, it will simply confuse those you are communicating with.

No one else has agreed with your definition. Not that that always makes you wrong, I am just saying take a look and listen to others on this thread and other resources.

Call up one of the guides at RMI, Mountain Madness, or AAI and see what they say. Who knows maybe they changed the definition and everyone else on this thread has been so busy climbing, we forgot our style of climbing....

Either way good luck,

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