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Earth N sky

Yes, another easterner gonna climb Rainier

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since you've got so much time, and since it sounds like you might actually want to enjoy the climb, you might consider switching to a different guide company.

 

the first time i did rainier, i was new to mountaineering and had the misfortune of climbing with RMI. it was a terrible, grueling express trip - even though the weather was great and we made the summit, i still count it as one of the worst days of my life. the guides were screaming and cursing at the slower climbers in the group, basically trying to intimidate them into quitting so we could move faster. basically, RMI's modus operandi is to get you to the top and back, fast, and they don't give a shit if it's a pleasant experience.

 

that might be changing now that there's competition on the mountain, but you might also want to check out alpine ascents international and the american alpine institute, who have a better reputation and (i think) are also leading trips there this year.

 

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Earth N Sky,

 

As another easterner (Raleigh, NC), I share your excitement about climbing Rainier. Me and a buddy are headed out in July for an expedition skills course on Rainier, so maybe we will see you on the summit.

 

Having spent a lot of time out there, I agree with the advice not to try to fit the Olympic peninsula into your trip, because it is so massive and time-consuming to get there, you really want to do it on a dedicated trip rather than an afterthought. For future reference, though, you need to go back and spend 2-3 days doing the Hoh River Trail, with or without a climb to the top of Mount Olympus. The trail through the rainforest is really the highlight, and it has the distance you crave. For a good trip report, see "Mt Olympus-Blue Gl in a day" trip report from July 2006 in the Olympic forum on this site. Those guys did it in a day, which is totally sick, especially when the river trail is so beautiful in the daytime. I say 1-day in, 1-day summit and back, 1-day out. For those of us from the east, you just need to spend some time in the awesome wilds out there. You can get more beta on the Olympic forum, but make this part of your plan for another trip.

 

Have a great time on Rainier and I hope to see you in July.

 

Chris

 

 

 

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...the guides were screaming and cursing at the slower climbers in the group, basically trying to intimidate them into quitting so we could move faster. basically, RMI's modus operandi is to get you to the top and back, fast, and they don't give a shit if it's a pleasant experience.

 

I think your experience is very rare, or something of the past. While I've never hired RMI, I've been around them enough on the mountain for several years to say with certainty that this is NOT their modus operandi. The only screaming I've ever heard from their guides is either screaming encouragement to their group, or screaming at bozos around them not being safe. Cursing? Again, never had heard it. I'm not a big fan of RMI's past lone grip on guiding services, but I think your blanket statement about them is off base. Have fun Earth and Sky, and concentrate on your training... not whether or not you hired the absolute best guide service.

 

 

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First time I did the DC route, I was lead on the rope. We were half hour above the massive RMI group. Weather turned to sh*t so my partner and I turned around. Looking down the mountain we could tell something was wrong with the RMI group. Their headlights all stopped and just kept looking around. We climbed down and past them all....they were not in the bootpath we were (the one that followed the wands). They then got back on track and followed us in. Back at Muir my partner and I learned the guide on the front of the rope "got off track" and feel into a creavase taking a few clients with him. Everyone was OK.

 

Second time I did the DC, we saw an RMI guide yelling at his rope team to hurry the fu*k up while pulling on the rope cuz the 3rd on rope was going slow......he was going slow cuz his gaiter was dragging behind his foot, he was tripping on it with each step. when he would try to fix it, the guide would yell and pull the rope again.

 

RMI has a bad rap cuz of what others have seen and reported. But they do get you up there......even if they have to pull you up.

 

My advise, be in great shape and hope your rope mates are also in great shape. And, keep your gaiters on!!

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the effing plastic boots that you will probably have to rent will make your feet hamburger and you won't want to go anywhere after getting off Rainier.

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I'm not discouraging a get acquainted with altitude trip, but I believe that if you read much literature on the topic you will find that perforance at altitude can be inconsistent and people often do well on one trip and poorly on another. Enjoy a Colorado vacation but don't count on the fact that if you seem to adjust to the altitude well (or poorly) you will expierience the same on Rainier.

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since you've got so much time, and since it sounds like you might actually want to enjoy the climb, you might consider switching to a different guide company.

 

the first time i did rainier, i was new to mountaineering and had the misfortune of climbing with RMI. it was a terrible, grueling express trip - even though the weather was great and we made the summit, i still count it as one of the worst days of my life. the guides were screaming and cursing at the slower climbers in the group, basically trying to intimidate them into quitting so we could move faster. basically, RMI's modus operandi is to get you to the top and back, fast, and they don't give a shit if it's a pleasant experience.

 

that might be changing now that there's competition on the mountain, but you might also want to check out alpine ascents international and the american alpine institute, who have a better reputation and (i think) are also leading trips there this year.

 

You may want to try getting in beter shape next time. The guide service(s) on Rainier - or on any alpine peak - aren't there to ensure your personal comfort zone isn't exceeded. Frankly, RMI doesn't really move all that fast. If you were having trouble keeping up, you were probably having a very bad day - or were not fit. Their job is to get you and those with you safely to the top and back down. If your lack of physical ambition or mental stregnth is going to jeopardize the dreams and safety of the other, more fit clients, maybe you should hire a 1:1 guide that will pamper you - or learn enough about the sport to go at it as an independent. I seriously doubt your claims that the guides were "swearing" at you or other clients. In fact, I flat-out think you're not being truthful. I've never used RMI - or any guide - but I've seen them in action on Rainier for over 25 years and I've never witnessed such behavior. What they WILL do, is encourage (or, in some cases, insist) a climber they feel is not physically capable of reaching the summit to turn around at Ingraham Flats with a guide designated that very task. You won't find any other service doing anything differently.

Edited by Fairweather

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From sea level to summit in two days will kick your a** no matter what shape your in, it's comparable to a marathon and for some it's too much of a sufferfest. Try to get up to at least 5,000' as soon as you get off the plane. I usually car camp at one of the 5,000' trailheads at least one day before. One time I spent 3 days at elevation (below 9k) before summiting. Turned it from a grind into something more enjoyable.

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I intend to be in the best physical shape of my life leading up to this climb.

 

Rob,

 

I hear many talk about being in the best shape of your life to climb Rainier. I feel like this is oft quoted b/c many weekend warriors climb mountains like Rainier. (I swam in college, I will never be in that kind of shape again.) I think that may be true for some people. It sounds like you're great in shape. Just need to get used to carrying a heavy pack.

 

In my climbs in the Cascades I didn't train a whole lot more than what I did every week, which was ride a bicycle. I did a few hikes up 1500-3000 foot gain with 50 lbs. I'm 42 and I stay in pretty good shape for my advanced age.

 

I think the only variable that will prevent you from summiting will be AMS (and weather). There's no control over these. Hopefully you won't get AMS. Go, have a great time, stay hydrated and pray for good weather.

Edited by edoc

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You really are not climbing the mountain if you have a guide. If you need a guide, that means that you don't know a thing about climbing mountains and you probably shouldn't be up there anyways. Just my .02. Don't be offended or anything. I sort of resent the commercialization of climbing Mount Rainier, and I just don't think that you can really be proud of yourself if you don't do it without a guide.

 

Do you have self arrest experience? Roped climbing experience? I am not quite sure how difficult the peaks are in Pennsylvania. Rainier is really not all that difficult in good weather. I found it a good bit easier than I thought. If you have a few experienced friends and you have a good bit of experience yourself, you probably could easily do it without help. Good luck to you regardless. It is one amazing mountain. :tup:

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Earth N sky, you should investigate Jamin's history and lack of climbing wisdom (displayed on this site alone) before giving much weight to his advice.

 

 

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I sort of resent the commercialization of climbing Mount Rainier, and I just don't think that you can really be proud of yourself if you don't do it without a guide.

 

:noway:

 

Wow. And I wonder why people think climbers are stuck on themselves! But don't be offended or anything.

 

 

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Jamin sounds like an idiot. Lots of people have died climbing Rainier because of the general attitude the Jamin is spouting. In good weather, with good conditions and with good luck it can be quite a easy trip but...things can change quickly in the mountains. Even very experienced climbers have died on Rainier, Willi Unsoeld comes to mind. If you don't have much experience at climbing glacieated peaks a guide can teach you tons of stuff and they know how to react if unexpected events occur. That said they are not a silver bullet. Risks remain and you will need to get up there under your own power. That said I wouldn't hire a guide but that's because I live here and I climb here and I can learn things from the mountains and the people that climb them and thus prepare myself for a climb and then make my own judgements. Such oppurtunities do not exist if you live in pennsylvania. So learn from some pros and have fun while your doing it. Maybe next time you can climb it on your own.

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funny, in the time it took my to craft my reply two others have already posted about what a dumbass jamin is. Reputation :tdown: :tdown: :tdown:

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You really are not climbing the mountain if you have a guide. If you need a guide, that means that you don't know a thing about climbing mountains and you probably shouldn't be up there anyways. Just my .02. Don't be offended or anything. I sort of resent the commercialization of climbing Mount Rainier, and I just don't think that you can really be proud of yourself if you don't do it without a guide.

 

Do you have self arrest experience? Roped climbing experience? I am not quite sure how difficult the peaks are in Pennsylvania.

I have followed the "Winter Ascent" thread in the partners forum and started to feel a little sorry for you. Not anymore. Have fun on LR punk. :fahq:

 

I am interested in checking out Liberty Ridge next year at least till thumb rock. If the conditions are good, I may try to go up all the way. What time exactly do you think would be the best time to go next year. I am thinking late May to early June, but I know that weather can be pretty bad during that time. How much much vertical feet of ice climbing can be expected during that time and at what degree of vertical.

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Couliour, first of all I am not a punk. The reason I go up into the mountains is to have fun, and I generally do. Second of all, you don't even know me and I don't think you should label me as something unless you do

 

When I first started climbing mountains at the age of 16-17, I did mainly easy ones, but I failed many times. My brother and I required 4-5 attempts to climb Mount Stickney. I learned a ton during those attempts. During the last year, I did many mountains, and I noticed that they were starting to get boring for me. There wasn't much of a challenge or a sense of adventure anymore. I knew we would always get up to the summit. That is why I decided to try a first winter ascent. I knew that they would not be very easy. The fact that I failed on my attempt did not bother me a bit. At least I tried, and I had a good time.

 

As far as the commercialization of Rainier/Everest/other mountains goes, Sir Edmund Hillary is on my side. This issue has been beat to death many times. I think that if I had a chance to climb Everest or some other high mountain with a guide and no chance without a guide, I would have a guide. However, if someone says to me that they did Rainier with a guide, I would not have as much respect for their climbing ability as if they did it without a guide. That is sort of what I meant. Would any of you invite somebody to do Mount Shuksan with you if all they had done previously was a guided climb up Rainier.

 

Oh and by the way. Good luck on your climb, Earth n Sky.

Edited by Jamin

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Well, I guess that settles it. If you climb something with me, it doesn't really qualify as a "proud" ascent. Like Ed Whymper, since he had to hire a guide to get the FA of the Matterhorn. Or Heinrich Harrer, who let Andreas Heckmair lead the crux pitches and the majority of the climbing in the 1938 FA of the North Face of the Eiger. Or those clients of Conrad Kain's, on the FA of Mt. Robson. And that dude who hired John Fischer - twice - to make the first complete traverse of the Palisade Range in the Sierra Nevada (VI 5.9) in 1979. Nope, don't get too proud about that one.

 

Careful there, Jamin, your pride is starting to inflate your ego, and soon it may be difficult to fit your head through doors. You've been called a punk, an idiot, and an ignorant fool unaware of the history of the sport. I don't need to know you, and I don't need to know your biography, to know that I don't respect your opinion here.

 

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How many wildcards like this Jamin have you met in the hills? And how many times have you had to bail them out. What's dangerous is that with his ego, and lack of respect for the mountains as well as his partners (and other people, in general), he will be able to corral beginners into getting out with him. Hopefully no one gets hurt. Jamin, I don't know you, so maybe I'm wrong about you, but your posts speak fairly clearly. You're at the stage of climbing where you have some basic skills, but more energy and ego than is balanced by experience and skill. It's a dangerous period, most all of us have made it by it, I hope you do too. It seems like you have a lot to learn. And you have a big mouth! Epic.

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Would any of you invite somebody to do Mount Shuksan with you if all they had done previously was a guided climb up Rainier.

 

Yes.

 

I've actually invited somebody to climb Rainier with me that had absolutely NO guided or unguided climb experience. Ohh... the horror. :o

 

However, if someone says to me that they did Rainier with a guide, I would not have as much respect for their climbing ability as if they did it without a guide.

 

And I'm sure whoever it is that's telling you they did Rainier with a guide will just absolutely be crushed that you don't respect their climbing ability. Crushed, I tell you.

 

 

 

 

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Persnally, I think you guys are being a bit harsh on Mr. Jamin. He is not slamming anybody - not really. Unlike some others here. (By the way, I agree with the argument that even those wuo may be guided have a right to be proud of their climbs.)

 

I hope our original poster here enjoys his climb. With or without a guide, and whether or not you are in the best shape of your lifetime, Mount Rainier is fantastic! Whatever you do, don't ask about how to pack for your climb unless you want to wade through ten pages of argument about who is a dumbass because they recommend some stupid socks.

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You really are not climbing the mountain if you have a guide. If you need a guide, that means that you don't know a thing about climbing mountains and you probably shouldn't be up there anyways. Just my .02. Don't be offended or anything. I sort of resent the commercialization of climbing Mount Rainier, and I just don't think that you can really be proud of yourself if you don't do it without a guide.

 

I don't know, Matt. Sounds like he's slamming the OP to me - and every client I've had the privelege to climb with.

 

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You, Mr. Freak, as a guide, were certainly a tnagential target of what you call his "slam." But I am wondering about your argument here.

 

I worked as an instructor for Outward Bound for several years and I have also guided some significant climbs myself (and I have guided parties on Mount Rainier). I am very impressed (sometimes) with the character or strength or some other trait of those who are guided. We can be very impressed that someone who has relatively little experience or expertise does something cool, but I think that even if you do not feel this way it is not unreasonable for someone to suggest they have more respect for the accomplishment of the climber who led the outing in question or who participated in that leadership.

 

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But that wasn't his arguement. He didn't say he had "more respect for the accomplishment of the climber who led the outing in question or who participated in that leadership." He stated that a guided climber should have less pride for their accomplishment because the presence of a guide (or an outdoor ed instructor) diminishes its significance. And I think that's complete nonsense. I tried to not be too harsh.

P.S. He's also completely mis-representing Sir Hillary (who has hired a guide before), and taking Sir Hillary's comments about the Nepali government's encouragement of commercial activity at Everest Base Camp completely out of context.

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A guide is just that, a guide. They facilitate your trip in varying degrees to (hopefully) get you to the summit. Viesturs said it several times that you can say what you want about the clients that climb Everest. No matter how good the guide is, they still have to put one foot in front of the other to get there.

 

Jamin, my beef with you is your attitude. Like others, I don't know you. But your initial statement about guides and the people who chose to use them was, on any scale, completely off base and inflammatory. You deserve what you got. :wave:

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