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DPS

Good first time climb

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I am taking some newbies up Rainier this summer. All of them have limited climbing experience. I want to take them out on a relatively easy climb where we will have an opportunity to review ice axe arrest and other skills before we try Rainier.

 

I was thinking of something like Mt Ruth, but I would like to have a bad weather plan somewhere on the east side of the mountains. I was thinking of Colchuck, but it is permit season and I worry that I might not score a camping permit. Also I don't want to completely demoralize the group by making them walk the road.

 

So, what are your suggestions for mellow snow/glacier climbs that would be a good two day trip and would allow for ample time for skills practice? Suggestions for both west and east side of the range would be appreciated. Oh yeah, we all live in the Seattle area, so something within a couple hours drive would be just ducky.

 

Thanks!

Edited by danielpatricksmith

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Silver Star might be a good choice. There's no glacier and it is subalpine, but you could certainly find some good places for ice axe practice on Rock Mountain (Nason Ridge) and it is easy to get to. For the west side, Sloan is a good one and the NW side of Del Campo is good just as soon as the Sunrise Road opens (or maybe before).

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I did the Coleman-Deming as my first climb in preparation for Rainier. There's a great slope below the normal camping area where you can pratice arrest and at least simulate crevasse rescue. My two cents.

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mt hood - n side and go up cooper spur or s side and camp at illumination

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I guess I'd second Baker. The C-D camp area (5600 ft?) is a great place to hang out, and the hike in is relatively short. Or, maybe not a climb, but just take them up on the Muir snowfield and show them around; that's the place I was taught self arrest.

 

If you're willing to drive a bit more, the SS Hood/Illumination idea is a great one, too.

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I'd vote either Baker, Daniel, Muir......Ruth....hell they are all good.

 

I've done Daniel 5 times but its always been in October. I hear it can get pretty warm out there during the summer months.

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Before i did Rainier I would run 4 miles and then hike Mt. Si as fast as i could. Did that a few times before i climbed rainier and felt pretty good once i got on the mountain. Rainier was my first snow climb/slug and it went really well. I just learned how to self arrest and all that the day before.

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West of crest, Shuksan sulfide is one of my favorites - although the last bit to the summit can be a little spicey if the gully is partially melted out and moaty. It's better early when solid snow or late after it's all rock. The lower glacier has some nice undulations that allow for good high speed ice-axe training with mellow runouts and limited crevasses.

 

East of crest second vote for either Daniel or Silver Star - the grind up to burgundy col would be a good conditioning hike!

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East of crest second vote for either Daniel or Silver Star - the grind up to burgundy col would be a good conditioning hike!

 

I have a hard time thinking of Daniel as being east of the crest.

 

How about Seven Fingered Jack or Maude? 9,000ers with plenty of snow this time of year.

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