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SemoreJugs

Kautz Beta Requested

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Attempting the Kautz Thur-Sat. Where is a good place to cross over the Nisqually Glacier from PEbble Creek? AT what Elevation?

 

Its supposed to be clear weather but... its Rainier...

 

Where would Avy danger be lowest? The Fan or by the Wilson Glacier?

 

Happy 4th!

Edited by SemoreJugs

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Trust you had a good climb. For anyone else wanting beta: The ranger will tell you that the gully bypass/shortcut with the fixed line at 11,200' is safer from objective danger, but wear crampons because it is icy. The lower section of the Kautz is in good ice shape. You'll probably want to rap that section if you return that way. One of the better less travelled routes on Rainier, especially after peering down at the hordes heading up to Muir.

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WEll it turns out that we took elected to cross the Nisqually over to the Wilson Glacier rather than going up through the Fan. The climbing ranger that registered us suggested the Fan rather than the Wilson, but Gauthier likes the Wilson. We looked at the Fan after descending from Glacier Vista and it looked like a bowling alley. Easy decision. The crevasse crossings were trivial. We roped up just in case but it seems everyone is going this way if you look at the boot tracks. It seems this route has become much more popular since when I climbed it in 2004. We encountered a lot of RMI groups descending when we ascended and vice versa. Luckily there are many good bivy sites along the way...

 

The first ice pitch was a cake walk. 45 degrees at the most, tons of suncups and little ice features to use for a quick simul-climb.

 

The second pitch is becoming melted out and is really a 1.5-pitch climb (we had a 70M rope too). The center line is giving way to rotten ice and is quite slick. LEft or right is better depending on your fancy. Rapping off the ice penitentes on the right works well for the decent because you dont have to leave anything behind. Down-climbing would be slow and difficult. Just pray you dont get stuck behind other rapping parties as we did. It took nearly 3 hours to descend the ice sections due to this bottleneck.

 

But damn its some fun alpine ice climbing up there! Having a second tool for pitch 2 and three or four screws is definitely recommended.

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