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suomi

Soloing Rainier

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Hey,

 

I'm coming from out of town, and have a few days to climb in the Cascades. I'm thinking about soloing the Dissapp. Cleaver on Rainier. Any beta from someone experienced with it? Is it relatively safe for somebody with a little bit of glacial mountaineering experience, crevasse reading, etc? I've also read that people 'hook in' with other teams. Is there etiquette around that?

 

Ed

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I believe you have to get permission from the Park Service to solo.

 

From: http://www.nps.gov/mora/planyourvisit/climbing.htm

 

"Solo travel above high camps or anywhere on glaciers is not permitted except with prior written permission from the Superintendent. You may download a Solo Climb Request Form http://www.nps.gov/mora/planyourvisit/upload/solo%20climb%20request.doc (Word document, 83 KB) or you may request this form by writing: Superintendent, Mount Rainier National Park, 55210 238th Avenue East, Ashford, WA 98304.

 

"

Edited by danielpatricksmith

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It is my understanding that the key to getting the solo permit is not to tell them how much experience you have and tell them how many tricks you have at self rescue; but to convince them that you know and understand you will probably die if something happens and that you are ready to die.

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I think it's poor etiquette to plan a trip based on putting others on the spot by asking to hook into their team. Of course, I don't have a great understanding of this "etiquette" thing and may be way off :)

 

Still, would be much better to use a resource like say...CC to round up another partner ahead of time rather than travelling all the way up there and hoping someone will want your company for the day.

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Thanks for the responses so far... I guess my main questions are not 'how to do it and survive' or ' how to get permission' but more:

 

"Can any climber with reasonable glacial reading/walking and 3rd class experience go up and down Rainier without falling into a crevasse or getting hit by rocks? Is the route well marked?"

 

Thanks

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"Can any climber with reasonable glacial reading/walking and 3rd class experience go up and down Rainier without falling into a crevasse or getting hit by rocks? Is the route well marked?"

Nobody is immune to rockfall, solo or grouped, and crevasses are as always a big question mark as well. However, the route is quite well marked at this time of year. I echo the sentiment of attempting to find partners on this board before venturing out alone.

 

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Hmm, based on the questions you've asked and how you've asked them, I would recommend that you NOT solo this route.

 

Just my $.02

 

Good luck,

 

R

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People solo Ranier. Rock and ice fall happen. A serac calving off the Ingram icefall once swept away an entire rope team. I think rock fall is a possibility on the Cleaver. Crevasses should be mostly open this time of year.

 

I would say this really depends on your skill level and risk tolerance which sprayers here are ill equiped to judge. Personally, i think if you have to ask, you should consider getting a partner.

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"Can any climber with reasonable glacial reading/walking and 3rd class experience go up and down Rainier without falling into a crevasse or getting hit by rocks? Is the route well marked?"

 

Since you put it this way, i would say no. Ranier is a big, serious mountain. It is not a "glacier walk". Expect steep slopes, ice, big crevasses, altitude issues and serious consequnces if something goes wrong.

 

If you are really wanting to solo a big volcano, Mt. Baker woul be a better choice - Coleman-Deming route. Of course, people die every year on that route, too, mostly from falling on a steep icey slope into a crevasse.

 

Lets us know how your adventure turns out by posting a trip report!

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Climb with a partner. The route is well marked but rockfall is a serious concern as are the crevasses. There are some serious crevasses up high getting onto and off of the emmons glacier. They were open weeks ago and navigation through this section right now (from what I hear) is getting more difficult as everything opens up.

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The easy routes on Rainier are just long hikes, until something goes wrong. This is kind of a "if you have to ask..." situation. Don't do it. Especially because you posted in the newbies forum.

 

That said, soloing any route on Baker is a way worse idea than soloing the DC. Just because, the DC is packed with people who might see you fall in a crevasse and might be able to rescue you. But don't go out there depending on this. Just don't go soloing on a volcano.

 

I don't really think there's anything wrong with going up to Muir and trying to hook up with a team. Just don't be the slow guy they end up complaining about.

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Great advice by all!

 

Maybe another way to ask (I think that asking IS a good thing for anyone to do :yoda: no matter what their exp. level. Keeps folks like me outta trouble...)

 

Is there anyone that can solo Rainier with (calculated) safety?

 

What skills would a good soloist possess over a roped team?

 

Thanks

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More glacier travel experience. Experience can and most of the time will keep you out of trouble. Except where the calculated risk comes in. Ie: Rock Fall, Ice fall, Weather...etc etc. An experienced climber can read a glacier far better then an unexperienced climber. therefore giving him/her an edge. One could say the same about weather...that a more experienced person can read and predict the weather better. Other then that....I dont beleive there are many skills a soloist can have over a team while traveling through crevassed terrain.

Edited by cms829

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Is there anyone that can solo Rainier with (calculated) safety?

I'd say no is the general answer. Generally speaking, people climb mountains (including Rainier) all the time and the odds are that they'll make it back safely. But those are still just odds. Odds are that the snow bridge will hold. Odds are that the rock won't fall. Odds are I won't slip on the hidden sheet of ice above that gapin crevasse. Increased skills give you better odds.

 

What skills would a good soloist possess over a roped team?

Speed. Perfect self-arrest skills. Self rescue skills (assuming you survive an unroped fall into a crevasse). Knowledge of every aspect of the climb as apposed to relying on the shared knowledge you'd have with a team. Same goes for judgement.

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That said, soloing any route on Baker is a way worse idea than soloing the DC. Just because, the DC is packed with people who might see you fall in a crevasse and might be able to rescue you. But don't go out there depending on this. Just don't go soloing on a volcano.

 

I don't really think there's anything wrong with going up to Muir and trying to hook up with a team. Just don't be the slow guy they end up complaining about.

 

There are hordes of people on Baker, too.

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There are hordes of people on Baker, too.

 

On weekends, maybe. I was on the Coleman route a couple of Monday-Tuesdays ago, and we were the only ones on the summit. Perfect weather. There was one other group headed for the summit as we were going down. They were hours behind us. Another team was on Easton, but we never saw them on the summit.

 

Don't know if I'd call that 'hordes'. 2 groups 4 hours apart on the Coleman and another group on the Easton. But I digress...

 

 

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Adams, south side is a relatively safe solo outing.

 

That would be a great solo outing. So would hiking the enchantments loop in a day, no permit required.

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Now we're talkin'!

 

What I'm really looking for if i solo is something along the lines of- Hotlum/winton on Shasta, or Hood south side (done both). I definitely can handle a few crevasses here and there and some 30-40 degree ice along with choss which I'm undoubtedly an expert. I don't want something too too burly as I only have a couple 3 days - and at least 1 will have to be spent 'aclimatising'

 

Thanks for all advice from you vets out there!

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It is important to realize that when you go solo you are not just putting yourself at risk, you are putting your would-be rescuers at risk as well.

 

People can and do die on Rainier all times of year. People can and do safely solo routes on Rainier all times of year.

 

If you played glacier roulette twice and won that doesn't mean you'll be lucky a third time. Training may increase your chances of success each time out, and skilled partners greatly increase the liklihood you'll survive when you eventually do fall in a crevasse, which can happen to even the most seasoned veterans.

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Don't listen to all the naysayers! Just go do it...but realize that your margin of safety is very narrow when you solo. Much of the danger on Rainier, even on the most trivial routes is out of your control, meaning objective danger. That said, soloing does not necessarily put you into more objective danger, it simply means that if something happens you don't have a partner for help.

Go do it and have fun!

 

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Hmm, based on the questions you've asked and how you've asked them, I would recommend that you NOT solo this route.

 

Just my $.02

 

Good luck,

 

R

 

I agree. However, I found later in the season is more suitable for soloing volcanoes. I would be weary of soloing it this time of year still. There has been alot of snow this Winter and I'd still be weary of weak bridges and such.

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