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tony.henley

looking for people to climb rainer

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thanks and to answer your Q's I belive I can it sunds like being in iraq excpt colder (lol) in all seriousness I want to try and if I dont sumit well if at frist you dont try try again.

 

Yeah, Rainier is most likely safer than Iraq!!

 

Not saying you shouldn't try it, just be aware of what you're up against. The statewide avy forecasts don't necessarily apply on Rainier, you have to be able to read the snow. Sometimes we get a clear spell in February. Remember for an official winter ascent you have until the vernal equinox which is Mar 20th this year.

 

When you dig a cave placement is key. One time on Sunset ridge I mistakenly dug too close to the base of a face. It started snowing during the night and the sluffs coming off the face buried my breathing hole so deep had to dig the cave diagonally out and up about 10ft.

 

In a big storm high up tents are out of the question. The wind will shred them or you get buried and may not even realize it, it's VERY quiet and you just never wake up.

 

It's very hard to wake up every hour during the night to clear a breathing hole. You better have a reliable watch alarm. You are already very tired and the alarm goes off and you just sit there like FFF it. I put a watch under my cap so I can't ignore it.

 

My last try got to 6,000' from the Mowich lake road approach. Bivied, (was going to dig a snow cave at 10,000 the next day). Had an umbrella over my bivy sack. It started snowing and in less than an hour I was totally buried. I had dozed off and woke up and freaked out. Dragged my bivy under a nearby overhanging rock. It snowed 18" that night. Retreated the next day and my car was buried. Luckily some 4x4 Toyota trucks happened by and towed me like a sled to where my tires would touch the road.

 

Make sure you have something to cover your face to breath through and goggles and good mittens.

 

And just in general about climbing Rainier. It's not like CO 14ers where you hang out and start at 5,000 and climb to 14. It's the equivalent of a 24mi marathon (in summer) if you climb it in 2 days from sea level because of altitude gain. If you hang out at 5 or 10 thousand for a couple or 3 days to acclimatize the effort decreases dramatically.

 

Winter is harder for 2 main reasons, colder air is harder to breath (energy spent just to keep warm) and the snow is usually less consolidated.

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hey thanks as far as waking up that is the easy part its like guard duty one on one off and why wont a tent work I have the trango 2 and it is said to withstand like 80mph winds and as far as the acclimatization totaly I got used to that when I moved to co at 6500 ft from sea level and had to do pt every day let me tell you running sucks at altitude this was my frist solo atempet at muir I got an intro to rainer this day ti was the weekend that that artic front moved though no the best conditions to go in I know but had to go

let me tel you a funny story (not my only trip up never sumited but I intend on going every weekend until I do. Well I didnt make the summit, but I did make it to muir or close to it. It was 10:10 pm (mind you I left at about 1:00pm crazy wind and cold white outs etc) by the time I made it to 10100 plus feet and was tired and cold. (being -22F I found out later) I dug my snow cave and unpacked my sleeping bag and found that my backup water bottle had some how sprung a leak and gotten my sleeping bag wet along the whole length of the zipper and baffle. It was soaking wet, I had to use my belay jacket and all of my extra cloths to keep warm, I even had to use my stove at one point to stay warm but, aside from all of that, I made it out with only minor frost nip on face and hands and on my toes no doctor visit needed so all and all it was a horbile trip but it could have been alot worse, and it proved at least to me that I am either phoney tough or crazy brave.(and I love it when it sucks and god I wish it would suck some more.)

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At -22f a tent is cold and if it's windy, very noisy. You won't get much sleep. At any temp a snow cave is about 35-40f and very quiet, just takes longer to set up. But is sounds like you're doing it in a couple days so sleep deprivation may not matter.

 

As regards acclimatization, not talking about your level of personal conditioning (although that makes a difference). Talking about the difference between

 

A. Living at 5,000 and climbing quickly from 5,000 to 14,000.

 

B. Living at sea level and driving to 5,000 then quickly climbing to 14,000. (say in 2 days)

 

It's quicker elev gain than the body can normally adjust to. You DEF don't want to sleep on the summit going up that quick.

 

The last 2,000 ft or so is the hardest, you will really feel it (like a 24mi marathon). Unless you take a couple of days to adjust, then it will be just like being in Colo.

 

The other thing that makes winter hard is there's no trail on the regular routes like in summer. Be good with compass and alti, or take a GPS.

 

 

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let me tel you a funny story (not my only trip up never sumited but I intend on going every weekend until I do. Well I didnt make the summit, but I did make it to muir or close to it. It was 10:10 pm (mind you I left at about 1:00pm crazy wind and cold white outs etc) by the time I made it to 10100 plus feet and was tired and cold. (being -22F I found out later) I dug my snow cave and unpacked my sleeping bag and found that my backup water bottle had some how sprung a leak and gotten my sleeping bag wet along the whole length of the zipper and baffle. It was soaking wet, I had to use my belay jacket and all of my extra cloths to keep warm, I even had to use my stove at one point to stay warm but, aside from all of that, I made it out with only minor frost nip on face and hands and on my toes no doctor visit needed so all and all it was a horbile trip but it could have been alot worse, and it proved at least to me that I am either phoney tough or crazy brave.(and I love it when it sucks and god I wish it would suck some more.)

 

No offense, but what other times have you been up there? You seem to repeat this story frequently. I would seriously reconsider heading up to Muir at all in the next week and if you do go, stop in to the Ranger station a be sure to register. There have been many fatalities in conditions better than those that are currently in place on all aspects of the slopes leading to Muir. Again, I'm not trying to offend and would love to head out and do some rock climbing or something with you before taking on something as serious as a winter attempt on Rainier. Of the six times I've attempted it, the only unsucessfull attempts I've had have all been in winter and due to conditions less favorable than anything that will come up in the next few days. Stay home, stay safe, and educate. Root for the Patriots on Sunday with the family :tup: :tup:

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That guy that died there a month or so ago - I walked right past the spot just two days before that happened. He was an 'experienced climber', and bit it just a few hundred yards from the Paradise parking lot. It looked safe to them. We looked at the same slopes and said "Maybe not". We heard the "WHUMPS" under our feet. The slope that avalanched on them was only a hundred feet or so. (Right next to Myrtle Falls, below Pan Point.) In late season that's a popular route down. Lots of people go running down that slope - after it has consolidated. Not in early season just 2 days after a rain and after 2 days of snow...

 

What I'm getting at is this weather ain't exactly ideal conditins for a jaunt up to Muir. And this time of year requires a little more than the right equipment and guts to get you up there. Some kowledge and experience helps - either your own or that of those with you. It's not just snow. There's a little more to it than that.

 

I'm sure many have made it up there with little or no experience, just out of luck or strength and drive. It's somewhat arrogant to think that only 'experienced' climbers can make it, or that they are safe because they are experienced. I assume more experienced people die climbing just because they spend more time out there and take more chances.

 

Yeah, I've been pretty glib so far, assuming you'd do what you want no matter what anyway, so here's my real opinion: Wait until spring or summer. Not only will it be vastly safer, but you will enjoy it a lot more. I get the impression that you want an epic to brag about. But personally I'd rather come home alive, having had a good time than have my body dug out and flown off by helicopter from 'death by misadventure', caused by avalanche or hypothermia or falling in a crevasse or whatever. Like I said, I've tried to climb Rainier 5 times in the last couple of years in the winter, and conditions turned me back each time. I'll keep trying, but I'll still turn back if I think that my life is in danger.

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good point WC. tony I do hope you're registering with the ranger station. It's not legally optional for climbers. Darth Vader will never come to your rescue on a life-giving taun-taun if you don't... er, nevermind

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From this morning's NWAC avi forecast:

 

The very large amounts of relatively low density have not

only produced a generally high avalanche danger with both

human and naturally triggered slides likely, but have

also made any snow travel very difficult. Foot

penetration off the trail has been reported reaching

shoulders to head depth, and suffocation within this deep

unconsolidated snowpack structure is a very real

possibility from a fall, especially near tree wells and

even within developed ski areas. As a result of avalanche

and deep snow travel concerns, back country travel in

avalanche terrain is not recommended. Anyone recreating

in this current snowpack should have probes, shovels,

beacons, extreme caution and a very aware partner; watch

each other and stay close together.

 

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Tony, love your enthusiasm and wanting to push your own limits. I'm all for that - hell, I love that shit. It's when you're pushing mother nature's limits that it can get dicey.

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Hey Tony, I have no kids this weekend and was going to head out into the mountains for some fun. I even considered contacting you.

But right now may be the worst avalanche conditions in the last 15 years. I am staying in bounds at a ski area and I will still be careful.

Outside the areas there is deep unconsolidated snow ready to slide. Once it does start sliding, its force will probably dislodge that 18 slab layer sitting 6 ft deep right now. That slab layer is sitting on hoar frost (think ballbearings).

Once those slabs get moving, you effectively have a meat grinder.

If you go up there, don't get on anything steep. Pan Point is probably a serious danger zone right now.

Whatever you do, have fun!

 

 

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hey all of you thanks for all of the info I am going out this weekend but yeah muir a well mabye in my dreams while I am sleeping I did some of my own checking and the only way I would think of going to the summit would be to take a helicopter LOL so thanks again for all of the info and concern. and I will probly stay in lower elev mabye around long mire for a little skining or a little shoing

good point WC. tony I do hope you're registering with the ranger station. It's not legally optional for climbers. Darth Vader will never come to your rescue on a life-giving taun-taun if you don't... er, nevermind
and it would be hann solo not darth god what kind of nerd are you (lol)

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let me tel you a funny story (not my only trip up never sumited but I intend on going every weekend until I do. Well I didnt make the summit, but I did make it to muir or close to it. It was 10:10 pm (mind you I left at about 1:00pm crazy wind and cold white outs etc) by the time I made it to 10100 plus feet and was tired and cold. (being -22F I found out later) I dug my snow cave and unpacked my sleeping bag and found that my backup water bottle had some how sprung a leak and gotten my sleeping bag wet along the whole length of the zipper and baffle. It was soaking wet, I had to use my belay jacket and all of my extra cloths to keep warm, I even had to use my stove at one point to stay warm but, aside from all of that, I made it out with only minor frost nip on face and hands and on my toes no doctor visit needed so all and all it was a horbile trip but it could have been alot worse, and it proved at least to me that I am either phoney tough or crazy brave.(and I love it when it sucks and god I wish it would suck some more.)

 

No offense, but what other times have you been up there? You seem to repeat this story frequently. I would seriously reconsider heading up to Muir at all in the next week and if you do go, stop in to the Ranger station a be sure to register. There have been many fatalities in conditions better than those that are currently in place on all aspects of the slopes leading to Muir. Again, I'm not trying to offend and would love to head out and do some rock climbing or something with you before taking on something as serious as a winter attempt on Rainier. Of the six times I've attempted it, the only unsucessfull attempts I've had have all been in winter and due to conditions less favorable than anything that will come up in the next few days. Stay home, stay safe, and educate. Root for the Patriots on Sunday with the family :tup: :tup:

I have been to muir 4 time if you count this one but this was my frist winter atempt I went in that artic storm a few weeks ago and the MT kicked my ass as you all have read but I lernd alot from this trip and as soon as the conditions improve I will sure as hell try again !!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

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good point WC. tony I do hope you're registering with the ranger station. It's not legally optional for climbers. Darth Vader will never come to your rescue on a life-giving taun-taun if you don't... er, nevermind
and it would be hann solo not darth god what kind of nerd are you (lol)

 

You've not been around here long enough to know who the Evil Dark Lord is. Check his avatar pic and embark on the path to the Light Side...

 

Gator's the guy who would have to ride out on a taun-taun in a Hoth ice storm to save your padwan ass on Rainier. Best not to be dissin' him or his Sith buddies, neither.

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