Buckaroo Posted February 1, 2008 Share Posted February 1, 2008 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. Quote Link to comment Share on other sites More sharing options...
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