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Dave C

[TR] Mount Rainier - Disappointment Cleaver 6/12/2008

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Trip: Mount Rainier - Disappointment Cleaver

 

Date: 6/12/2008

 

Trip Report:

After having my climbing partner cancel because of family issues, I decided to head out to Washington alone with hopes of meeting some other climbers. I had waited a week long in Paradise to finally get some good weather. I still was humbled by the unfortuante accident earlier in the week, but I was still excited to get another summit attempt in. I met a father/son at Whittaker's bunkhouse the night prior and hiked with them up to Muir. We arrived in camp around 4PM on 06-12-08 with the total trip taking exactly 5hrs and having clear skies and warm temps.

 

I ran into a group of three that was also in Muir and was looking at leaving for a summit attempt very early the next morning. I prefer early starts and after a brief conversation about climbing skills and knowledge, I was the fourth man on the rope. We had settled on a 1AM summit attempt. Upon waking up at midnight on 06-13-08, the wind at Muir was blowing fairly hard (30mph sustained) but the temp was reasonable. With a little breakfest and water, were were off by 1:15AM. The snow conditions were great up through the cleaver, a nice hard crusted ice layer. The DC was in great shape, only a few areas had any exposed rock.

 

 

Just above the cleaver I took over as lead and headed into the winds that were ever-increasing. Most of the route was unmarked because heavy snows had covered wands. Much of the way I was post-holing in up to 2ft of snow. The high winds added another element of difficulty and by 8:30 AM we made the crater rim. Quite a bit slower than normal, but given conditions, I was satisfied. At the summit, the skies were bright blue, the winds were screaming up to I would estimate 70MPH gusts, and the ambient temp at 15F. We stayed only a short 5 mins because of conditions.

 

On the way down, the route was starting to get sloppy because of the warming temps. The DC was really slushy and by noon we rolled into Muir. Rockfall was pretty bad on the flats just before the entrance to the cleaver. I packed up my gear at Muir, made some water, had a little to eat, and shot down to Paradise. I was back to my car by 5PM. All in all, not a bad trip. Snow conditions were very good up through the cleaver, but the upper mountain boot track was just getting kicked in again from the major amount of snow from previous storms.

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