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climberism

Rainier in May - Liberty Ridge

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So some buddies and I came up with this idea, climb Liberty Ridge, in May. Since we are spread over a few states, VT,NY,CO, I was hoping to get some info on what conditions and snow pack are like in May. I have seen some photos from various websites of successful trips during this part of the season but just curious on what the NW experts think...

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May is hit or miss in terms of weather. If you are going before Memorial Day weekend expect to walk the road to White River Campground adding about 6 miles. There will be snow. A lot of snow. Conditions could be good or they could be bad depending upon the condition of said snow. Best of luck.

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What he said, all depends on the weather. I have had rain during a May attempt. Seen dry very dry condition over M-day. Roll the dice and pay the man. In other words hope for the best and prepare for the worst.

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Thanks for the info, looking forward to the climb, fingers crossed for good weather. I will be there the week before and the weekend of Memorial Day, so maybe they will have the snow plowed by then... How have the snow conditions been this past year?

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The snow pack in the cascades and Mount Rainier area have been lower than normal lower than 5000 feet this winter, but normal above 5000 feet. The road splits off of hwy 410 at about 4000 feet so this might be a year that opens up a little earlier than normal. Within a few weekends of memorial day, before or after, i would consider normal for the hwy to open up, so in my opinion this year it would probably be on the earlier side.

With that said... thats just my best guess with the info i have.

 

I also am thinking about doing liberty ridge this spring and that is about our target date, so if you want to keep in contact about it I could give you any more recent information as i get it. also i just wouldnt mind knowing who else will be up on the mountain so feel free to send me a pm and we can exchange contact info.

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I head to CO the 23rd then to Seattle the 26th and that night we head to Rainier, we'll mostly likely, well, depending on the weather, get some night climbing in.

 

PM Sent

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i recommend having a few back-up plans in case the weather and snow is crap. Find some other mountains, or easier routes up Rainier.

I had an attempt last year mid-May and was at the tail end of one storm and the beginning of another. We were wallowing through up to 3 feet of snow on one of the easier routes up the mountain.

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i recommend having a few back-up plans in case the weather and snow is crap. Find some other mountains, or easier routes up Rainier.

 

This is good advice for anyone traveling to the Cascades to climb. Rainier is magnet for storms, it can be nuking on Rainier and blue bird elsewhere. Going east of the crest can often get you better weather as well. Think Washington Pass, Enchantments, Stuart Range, Entiats.

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Sounds like we will be on the route exactly a day behind you, weather permitting.

 

My partner and I leave Denver on the 27th. Plan to be at Glacier Basin CG the eve on the 27th, Thumb Rock on the 28th and Camp Schurman on the 29th.

 

Please kick some nice steps for us... ;)

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Hey Sharpie,

 

Weather is not looking good... Anyone have any advice on an alternative plan? We are thinking about skiing Adams, seeing what the weather will do, and maybe hit up Smith Rock. We start climbing in a week so we still have a chance but a back up plan will be helpful. Any advice would be great...

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If anybody heads out on the North side of Rainier in the next few days, it would be great to hear an update on avy conditions. Thanks!

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