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spionin

best of cc.com [TR] mt rainier - liberty ridge 7/5/2010

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Trip: mt rainier - liberty ridgeDate: 7/5/2010Trip Report:doug (cbcbd), bob (bob g, fka dirtbag_packwork) and i climbed rainier's liberty ridge route july 2-5.The route is in excellent condition, and our plan was to do it over 3 days with camps around winthrop/carbon glacier and thumb rock, followed by summit/descent. unexpected storm resulted in an additional (bonus!) bivy a bit above 13k ft.on day 1 we left the ranger station around 14:30, walked out of white river trailhead around 15:30, and reached the top of st elmos pass around 18:30. the clouds were rolling in by then, but the weather was fine. there were tracks from previous parties that we followed through a small crevasse jumble, stopped at the edge of winthrop glacier, and established camp at 20:00.the weather was ok, it was drizzling, and there was some wind from NW direction.IMG_4202.JPGP1120879.JPGIMG_4217.JPGIMG_4223.JPGday 2 was mostly warm and sunny. much sun screen was used. P1120928.JPGIMG_4240.JPGbefore dropping on carbon, we saw a party of two head out, and wondered why they had turned around. we roped up after crossing the bergschrund at the toe of the ridge, but unroped after getting up onto it. then followed the seemingly endless climb up the snow slope in baking temps. we followed lower on the ridge under all rock bands, and ascended the final slope toward thumb rock at 17:00.IMG_4243.JPGP1130070.JPGIMG_4259.JPG the weather was calm, there was a consistent cloud cover down below, and no wind. another party of 2 was camping at thumb rock. they had been there since 9:30 that morning, and were planning to start climbing very early.b/c we got to camp late and still had to make water, we got up later, at 1:30, and began ascending climbers' left of the ridge around 3:00. the party ahead of us was barely visible. we made good progress. our pictures from previous day showed some rock bands directly above thumb rock, so we decided to lean climbers’ right and go around on snow. this put us on a NW-facing slope, and around 5:30-6:00 we began to feel the wind picking up from that direction.LR%20Route.jpgP1130119.JPGwe climbed very consistently, but visibility was decreasing and wind was becoming stronger and colder. P1130131.JPGaround 8:00 we saw the other party stopped before an ice wall ahead of us. the weather had turned, and by this time it was becoming extremely cold, stormy, and we could barely see. we discussed making a stop and digging in, talked to the other party, but they were confident to continue. we found a corniced cave, dug it out, and pitched our tent to try to wait out the storm. the wind got stronger for the next few hours, and we could still occasionally hear the climbers above, taking siege of the wall! we let them know that we were parked below, in case they decided to come down.frozen hair!IMG_4286.JPGIMG_4285.JPGby mid-day we had decided to stay put until the following morning, and wait until the wind had calmed. we had a nice view of clouds from our cave, we watched lenticulars forming like giant alien spaceships, listened to the snow beating the tent, and drank hot chocolate. although we did not have much extra food, we did have a full large canister of fuel, and were not concerned about water or staying warm. it was still extremely gusty, but we hoped it would clear during the night. IMG_4292.JPGP1130157.JPGtrying to get into the tent against the windP1130153.JPGdoing campsite chores: chopping ice for meltingP1130155.JPG [video:vimeo]

2010-07-03 rainier LR 1 from veronika on Vimeo.

[video:vimeo]

2010-07-03 rainier LR 2 from veronika on Vimeo.

in the morning it finally got quieter. we packed up and left at a leisurely 7:30. although it was again cloudy, it was better than the previous day. we began by ascending a long, less-than-vertical slope of neve with occasional patches of wind-buffed snow, which then gained some patches of solid blue ice. we roped up and simuled for a few hundred feet. there were two sections of more technical ice, but fine with three screws and simuling. doug leads the second part of the ice sectionIMG_4307.JPGIMG_4313.JPGIMG_4318.JPGIMG_4322.JPGthen followed a few hundred feet on iced-over snow, and finally the summit hump! we reached liberty cap around 10:20, and the weather was windy but friendly. P1130185.JPGafter a short break we began descending towards emmons. we reached camp schurman at 14:00, 6,5 hours after leaving our cave. another person at the camp told us that the party ahead of us had come into camp schurman at 23:00 the previous night, 14,5 hours after we last saw them. we were glad to hear that they had descended safely. IMG_4332.JPGIMG_4335.JPGwe were back at the car at 17:15.IMG_4180.JPG Edited by spionin

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Very cool report!

 

We were the group you spoke with at Schurman. I was hoping one of you would post up on here with photos. Getting the skills to do Liberty Ridge is a goal of mine, looks like a blast.

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A good time was had by all! But you didn't mention how close we all got in that tent. Damage done....six (slightly)frostbitten toes as well as the underside of my nose. Me thinks its time for double boots.

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Impressive climb in windy conditions! We saw you guys at camp Sherman and the inner glacier glissade on the way down. Great pics, the clouds add so much more drama.

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thanks all! it was definitely a full-value experience for my first trip up rainier.

 

val - i'd never climbed glacier ice before, so didn't know what to expect. it plated a bit, but screw placements were bomber!

GO, nastR - thanks for the props!

 

as a post scriptum, here's a full list of gear that i carried (i'm particularly happy with how we packed for this). hope it's useful for somebody!

http://viewer.zoho.com/docs/bdv7A

 

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Great TR, V :)

 

I think that bivy spoiled me. What a great perch that V found. With little flattening of snow the tent fit in there like it was meant to.

 

Nothing soft about this woman ;)

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V - you might want to send the TR to Rainier blog - the latest "unclimbable" update on Liberty was given on the May 14th.

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Great job persevering through some less-than-ideal conditions! I knew you guys were still up there when I showed up at the TH and saw your car and was glad to see you on your way down the interglacier glissading - unfortunately below me by the time I figured out it was you or I would have shouted out. Anyway, well done and great photos!

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WOW!!!!

Wayyy cool man, Love the picture of the axe silhouette getting ice to melt!

 

I'm looking to do this route this weekend(ish) but can't find a reliable partner to save my life! Forgive the shameless plug, but there's gotta be someone out there that wants to get on this beautiful route.

 

Congratulations to you and your team. Awesome!

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dave - i remember seeing one person with skis on back. that must have been you! right on.

AA - good luck with finding people! i know what you mean, i've gotten a lot of "i'd be a competent follow, but wouldn't be able to step up if necessary" responses while looking for partners. hope you score it this season!

 

re: pictures. thanks! i actually forgot to put my camera down in the equipment list! it's a 155g canon powershot sd780.

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dave - i remember seeing one person with skis on back. that must have been you! right on.

 

Heh, heh...well, maybe not - I was skinning...

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Your pictures are amazing and awesome trip report! My camera is on its way out and I am shopping for a new one. what did you use to take your pictures?

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Your pictures are amazing and awesome trip report! My camera is on its way out and I am shopping for a new one. what did you use to take your pictures?

 

thanks!

i shoot with canon powershot sd780, which i really like. the battery life is very good, and it's very small (155 g).

a few of these pictures are doug's, who uses panasonic lumix dmx-lx2 (it has the added benefit of wide-angle shots).

 

i hear that Arm on vftt has a similar one :)

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thanks!

i shoot with canon powershot sd780, which i really like. the battery life is very good, and it's very small (155 g).

a few of these pictures are doug's, who uses panasonic lumix dmx-lx2 (it has the added benefit of wide-angle shots).

 

i hear that Arm on vftt has a similar one :)

 

I probably shouldn't try to bring my D90 when I work up to Liberty Ridge...

 

I agree, there's some great shots there

 

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thanks!

i shoot with canon powershot sd780, which i really like. the battery life is very good, and it's very small (155 g).

a few of these pictures are doug's, who uses panasonic lumix dmx-lx2 (it has the added benefit of wide-angle shots).

 

i hear that Arm on vftt has a similar one :)

Thanks! :)

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Awesome report. Such a great read. I saw your link to your "Gear List", but unfortunately Zoho viewer is no longer. Do you think you could post it again, or PM me with the list? Id greatly appreciate it!

 

And...those photos are seriously PHENOMENAL. =)

 

 

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