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Doug_Hutchinson

[TR] Mount Rainier - Ptarmigan Ridge 7/5/2010

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Trip: Mount Rainier - Ptarmigan Ridge

 

Date: 7/5/2010

 

Trip Report:

Climbed Ptarmigan Ridge with Keith Dallenbach and (like everyone else has reported) the conditions on the Big R are perfecto right now. Go climb Ptarmigan Ridge now! We did the west variation through the rock band and it was really fun. The coverage is so good currently that a few pickets are really all that is needed now (since the crux has fixed pro), but screws will be necessary shortly because some 50-degree ice will soon be revealed when the overlying snow melts off. I placed one of the world’s most bomber angle pins on the wall left and about 25 feet below the rock band which Keith could not budge and there is a fixed pin right below the crux. Given the wonderful, modern invention of mixed grades, I will throw the rarefied M3- grade at the crux until someone tackles it with fruit boots/leashless tools and downgrades. With those two pins, no other rock pro is needed. For pictures of the route, check out Veronica’s (spionin) Lib Ridge TR and pretend it is really Parmesian Ridge.

 

I was really enjoying the walk out until I ran into a friend and his partners enroute to ski Lib Ridge and then became insanely jealous (why did I already put the skis away??). Go ski Liberty Ridge now!

 

One noteworthy tidbit was we started the climb as a team of four: Scott Perkins from Altanta (uber experienced) and Scott Sampietro from Connecticut – who has never been on glacier before doing the Sulphide a few days earlier. They fell back about a half day behind us but still completed the climb in a casual three days. Nice work Scotty on your first Rainier summit!

 

 

Gear Notes:

Pickets and one pins. Bring screws.

 

Approach Notes:

White River TH. Encountered only a few skinny cracks crossing the Carbon.

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thanks for leaving the fixed piece on route, dude. should help the rest of us go faster and lighter next time :)

 

 

 

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Way to go, Doug and Big Wall* (hey, Keith!)! I spoke with Scott and Scottie, and they were stoked about getting that route! Wish I coulda made it out there this year. Scott mentioned they ran into some German dude at Schurman who shot pics of them on route from high camp with a big-a$$ telephoto lens - guy showed him the pics on his camera, Scott said they're killer. They're supposed to be on Forbidden Peak's West Ridge today.

 

-Les

 

* edited - haha! Sorry, Keith, I inadvertently typed "Big Head" instead of Big Wall, I think because I was thinking back to when Little John (Scott's wedding, maybe) was referring to you as Big Head and cracking us up. whoops!

Edited by mtnstoke

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Nice Doug. Where are the pics?

 

I'll draw you some pictures on the napkins at the Sushi place in Squamish this weekend. We should ditch the ladies and climb something up there together.

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Doug/Keith- Congrats! Must've been you I saw on the summit for the photo ops - I was the lone dude with skis. Been wanting to do PR for some time now (one previous failed attempt), thanks for the beta & fixed gear!

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Hey Doug congrats on the summit. I am heading up to try that route on 8/10. Any info you could pass on or pictures would be greatly appreciated as this is my first time on the route.

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With several parties earlier risers than Craig Gyselinck and I, we were the last ones on the route in the early morning hours of 7/18. A couple observations about the conditions we found:

1. Good sandy bivy spots before the final crappy ridge to the normal Ptarmigan Ridge high camp. This allowed us to drop down a gully near the beginning of the ridge onto the North Mowich and make a direct line to the schrund to begin the route without spending any time in the hazard zone.

2. More ice is showing higher up which justifies carrying the weight of 3 screws.

3. Doug's rating of the mixed nature of the rock band in the exit gully is spot on. It felt burly. Craig led the pitch leashless and found a good hook placement to trust and yard up on. Setting an anchor above the rock band takes a little imagination.

4. The slog up the Liberty Cap Glacier is longer than I expected. From Liberty Ridge, for example, it's quick work to the summit of Liberty Cap which is not the case for Ptarmigan.

5. Other than guide books, no one seems to post pix of the climb while enroute. So even though we had a camera, we honored the tradition and took no pix as we climbed. It's a good climb to do in the dark....

6. The glaciers crossed via the White River approach are still in good condition. For us that approach took 10 hours to high camp.

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Kyle, My partner Doug White and I were the party of two that was just ahead of you guys. Sorry about trying to kill you with my GPS. I didn't actaully know I had lost it until near the Ice Cap. We found the conditions to be perfect! Hard to belive that there were 4 different groups all climbing Ptarmigan Ridge on the same day.

 

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If you look closely you can see a tent in the lower right corner of the picture.

 

The Route:

 

route11.jpg

 

More detail:

 

route21.jpg

 

The mix moves were really fun!

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