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saxybrian

What route should I climb next year on Rainier!?

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So I'm looking to head that way from Texas again next year between Late May to mid July and I'm looking for a fun route to climb.

 

I've done Ingraham Direct and DC so far which are great routes, just looking for something a bit more technical but not liberty ridge technical.

 

I was thinking Kautz or Ledges if they're still in but wanted some opinions on the route. I'd like to avoid crowds so really trying to stay away from 2 high camp shelters.

 

I've never done any ice climbing but would be comfortable following someone on something up to about a 60 degree climb w/o any issues, however I think past that I may want to have a solid foundation before trying anything.

 

Any suggestions or ideas on a fun route? This would be my 5th time on Rainier

08 (Made it to Muir woke up late and couldn't make summit run)

09 (Made crater through DC)

10 April got socked in by a blizzard in April on the snowfield and made it to muir next day

10 June perfect summit on the ID route which I lead our team.

 

So that's my mountaineering experience :)

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Fuhrer Finger is an excellent route, a bit more technical than DC/Ingraham but not extreme. A bit more remote with nice high camps.

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As said above the Furher FInger is good as well as the Kautz. I have done both as up and over routes coming down the DC. There will be people on that side of the Nisqually so both routes will probably have some tracks but it will not be a cattle trail. So you will have to be a bit more heads up.

 

Gib ledges is fun as well but I think at this point doing a route not out of Muir would be good.

 

If you want a more remote route look at the Tahoma Glacier. I have not been on that side of hill but it seems popular early season.

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Thanks guys, Never thought of Furher Finger always see that as a ski line so never think about the climb. I was thinking the Kautz due to the lil ice you could hit on the and I've been wanting to dable in that a bit to learn and tackle Lib Ridge in a few years.

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Lots of good suggestions here so I'll just add a bit for info.

 

Kautz - excellent route, becomes steeper, icier, and more technical as the season progresses. Alex and I did it Memorial Day weekend 1999 and walked up and down the route with just a standard ice axe. Parties doing it later in the season have reported needing two ice tools, belaying several pitches, and had to making several rappels to get back down. I believe it is one of the routes being used by guide services now, so it won't be the 'wilderness' experience it was when Alex and I did it, but it also shouldn't be a conga line.

 

Fuhrer Finger is usually best done early in the season as it is prone to some rockfall.

 

Here is different suggestion. There are other mountains in the Washington Cascades other than Rainier. Since you have been to Rainier many times, why not explore another part of the range, say the North Cascades? Mt Baker has a lot of great routes that would meet your criteria for a little bit more technical. North Ridge and Park Glacier Headwall are both great routes with a few pitches of steeper ice/snow. Mt Shuksan is super classic. The Fisher Chimneys route is great and offers very moderate rock climbing, some steepish ice, route finding, and a nice airy summit. The North Face is a pure snow/ice climb that is a bit steep.

 

 

Edited by DPS

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DPS is spot on. Kautz is great, but there are other mountains out there. Some of the better experiences might include Baker, or a multi-day trip into the Three Sisters in Oregon where you can tag all Three Sisters and Broken Top, or a nice trip up Shasta and epic ski down.

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Taking what alex said a little further: you might consider the north ridge of mount baker early in the season. If you get out there on the earlier side, then the pitches of ice are short and not terribly steep. Also crossing the coleman glacier earlier in the season is much more straight forward. I did the route last summer as a similar "next step" than some of the standard walk up routes, and did not have any trouble with the terrain or the ice. Later that summer I did the kautz route and found them to be comparable in difficulty, but I found the north ridge of baker a lot more aesthetically enjoyable. It also makes the up and over routine easier if your not comfortable descending the kautz. when you go up and over from the kautz, you have to haul all of your gear with you, where as on the north ridge of baker you can leave your camp behind and get it via the descent route.

 

If you have any more questions about the north ridge or beta just give me a heads up.

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Mt Rainier is like a sexy redhead to me, it just doesn't get any better. I just love that mountain so much. I'm thinking maybe if we can do a super early trip to do Gib Ledges or possibly Nisqually if there's enough snow to make it able to be done with a single axe.

 

I think Gib Chute would be wicked fun, but that route just seems really prone to Avy Danger to get on. My friend is coming with me early this next year who's never done anything like this so I want to keep it to a some what easy route. However when I head back in July we're gonna head up the Emmons. After that I'm not doing anything on that mountain unless it's a new route :)

 

I've really wanted to head up Liberty Ridge, but my lack of ice climbing experience (Damn Texas) will make it so I have to go with a party who have experience and don't mind taking a newer ice climber on the route.

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