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Gaucho Argentino

[TR] Rainier - Kautz Glacier - 7/3/2011

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Trip: Rainier - Kautz Glacier -


Date: 7/3/2011


Trip Report:

After a planned three days trip to do Tahoma Glacier was severed by an storm coming in on Sat on Rainier, we decided with Eric to go for the Kautz in two days, Sunday-Monday.


On the approach on Sunday we could see nothing, was all map/compass/GPS: clouds, 20-30 mph winds. We found several parties coming down that were on the mountain on Sat, some of them even lost their tents to some 60-70 mph winds, really sorry, guys.


Approach via lower Nisqually, very small crevasses there, Wilson Glacier (almost no crevasses), all the way to Camp Hazard at ~11400'. One lesson here: we pass by perfect camping spots already dug, flat, awesome, to go 500 more up... and then we needed to dig like two tons of snow to put our tents. Next time, 500' more next day, but grab the already ready spot :-)





Got up at 1am, climbing at 2.30 am. We went up to the Kautz Icecliff, traversed 300' left to start going up on the Kautz. NOTE: we learnt later from a party near the summit, that 30' from where our tent was, there is a handline that avoids you going up and then down (all the risk of the ice fall) as recommended in some guides. This handline puts you at the base of the climbing line for the Kautz. We use it on the way back, and it was about 30-50 feet from our tent :-(. You can not see it from the approach line, has to search or ask for it...


The Icecliff



This is how it looks the "first ice pitch" to the left of the Icecliff. Is not ice yet, only hard snow, easy to go up, do not trip, though :-)



On the Kautz we saw / jumped / walked around a number of crevasses, still doable...


Traverse trough this fantastic field of crevasses and gigantic ice boulders to gain the upper Nisqually, where you'll find a few more crevasses, specially one about two-three feet that we had to jump, way to long to go around...


Kautz to Nisqually, you can almost see the boot path below the upper dome-like ice boulder...



Summit by 7.30 am, perfect views and weather conditions...



Back to camp by 10am, Paradise at 2pm, burger at 4pm :-)... Very cool time with a new climber friend...


Happy 4th to you all, BTW...

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Nice work! I was up there Saturday-Sunday and had to turn around at camp Hazard due to the killer winds and whiteout conditions. A couple of friends stayed Sunday and summited Monday and told me that there was absolutely no wind on Monday. Crazy how the weather comes and goes on that mountain.

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Nice! We summitted on the 2nd, hiked in on the 30th (in a whiteout, weeee!) cleared up at our fist camp at 9,200 ft though (Castle Rocks? not sure what that area is called)


Was a little disappointed in no ice up there yet.

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Here's a shot I took of the Kautz from our camp near Camp Hazard on 7/01/2011:



(also, how do I make this image display bigger?)

Edited by Xerinae

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