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Topoftheworld

Rainier vs Adams vs Hood

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How would you compare Rainier in technical difficulty, risk, and conditioning to Adams and Hood? In other words, is Rainier in a different "league" or level than the other mtns?

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I have not climbed Mt Hood, but can speak to Rainier and Adams. Rainier is in a different league, being a couple thousand feet higher than either Hood or Adams it makes a noticeable difference breathing during the climb. Probably the key difference about Rainier is the crevasse hazard. You need to understand route finding in areas of crevasses, and you better be prerpared to perform crevasse rescue if needed. You need to have the equipment to perform the rescue, and knowledge of setting up a 3:1 pulley system. Depending on route you can avoid crevasse hazard entirely on Adams or Hood.

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Mt Rainier is definitely in a different league than Adams or Hood due to the crevasse danger. You definitely need to be proficient in crevasse rescue. The climbing itself isn't more technically challenging aside from having to cross snow bridges or maybe ladders over crevasses. Route finding can be more of an issue on Rainier if you find that a snow bridge that everyone was using the day before or even one that you used in the morning has collapsed.

 

Conditioning wise if you can make it up Adams or Hood comfortably then you will likely be ok for Rainier assuming the extra altitude doesn't stop you.

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maybe ladders over crevasses.

 

???

Ladders over crevasses? Maybe in some old photos in the ranger station but it is very unlikely to be any ladders sitting on the glacier to throw over crevasses. Maybe I am missing something.

 

but I believe everyone with the exception of super uber-alpinist will say that rainier is a large step up from other volcanoes. For the reasons mentioned above and also:

the intensity of the weather when it turns.

the last 1000 feet seems to have just enough decrease in air pressure to notice altitude

 

 

 

with that said, you will be fine if you

-climb on good weather days

-allow lots of time for your trip for slower pace and acclimitization

-follow the monster boot pack on the regular routes

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I always have my sherpas carry some extra ladders up for glacier travel. The fiberglass ones are very stout but quite heavy, so I reccomend the aluminum ones. Lightweight, strong, and easily outfitted with packstraps, every team needs a couple 24 footers. Ladders are radder I say!!! plus its good training, and quite a conversation piece on the mountain.

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Agree that Rainier is harder due to added 2000' elevation, the last 1000' will really kick your a**.

 

don't agree so much about crevasses. There are large and deadly crevasses on Hood and Adams, and there are routes on Rainier that totally avoid crevasses. Although in general there are more crevasses on Rainier.

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Definite yes on the ladder crossing, if you're planning on the DC route. The RMI guides place them later in the season to help with a couple of the crevasse crossings. I crossed two of them a couple of years ago.

 

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maybe ladders over crevasses.

 

???

Ladders over crevasses? Maybe in some old photos in the ranger station but it is very unlikely to be any ladders sitting on the glacier to throw over crevasses. Maybe I am missing something.

 

but I believe everyone with the exception of super uber-alpinist will say that rainier is a large step up from other volcanoes. For the reasons mentioned above and also:

the intensity of the weather when it turns.

the last 1000 feet seems to have just enough decrease in air pressure to notice altitude

 

 

 

with that said, you will be fine if you

-climb on good weather days

-allow lots of time for your trip for slower pace and acclimitization

-follow the monster boot pack on the regular routes

 

Check the route reports from last year. The guide services put them up I believe.

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Agree that Rainier is harder due to added 2000' elevation, the last 1000' will really kick your a**.

 

don't agree so much about crevasses. There are large and deadly crevasses on Hood and Adams, and there are routes on Rainier that totally avoid crevasses. Although in general there are more crevasses on Rainier.

 

What beginner routes on Rainier totally avoid crevasses?

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No ladders on DC right now, but they have some stashed at the top of the Cleaver.

 

I don't think any beginner routes avoid crevasse exposure, but may Gib Ledges, or some of the steeper snow field routes avoid most of the crevasses?

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I haven't been on the DC in decades but I find it hard to believe that anyone "needs" the ladders to get up that route. I suspect that they are there to straighten the route and/or give the clients a rush. Maybe I am wrong.

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don't agree so much about crevasses. There are large and deadly crevasses on Hood and Adams, and there are routes on Rainier that totally avoid crevasses. Although in general there are more crevasses on Rainier.

 

As far as I know the only route on Rainier that avoids glaciers (and their crevasses) is Success Cleaver. I do not believe it's a beginners route. But I'm no expert on Rainier, the crowds, hype and politics/fees are enough of an incentive for me to go elsewhere.

 

Adams and Hood do have routes with large crevasses, but the beginner routes on both mountains do not. Many routes on Hood avoid glacier travel. On Adams the south side route avoids them, I don't know about any others.

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How would you compare Rainier in technical difficulty, risk, and conditioning to Adams and Hood? In other words, is Rainier in a different "league" or level than the other mtns?

I've done the trade routes on all three. Difficulty- meaning what exactly? How hard it is subjectively? I'd say Rainier is in another league but not by a substantial amount. One reason I say this is because Rainier seems to me to be more prone to adverse weather. Risk- See above. In terms of objective hazard I would say that Rainier is more dangerous. Also, being taller people are more prone to altitude-related problems on Rainier as compared to the other two. Conditioning- Being longer and higher than the others, you will need more fitness coming into Rainier. It just is a fact. Anyone who says otherwise is misleading you. Thanks for posting.

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As far as I know the only route on Rainier that avoids glaciers (and their crevasses) is Success Cleaver. I do not believe it's a beginners route. But I'm no expert on Rainier, the crowds, hype and politics/fees are enough of an incentive for me to go elsewhere.

 

Adams and Hood do have routes with large crevasses, but the beginner routes on both mountains do not. Many routes on Hood avoid glacier travel. On Adams the south side route avoids them, I don't know about any others.

 

He didn't qualify which routes, he made a general statement that is problematic. The key difference is not crevasse hazard, and there are 2 ways to ascend Rainier without crevasse hazard, Success cleaver as you mentioned and Sunset Ridge. I think people should be ready for crevasse hazard on any of the 10k+ volcanoes.

 

Success cleaver is probably a beginner/intermediate climb, I soloed it during my first year as a climber.

 

Don't let the problems you mention put you off Rainier, there's 30+ routes and only 2 or 3 of them are crowded. Success is a fun one and very seldom traveled.

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What beginner routes on Rainier totally avoid crevasses?

 

Who said beginner? I would classify Sunset Ridge as intermediate and Success Cleaver as beginner/intermediate.

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]

 

Who said beginner? I would classify Sunset Ridge as intermediate and Success Cleaver as beginner/intermediate.

 

beginner is assumed when posting in the newbie forum. intermediate questions would be asked in regular forums.

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