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Brewer

Rainier, Emmons beta?

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Anyone have any good beta on the Emmons route? A friend and I are planning on a 2-night trip up there this weekend. Weather looks good so far, and the Rainier Climbing Blog says that the upper route is in good condition, but the trip down from the Inter-Glacier to the Emmons is getting trickier.

 

Anyone have any input? How's the bergschrund? Are parties traversing right to the saddle, or is it more direct?

 

Thanks,

-me

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Make sure your crampons are totally bomber. Make sure all your points are sharp, axe included. What happens is you summit and the weather will turn and the top 1000 ft will turn to boilerplate ice. People have died including a ranger from crampon failure. Once you start sliding no way to stop.

 

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It's unusual but it does happen. Everything is in a melted state and then a sudden front comes in and the upper mountain freezes, turning it all to ice.

 

The ranger that died was on borrowed crampons that didn't fit very well or weren't adjusted properly, one of them came off.

 

Imagine an ice skating rink tilted at 40 degrees.

 

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Emmons is in great shape. I was up there this weekend and we had great weather. the approach is fine with a little rock/dirt to contend with on the drop from 9200' on the Inter Glacier down to the Emmons. Some crevasses are opening up a bit more on the upper section of the route at 10,500' and 11,500' but a rightward traverse is becoming more popular as the crevasses are widening.

 

This shows the descent to the Emmons from Inter Glacier:

Untitled53.jpg

 

Emmons highway:

Untitled65.jpg

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Excellent. The WX this weekend looks mighty fine so far, although the forecast has moved from "clear" to "mostly clear"...

 

Thanks for the updates.

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beta? follow the boot path but be mindful of new crevasses that may have formed more recently with the late summer heat.

 

Although it can become extremely icy up there given the right conditions, I would consider 40 degree ice rink extremely rare conditions to come upon. Granted, you should always be prepared for any conditions you may encounter, but I wouldnt make that your biggest concern of all other possibilities of potential hazards of climbing.

 

The weekend before last the upper mountain was totally encased in a lenticular cloud and ALL of our solid gear (ie ice axes, carabiners) was covered in about 3/4 inch of ice, but even when the granular snow on the glacier is frozen solid it still doesnt exactly resemble an ice rink.

Seems to me that the ice rink like conditions seem to occur more often when there are warm temps and rain on the upper mountain, followed by colder weather or lower temps at night.

With that said, its still important to keep your gear ready because stuff happens.

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I'll drop what I've found here in case anyone else comes by.

 

The "corridor" is cut in 'twain by a bit of a jumble of crevasses, and most people now traverse to the right into a fairly open snowfield, then zig-zag up until they get up below the bergschrund. At that point it's a high traverse to the right and up the ramp to the snow cap. You *can continue straight up to the upper part of the corridor, but you need good snow conditions as pick placement and crampon points need good purchase to mantle yourself up and over. Some people have been jumping that crevasse on the way down, but it started turning people around as the weekend progressed. A number of snowbridges are going to collapse soon, including the one just up the hill from Schurman.

 

Weather was beautiful for our acclimatization and relaxation day on Saturday and lots of teams found the summit. On Sunday morning, we were the first team out of camp at 12:30, and just after the sun came up around 13K' some clouds and fog came in, so we didn't get any views or much time on the summit. It cleared up later on our descent. Lovely time.

Edited by Brewer

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