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LowLife

[TR] Mt. Rainier - Gib Ledges 2/4/2012

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Trip: Mt. Rainier - Gib Ledges

 

Date: 2/4/2012

 

Trip Report:

Big high pressure meant a mad dash for the mountain on Friday morning. Stayed at the shelter Friday night, left from Muir at 3:30 am and topped out at 11:30 am. The weather was damn pleasant on the upper mountain. The route was in great shape, with variable snow but predominantly nice styrofoam for most of the climb. Sure felt nice to have to throw sunscreen on in February.

 

Pics:

 

 

Sunrise from the Ledges.

GL%2520Winter%2520Ascent%252016.jpg

 

 

Dan with the Nisqually Ice Cliff on his right.

GL%2520Winter%2520Ascent%252020.jpg

 

 

The top of Gib chute.

GL%2520Winter%2520Ascent%252023.jpg

 

 

Saddle between Gib rock and the mountain.

GL%2520Winter%2520Ascent%252028.jpg

 

 

Just as the route joins the upper DC/ID, Lil' T in the background.

GL%2520Winter%2520Ascent%252031.jpg

 

 

Obligatory summit shot. Thanks to the two skiers we met up top for taking this! Also of note, I'll bet my pants in this photo look more like General Patton's than your's do.

GL%2520Winter%2520Ascent%252034.jpg

 

 

This is my "I can't believe I just slogged up this damn thing again and now I've gotta slog back down too" face.

DSCN3085.jpg

 

 

On the way back through Cadaver Gap.

GL%2520Winter%2520Ascent%252043%2520b%252Bw.jpg

 

 

Looking up from Ingraham Flats.

GL%2520Winter%2520Ascent%252045%2520b%252Bw.jpg

 

Thanks to Dan E. for a great trip. The rest of the Cascades were lookin' good dressed in their winter whites - hope everyone got out to enjoy them over the weekend!

 

Gear Notes:

Standard glacier kit. This is the second time I've brought a 2nd tool up the Ledges, and haven't used it. One axe will do ya just fine.

 

Approach Notes:

We brought slowshoes for the approach to Muir. Don't do this. Learn to ski. And if anyone catches me with those damned things on my feet again, please, slap me.

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Was it as warm as it looked? I'm jealous, my winter experiences high on Rainier were filled with cold suffering.

 

Nice work, and way to take advantage of the window!

Edited by JasonG

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Nice! It looks a lot like my January climb a few winters ago. Gotta love the high pressure windows. I was happy to have my second tool for about 150 ft at chute though. That year we brought skis and ended up walking down because of the sheets of ice below Muir, I think this year might be better on that front.

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Very nice work fellas. Thanks for sharing.

 

The condition of the ledges look similar to last 04/05Jun, plenty of snow filled in... Great pics.

 

Nice to see a winter TR in for Rainier!

 

d

Edited by dougd

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Nice job on the winter ascent, the photos are great!

 

Just curious, did you forget your rope at Muir or just happen to not be roped up in the photos?

 

edited to add that I understand it is customary to cross the ledges unroped, just a little unconventional to continue unroped for the glacier portion between the top of Gib rock and the crater.

Edited by Bronco

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Just curious, did you forget your rope at Muir or just happen to not be roped up in the photos?

 

Ha. I thought the same thing but didn't want to kill the buzz. Or to just seem bitter because while they were up there I was at home doing yardwork or whatever.

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edited to add that I understand it is customary to cross the ledges unroped, just a little unconventional to continue unroped for the glacier portion between the top of Gib rock and the crater.

The biggest crevasse fall I've ever had was at about 13,500 ft above Gib Rock in January. Sastrugi snow had concealed a weakly bridged crevasse and I walked out on it length wise when I poked through. As I fell the rope broke the bridge behind me. The crevasse was massive; 50 ft across and was far deeper than my headlamp beam penetrated. When I prusiked out, I discovered my partner had self arrested at the very edge of the crevasse. I had fallen the entire rope length between us. Seeing folks unroped on this section makes me ill with the thought of the consequences of an unroped fall.

Edited by DPS

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I simply don't understand the desire to solo Rainier. It is not like soloing 5.12 or WI 6 or something rad like that. It is just slogging and a crevasse will swallow you regardless of your skill level.

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...Sastrugi snow had concealed a weakly bridged crevasse and I walked out on it length wise when I poked through. As I fell the rope broke the bridge behind me. The crevasse was massive; 50 ft across and was far deeper than my headlamp beam penetrated. When I prusiked out, I discovered my partner had self arrested at the very edge of the crevasse. I had fallen the entire rope length between us. Seeing folks unroped on this section makes me ill with the thought of the consequences of an unroped fall.

 

Scary.

Seems you left this small story untold when we were up there. I guess it made it easier convincing the new guy to be first on the rope. For sure, ignorance is bliss.

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I remember well that bit from the top of the chute to about 13,700 last June as pretty benign looking. We didn't need the knowledge of the skier from Utah that fell to his death in one in that neighborhood a couple months prior to know to stay roped up.

 

I've never fallen in a crevasse but navigated some very impressive snow bridges over endlessly deep looking gashes. I remember one on Rainier in '81 that I was probing across vewy vewy carefully, paused to look back at my 17 yr old little brother belaying me, his eyes big as saucers, scared shitless... He was a good partner but I wasn't completely sure right then that he would be able to catch me...

 

We summited and lived to tell the tale and do more climbs before he quit...

 

I have done some soloing on glaciers so I'm certainly not one to judge though...

 

d

 

 

Edited by dougd

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