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christophbenells

Mt. Rainier questions

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me and a couple of freinds are going to attempt a ski ascent/descent of rainier. we will have all the needed glacier gear.

 

so it appears you have to a written permission from some superintendent to climb solo above 10,000 ft.

 

do they mean solo as in not on a glacier rope team? or solo as 1 man group?

 

whats the protocol with ski mountaineering? i know people ski down unroped, and ascend unroped. do i just need to have a group with me and not actually be on a glacier travel roped up team? if i ski down the mountain into camp muir by myself is a ranger gonna write me a ticket?

 

 

 

 

Edited by christophbenells

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My understanding is that as long as you are in a group you are not considered solo whether you are roped or not. I don't know how strong a skier you are, but the Emmons would be an easier ski than the DC. Another route to consider is the Fuhrer Finger route. Also, skis afford limited protection against crevasse falls, they are not a particularly safe substitute for roped travel.

Edited by DPS

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You mentioned skiing into Muir so I assume you plan on skiing the DC or Ingraham Glacier Direct. The DC IMHO, is not a great choice. The cleaver itself is exposed and is a high traffic area. The Ingraham Glacier Direct is viable probably only early in the season. Emmons Glacier makes a lot of sense, there are not too many bottle necks, it is less steep than other routes, but it is a high traffic route. The Fuhurer Finger strikes me as a natural choice for a ski descent, and it is less crowded. Since you will be essentially soloing and depending on the greater weight distribution of the skis to provide safety, you should plan your trip when the crevasses are most strongly bridged (ASAP). Should someone take a full on crevasse fall you will likely be extracting a seriously injured if not dead partner. Think about how you plan to do this. If your party brings one rope and the person carrying it goes in, what then? Just some food for thought.

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was just using muir as an example, was thinking yes, emmons or furer finger. we were thinking of caryying a glacier rope and and a 100 ft static rope.

 

where does the finger drop down onto? there are no crevasses in the finger couiloir itself im guessing?

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The Finger is now a defacto ski route for many. There can be cracks and there can be rock fall. The rock fall is more of a problem on the descent (assuming an early ascent). But you are going down and will only be in the Finger for 5 minutes at best. So little exposure. Early in the year the cracks are also not a problem - if the right path is taken one can avoid them all together. Check out www.turns-all-year.com

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was just using muir as an example, was thinking yes, emmons or furer finger. we were thinking of caryying a glacier rope and and a 100 ft static rope.

 

where does the finger drop down onto? there are no crevasses in the finger couiloir itself im guessing?

Having two ropes is a good idea. The FF drops onto the Nisqually, which early season the crevasses are well covered and would be an easy ski, but requires some uphill skinning to get back to Paradise. Rockfall is possible on FF, but I've climbed it once and desdended it twice and did not experience any significant rockfall into the couloir, but have seen some big releases on the cliffs bordering the couloir. There are no crevasses in the FF couloir itself, but there are some big cracks above it. I would personally climb the FF, because it is a good climb, you can camp below it and pick up camp on the way out, and it is a good idea to ascend the descent route to get to know it and id any hidden moats, crevasses, etc. You will likely have to boot the FF couloir.

Edited by DPS

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The Finger is a great ski route. Please keep in mind there are big, hidden hungry crevasses both above and below the Finger.

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I believe the FF drops to the Wilson Glacier, not the Nisqually. I have only climbed it once and it was pretty icy above the couloir. Not being a skier I really don't know how Icy conditions expert skiers can cope with but there were some places we did protect with screws. I glissaded the couloir itself and imagine it would be great to ski.

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I believe the FF drops to the Wilson Glacier, not the Nisqually.

 

You could be correct about the name of the glacier. It might be labeled as the Wilson by that point.

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thanks guys, i think fuhrer finger it is.

 

Great choice! The camps are nice up there and you avoid the massive crowds too.

Bring a shovel, you will most likely need to excavate your own platforms. Z-Man and I spent a crappy night on a half assed platform made with our ice axes once up there.

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Strap it on the outside?

 

+1. also with some shovels you can fit your ice axe shaft into the blade and can leave the handle at home.

 

One trick with T handled shovels and old style ice axe loops is to drop the shovel handle through the ice axe loop, flip it up like an axe, attach the blade and secure it with the ice axe strap.

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For Camp Muir or Camp Shurman I would say a shovel is optional, but having camped below FF twice I can say flat real estate is a rare commodity.

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For Camp Muir or Camp Shurman I would say a shovel is optional, but having camped below FF twice I can say flat real estate is a rare commodity.

 

there are nice bivvies across from the start of the route on the Wapowety cleaver. We were there late June, admittedly, but at that time the flat spots were melted out.

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