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[TR] Mt. Rainier - Liberty Ridge 6/14/2012

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Trip: Mt. Rainier - Liberty Ridge

 

Date: 6/14/2012

 

Trip Report:

Just getting back from an attempt on Liberty Ridge with two partners. Camp ground at White River still closed so bagged permits afternoon of Wednesday June 13 and drove back out of park to camp Crystal Mtn. Road overflow parking lot. Headed in Thursday June 14 and had a straight-forward hike to Curtis Ridge. Winds and weather started to pick up beyond St. Elmo Pass and started to get some precip and low clouds. We met a pair of fellows from Colorado who decided to try and push on to Thumb Rock and seize the predicted good weather the next day. We opted to set up camp at Curtis Ridge and spent a windy/sand blown night. We awoke to blue-bird calm skies the morning of Friday June 15. After much discussion we decided to turn around rather than risk getting trapped for several days at Thumb Rock due to predicted poor weather Saturday June 16 and for several days following. Hiked back out and drove to Squamish for some consolation prize rock climbing but couldn't escape the rain/weather which subsequently arrived as predicted.

 

Ps. Not sure if the pair from Colorado made it up but we did see a party of two at the top of the black pyramid at ~ 8 am Saturday morning.

 

Pss. Also saw Chinook Heli flying back and forth along the ridge/summit (either practising or searching for a group).

 

Psss. As you can see from the video below, the Ridge is in excellent shape.

 

Pssss. The Colorado party had a long hike down and around Curtis Ridge to get on to the Carbon Glacier. After they had left I found a large/secure boulder with several slings around it within 25 m of our camp where the YouTube footage was taken where folks had clearly rapped down onto the scree and glacier below. Looked straight-forward and likely shaves the better part of an hour off your Thumb Rock approach time.

 

[video:youtube]

 

Approach Notes:

White River to St. Elmo Pass to Curtis Ridge ~ 6 hrs at a rather relaxing pace.

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Nice job making a difficult decision to turnback. Encountering stormy conditions up high would really suck. How did you find snow conditions?

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