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Major Major

[TR] Mt. Rainier - Emmons to Winthrop 7/22/2012

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Trip: Mt. Rainier - Emmons to Winthrop


Date: 7/22/2012


Trip Report:

We departed early Saturday and reached Camp Schurman by mid afternoon. Temps were reasonable and I wore shorts all the way to camp. I love wearing shorts on the mountain. As usual, I was glad to see the shitter. And even more so because now they have an outdoor urinal, although the exhaust fan from the shitter flows right into the urinal stall in your face (secretly, I wasn't complaining; I prefer the smell of shit over anchoring off the side of an icewall to blue-bag in moonlit sky).


I would like to explicitly state that I no longer take pictures while climbing; for me it changes the experience. This is not an apology but a notification to prevent people from asking.



Gear Notes:

The usual stuff

30 M rope

3 pickets

My secret cocaine cookies (no joke; they're amazing!)

A jacket





Approach Notes:

After we set up the NF (not MF) tent, I scoped out the route. The boot trail ascended directly up Emmons until 11,450 feet. At this point, we traversed directly to the right. Now, this is different than the previous Emmons direct route. We continued through less-than-precarious glaciated terrain for approximately 600 feet. Again, starting at approximately 11,500 feet, we began the long 3,000-foot ascent toward the summit. Here's where it got interesting. There were some wind gusts on the way up; nothing unusual. However, about 200 feet from the summit the wind became arduous. At the moment we hit the crest of the crater ridge, the wind speed shot to its acme. I would later find out that wind was measuring gusts up to 65 mph that night. This was anticlimactic in a sense, but the fact that we had stellar visibility all the way to the summit made up for all the wind. We were on top of the clouds, and I couldn't have felt more enthralled to be on top of the world.

The descent off the mountain was typical: a little fatigue, one careful step at a time, and sublime scenery. Upon arriving, we napped, cuddled, and packed up. We roped up out of Schurman until right before Curtis. I know some guys do this unroped, but I don't take chance with the crevesse-caverns in that area.

A final observation: I've been on Emmons direct before. The Winthrop route has far fewer crevasses. On Emmons, one can be faced with some real jumpers; Winthrop was not this way. After we got onto Winthrop, it was very steady and not very exposed.


I'm writing this having enjoyed a bottle of wine. Please excuse the typos and lack of poetry.

Edited by Major Major

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