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[TR] Mt Rainier - DC (7/27/2012) - Disappointment Cleaver 7/28/2012

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Trip: Mt Rainier - DC (7/27/2012) - Disappointment Cleaver


Date: 7/28/2012


Trip Report:

Buddy of mine introduced me to a friend he climbed with a while back. Since my friend was off fighting a war oversea's his friend and I hooked up for a climb on the DC.


The climb started off uneventful from Paradise parking lot with the exception we didn't bring a tent and when we finished with our registration there was 1 spot left at Muir which means we had to book it up. The trail from Paradise was pretty uneventful as normal. Pretty melted out to Pebble Creek which allowed me to reach the water crossing at 1:05 into my climb. This was a personal record for me so I was quiet happy. After this, I did the slow slog up the Muir Snowfield and by 8500ft It was 2 hours into the hike. My fastest previous hike to Muir with a full pack was 3:55 minutes so at this point, I wondered if it was possible to break 3 hours. Well turns out, I made it in 2:59 minutes. Awesome! After getting to Muir, I secured two spots in the shelter for myself and my partner. He got there about 30 minutes after I did. We ate, melted snow rested. It was about 1:45 by this time and we were getting bored and felt great, spoke with the rangers and they were having a really low freezing level (11500ft). We decided to head up for a day summit run and a night decent. Left about 3:00ish from Muir. Ended up on top of the gap and had to take our boots off and tape our heels due to hotspots. My mistake at this point was not taking a food break at the flats. Instead, we pushed past the flats and up the cleaver. We went through the rock fall / ice fall fast and ended up on top of the cleaver at about 3 hours into the push from Muir including our stop. At this point, I had hit a wall, pretty sure it was the 3 hour pace to Muir + not sleeping + last food break was 5 hours before + altitude. At this point, I knew I could make it to summit in about 3 more hours, however, I felt that coming down at 10pm in the dark with frozen snow and me being dead tired would not be ideal to living another day. So we opted to turn around and head back to Muir. We made it down to rock/ice fall area. After 3 -5 minutes of passing this, a huge fall happened with boulders the size of men tumbling right down the trail we were on moments before. Sometimes, it's just luck on missing things like this.


We got to Muir, packed our gear and ended up in the parking lot at 11:30pm. Not bad from 9am to 11:30pm to make it to DC and back down. Both of us had never attempted a car2car before, but if I ate a bit more, and trained a tad harder (maybe a few days of laping Mt Si 3x) I could see no issues with doing this.


Until next time!



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Excellent post Saxybrian. I appreciate reading a trip report in which a person makes a smart choice to turn back. It took me many years to learn this lesson, so I can only now fully appreciate the decision to turn back when one is zapped. As for the rocks, there are a lot of close calls every year here. Glad you made it down ok.

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