Jump to content
  • Announcements

    • olyclimber

      WELCOME TO THE CASCADECLIMBERS.COM FORUMS   02/03/18

      We have upgraded to new forum software as of late last year, and it makes everything here so much better!  It is now much easier to do pretty much anything, including write Trip Reports, sell gear, schedule climbing related events, and more. There is a new reputation system that allows for positive contributors to be recognized,  it is possible to tag content with identifiers, drag and drop in images, and it is much easier to embed multimedia content from Youtube, Vimeo, and more.  In all, the site is much more user friendly, bug free, and feature rich!   Whether you're a new user or a grizzled cascadeclimbers.com veteran, we think you'll love the new forums. Enjoy!
Sign in to follow this  
B Deleted_Beck

Rainier - Route recommendation?

Recommended Posts

Howdy

 

Thinking about doing Rainier this labor day weekend.. Any good challenging and/or technical, but not too suicidal routes left this time of year? Zero interest in walkups.. Just looking for steep snow/ice (I'm assuming MI is completely out of the question)..

 

Thanks

 

-Ben

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
Howdy

 

Thinking about doing Rainier this labor day weekend.. Any good challenging and/or technical, but not too suicidal routes left this time of year? Zero interest in walkups.. Just looking for steep snow/ice (I'm assuming MI is completely out of the question)..

 

Thanks

 

-Ben

 

The Kautz is usually a good bet this time of year. You might look into Mowich Face as well.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

I've been getting conflicting beta for that one... some guys say it's prime right now, others say it's "out." I guess it's probably one of those things that depends entirely on the experience and preferences of the beta-giver- some guys hate ice.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Just returned from rainier and was eyeing Katz because I did it two years prior in the early season. The chute looks in! But.... The nisqually looks like black death and the Kautz glacier isn't very inviting either. Fwiw last summit via Katz was aug 14 per rangers. Sorry no pix except of the nisqually. Pm me your email if you want it.

 

Edit:

Katz=kautz

Gd iPad autocorrect

Edited by TofuTodd

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

I thought you'd ask... DC. We camped at the flats and were hammered with 50+mph winds in the AM. Hit the snooze and broke in my new sleeping pad instead ;-)

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Nothing posted on the ranger blog...any beta on Kautz gleaned from talking to the rangers? For us ice=good. I assume you mean crossing the lower Nisqually; was considering a Comet-Van Trump ascent anyways.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

When I mentioned the Kautz summit date that was on the board behind him the ranger (who was a non-climber because he deffered route conditions to the other ranger) only said kautz was in if you were seeking ice. sorry didn't ask for any more details of as we were looking at the dog climb. Yeah any alternative to the lower nisqually is highly advised. Just from viewing the route on the drive in, the turtle snow field is still mostly snow but camp hazard is all rock. As I mentioned the kautz glacier has some serious open crevases but I didn't bother to scan if there was an easy way around. thatz all the betaz i gotz

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Little update on the Kautz- I just got back from a failed solo attempt. Unfortunately, I got no higher than 10,000'.. but from what I could see, the Chute looked in, and the glacier above lightly crevasses and easily passable.

 

The approach is lame- lots of steep scree climbing (and descending). The best way to describe the snow is "oily." Once above the ramp connecting the Nisqual to the Wilson, the glacier is not bad- lots of crevasses, but very passable (if oily).

 

My problem was that I didn't get out of the ranger station with an approved solo permit till AFTER TWO OCLOCK yesterday, didn't make it to Camp Hazard before dark, and then either slept through my alarm or it's time to get a new watch... whatever the case, I listened to serac and rockfall thundering all through the night, and watched a piece fall off the upper Kautz as I approached this morning.... not optimal, me thinks. Gonna have to wait till it's resolidified before I'll give it a go again.

 

On another note.... What's up with all those waterfalls in the Nisqually canyon? Awesomer winter approach variation, I'm thinking...

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

I had no idea the Nisqually was doable. We started at Longmire (UGH) and were at the low bivy on 9/2...never saw a soul the whole way up or down (except very near the ends). Van Trump is also lot of scree too. We got up to the notch rappel at 11,200 (looked about 20' free) at ~3:30 on 9/3/12 and were met by a howling ridge wind and the sight of 1000 vf of solid ice with a couple snow patches (kinda the opposite of the normal route description). Given a couple issues we were having and what we were facing we decided to bag it (I hate making that decision). However almost all surface water had frozen that night and the mountain was quiet.

 

I would have happily exited via the Wilson/Nisqually if I had known it was doable, but that it looked terrible from the 9,200' vantage point. As it was we endured all the way to the Comet Falls TH (officially closed due to insane, still surviving avalanche, but there were lots of day hikers) and hitchhiked down to Longmire.

 

Could not have asked for better weather, and an empty Van Trump Park in full bloom was the surprise destination I never expected.

Edited by jonne

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
I had no idea the Nisqually was doable.

 

I crossed under the glacier and went straight up the ramp at 6,300'. I may have hopped off the Paradise trail lower than the standard route, but I did follow a trail most of the way down into the canyon. Between leaving the Paradise trail and stepping foot on the Wilson, I tread maybe a total of 30' of Nisqually Glacier. A couple sketchy moat crossings, but other than that, all dirt/mud/scree between Paradise trail and the Wilson.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Actually... that's bullshit... I did have to hike up about 100' of one of the terminal fingers of the glacier. It was chopped up, but still totally passable. May 5 extra minutes spent navigating big cracks.

 

Forgot that lil detail

 

---

 

So the chute was pretty solid, eh?? I've been sort of watching the temp up there- didn't think it'd been cold enough to solidify yet. Did you see anything falling off?

 

---

 

Sheeiate... Freezing level's supposed to dip under 10,000' tomorrow night. Maybe it's time for round 2...

Edited by Ben B.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Yeah the chute looked pretty good from the 11,200 notch and I didn't see anything fall. Heard some small stuff after sunrise but hey, its a big mountain and this ain't the Emmons route. As I said, surface streams had frozen overnight, down to at least 9,000'. I think a 10k freezing level would be super solid, and even a 12k doable. I can't remember the forecast for 9/3/12 but I bet water was freezing several thousand below stated FL.

 

Suuntos are hopeless if on your wrist in a sleeping bag. I now just bring my nice loud iphone. Both my partner and I now have different busted buttons on our relatively new Suuntos...are Suuntos crap now?

 

 

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Create an account or sign in to comment

You need to be a member in order to leave a comment

Create an account

Sign up for a new account in our community. It's easy!

Register a new account

Sign in

Already have an account? Sign in here.

Sign In Now

Sign in to follow this  

×