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swall

[TR] RAINIER - Liberty Ridge 7/3/2013 - Liberty Ridge 7/3/2013

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My earlier post may have been a bit too critical, so let me just add that I am glad you got the climb in and am sure you all learned valuable lessons from it. IMO you should do the route again sometime because when you catch it in good condition(s) it is a magnificent route. Best of luck to you all.

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Climbing at night to reduce the chances of rock strike is often a good idea but comes at the expense of route finding and, more importantly in our case, seeing the rocks coming down at us. Given the 12,000 freezing levels we had at the time, we chose not to climb in the dark - it paid off, as we were able to see and thus dodge a few well aimed projectiles and weave our way through the Carbon with relative efficiency. There didn't seem to be enough reduction in rockfall at night to justify the cost in visibility - in fact, our biggest strike happened while camped at Thumb Rock at around midnight when a rock rudely burst through the tent door unannounced and struck me in the thigh. Total rule violation. Sun didn't hit the neve (ice, in our case) slopes below Thumb until late morning, so we enjoyed a bit of a grace period there.

 

On the other hand, direct sun tended to melt out the rocks strewn all over the East facing neve slopes of the upper ridge, so the rules switched back in favor of an earlier, darker start up higher.

 

Bottom line is that LR is a shitshow once these warmer conditions prevail. We got by, but that'll be the last time I take that chance.

Edited by tvashtarkatena

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First, I'd like to congratulate you on your survival techniques and sticking with it. Next, a great trip report! This qualifies as a full epic climb - and I agree with most of the after thoughts, you can see that the "locals' have an advantage over visiting climbers. The weather and day-to-day conditions are the most difficult on The Mountain - even for the locals. Anyways- Good Job! LR is not a walk-up. :tup:

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