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senior_cush

[TR] Mt Rainier - Kautz Glacier/DC single push 7/17/2013

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Trip: Mt Rainier - Kautz Glacier/DC single push

 

Date: 7/17/2013

 

Trip Report:

I was out in the PNW for about 10 days and first up on the climbing trip was Adams via Adams Glacier with Alex (APE). After Adams Alex had some work to do down in Eugene so I crashed with him for a couple of days. On the drive down we talked about else we should go after this trip and what some of our goals of routes were in the Cascades over the next couple of years. I mentioned I really wanted to do Rainier in 'a day' (<24 h) and we had a lengthy discussion on how to go about it. Long story short a couple of days later we rolled into the park around 3 pm after an early start from Eugene and a couple of work calls en route. On the drive up to Paradise we decided we'd scrap our plan of doing a carryover the Kautz and instead just go for Rainier in a single push. I was excited but wished I had gotten more than 5 hours of sleep the night before to go for that kind of climb. Oh well. It was a blast anyways.

 

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a team of climbers just getting onto the ridge

 

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getting onto the Wilson Glacier

 

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baking in the late afternoon sun but a little smug with my decision to wear shorts

 

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dusk from about 9.5k

 

We ran into 2 rangers and a couple of groups around 9k. The rangers said they'd be starting up at 5am from there. They caught up to us at the fixed line just above the top of the DC sometime around 9:45am. My mind is blown thinking of how fast they had to have been moving to go from 9k to 12k on the other side of the mountain in less than 5 hours. Crazy impressive stuff. Or maybe they just wanted to mess with us! We ended up hanging out for a few hours at about 9.5k where there's running water just below the turtle so we caught the sunset and made dinner there and relaxed for a bit.

 

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rainier's shadow at dawn from high up on the Kautz

 

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we opted for the relentless upper Kautz instead of crossing over onto the Nisqually after the ice chutes. Alex and I were both feeling pretty pooched and I definitely felt like Cougar in the opening scene of Top Gun

topping out on fumes thanks to a lack of sleep and slacking off on eating. We ended up hitting the summit around 7:30am, a few hours later than we had hoped for but still OK by us.

 

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the face of victory when type 2 fun is involved

 

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a little while later we got caught in a line to get onto the DC as there's a fixed line for a short ice climb above a crevasse. we lost quite a bit of time there and waiting for parties to clear below us on the DC and in Cathedral Pass as well. But hey we still made good time down to Paradise for afternoon burgers and beers in Ashford! Awesome climb Alex!

 

 

Gear Notes:

carried screws and 2 pickets but only placed a single screw on the 2nd pitch of the ice chutes

 

Approach Notes:

the fan was melted out and we saw a few minutes worth of continuous rockfall from the snowfields so we headed further up on the Wilson to get onto the ridge

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This was a really, really fun climb.

 

One more thing to add under "(de-)approach notes": never eat a burger with jalapeno when your lips are chapped.

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Ah geez, another PNW convert ;). Nice work after a couple frustrating years! Just be sure to tell folks back home that it rained again this year.

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