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cms829

Another "Rainier in October" thread....

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Hey all. Havent been out in a season or two and one of my climbing partners suggested we try to get one last trip in before ice season starts here in the Northeast. I've been on the mountain plenty and know my way around. But all during the normal season. Been on the DC a couple times, Emmons, Fuhrer finger (BIG time avy on the Wilson forced us back down, there were pics of that on here somewhere...it slid HUGE).... Anyway...I digress.

 

We have the skill and gear...Dont need any advice. Just looking for opinions on the average conditions around mid October on a similar year. I know the DC is almost fully "out" per most recent reports. I was thinking about the Kautz glacier or Gib ledges. (But may be too early for the ledges?) Was relying on the DC as a "backup" quick easy route...but doesn't look like it would be the case as the upper mtn has opened up real good recently.

 

Were looking at the 3rd weekend in October. Obviously since were flying out and have limited time (5-6 days in the area), its a crap shoot weather wise. I realize this. And if the worst case happens we'll drive elsewhere to climb something else. Maybe the olympics, IDK. Anyway.....anyone care to offer their opinion on if its worth the $$ to fly out?

 

I know what things look like late season....but considering the mtn's condition today, would it be any fun? Or would it be a total scree (suffer) fest?

 

Thanks in advance.

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Hard to say not knowing the weather between now and then. Often by late October we've had a bit of snow up high which could make for some really dangerous glacier travel conditions (thinly bridged). If you are looking to climb in and out of crevasses, battle scree, and deal with likely poor weather, it might be "fun", but not by most climber's definitions. A lot depends on how much new snow we get between now and late October, but both Gib Ledges and the Kautz aren't likely to be in pleasant shape.

 

If you are buying a ticket, I think the Sierra would be a much better bet.

 

 

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fall's a dangerous time on them thare volcanoes - if you're content to rock climb at smith should things go to shit though, might be worth the money

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I have not been up the "big R" at that time of year, but I've climbed many of the other NW volcano's in the Fall. It can be OK. The hazards noted by others here are real, but if you want to plan a visit, with the expectation that it might not turn out to be a good time to climb Rainier and maybe it'd be better to climb at Smith or paddle in the Gulf Islands, I'd say that could be a good plan.

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