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schroden

Mount Rainier, 3 days with night on summit.

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I am interested in a group climb of Mount Rainier, diverging from the 'normal' climb schedule, as I would rather not climb before sunrise and hustle to get done before the sun softens the snow bridges. I propose to climb from one of the camps to the summit on the second day, make camp on the summit and spend a leisurly afternoon exploring the summits, ice caves and watch the sunset. Third day would be the climb down after sunrise. I personally would schedule a fourth day, just in case the weather is not co-operating.

 

I have climbed a dozen 14,000 foot mountains, solo backpacked over 3 of the summits, and have slept at ~12,000 feet a few times with no altitude difficulties. Having climbed in the dark, sleet, snow, wind and rain, and whatever nature throws my way, I would prefer to see this mountain and enjoy the climb, even if that means carrying the camp to the summit!

 

Yes, camping on the summit (summit crater) is allowed!

 

Planning to be in the Seattle area end of August, 2014, which may be a bit 'late' in the climbing season, but may also provide fair weather and longer climbing windows.

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Not crazy, probably a bit too early though. Might be more responses if you were to post June or July. Most of the local climbers on this site don't plan Rainier climbs too far in advance.

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Good to know I am not crazy.

Would like to know if there are potential climbers interested in this type of climb, but will not plan details until closer to the climb.

2014 vacation requests are due January 1st, and would be nice to know if I should take time for this, or plan for shorter things like Mt. Baker, or just go play on the Olympics, as that is already scheduled.

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you should keep in mind the last week of August is more often than not unsettled weather here in the PNW, with snow levels sometimes dropping below 5500 ft. for a few days of cold front moving through. The weather in early Sept. is fantastic (though not this year!) and mid-July to mid-August are usually stellar. But that last week of August can be dicey

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Will be in WA 8/29 through 9/6, so would add time to climb the week of 8/25 or 9/7. I believe either would work, weather permitting, so it is up to whatever works for the group. Days get shorter quicker close to the equinox, but even 12 hours of sun allows for a good long climb. Peaked Longs the second week of September, with a foot of fresh snow, and it was a nice long day!

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"never again" is the consensus of me pals who've camped on the summit - due to altitude discomfort and constant wind flap. It's more difficult to acclimate here with our low terrain than say, in the Rockies, and any acclimation you've gained elsewhere doesn't last long enough to provide any real advantage on Rainier.

 

One alternative to beat the crowds is to start in the afternoon when the bridges start to freeze back up and climb through the night. Lighter pack, no crowds (you'd be alone for most of the climb). A bright moon might enhance the magic. It's not any harder than getting up at 1 or 2 am to enjoy your stomach attempt to eat itself.

 

 

Edited by tvashtarkatena

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Everytime I've been on one of the summits of Rainier, all I've wanted to do was get the fuck off of it. Have fun if you're into that sort of shit though.

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Everytime I've been on one of the summits of Rainier, all I've wanted to do was get the fuck off of it. Have fun if you're into that sort of shit though.

 

Exactly my feeling every time! Camping out on a 14er in CO is no big deal, but Ranier is a different animal.

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I haven't been up to the summit in august but you might find yourself trying to set up camp in something that looks like this if you cant find a site that someone else cleared.

 

RainierLookingDownAtPenitentes-24Jul2008.jpg

 

The one person I know that spent a night on the summit would never do it again and said they had to spend hours chopping down the penitentes.

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I'd say don't let all the negativity dissuade you. The crater is normally not as penitente'd (?) out as the above photo. While not frequent, camping in the crater is relatively common. You can often find a spot that's slightly more protected. Worst case scenario (barring a shit-storm on the summit in which case you'd hopefully either never climb or descend w/o bivying) you'd just end up with a cool story about another miserable night in the hills. Best case, cool story about another beautiful night in the hills. Both worth it.

 

Late August weather can go either way but is often nice. I wouldn't put too much stock in any predictions made now. Conditions on the DC route were "interesting" this past season...but no telling what that means for next year. So set your dates and go give 'er. Be safe. Have fun.

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Yes, camping in the crater iis quite common after ascending Liberty Ridge. Compared to a bivy on Liberty Ridge, the crater must be heaven.

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... Worst case scenario... you'd just end up with a cool story about another miserable night in the hills.

http://www.turns-all-year.com/skiing_snowboarding/trip_reports/index.php?topic=10009.0

 

Thanks for posting the linked article. Was a good read, and good outcome for the 2 adventurers.

 

I do know that in pursuing this adventure, I need to be cognizant of the changing weather, snow, wind, ice and visibility. I would like the freedom to enjoy the climb, the changing views, and the possibility of taking time to explore the summit crater, ice caves, and views from each side of the crater. Certainly know that this is a summit attempt, and may have to bivy below the summit, wait for weather, suffer the weather at the summit, and even turn back if the summit is not safely attainable.

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Penitentes are interesting, and I have seen the effect, though not nearly as intense as the picture above. I do believe that the posted picture was taken near the disapointment cleaver, not the summit. IF there are significant penitentes in the summit crater, I expect that a suitable campsite can still be found somewhere in or near the crater, or at least near the summit. If no campsite can be found or carved out, then descending is still an option.

 

I just want to have options: routes, campsite, daylight climb, and potential to explore the summit/crater/ice caves. I desire NOT to be on the expressway track with all the guided climbers. With options comes the need to cary the gear to be safe, and the possibility of a windy, tent flapping night.

 

Robert Frost wrote about roads: "I took the one less traveled by, And that has made all the difference."

 

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30 summits on 12 or so routes in 11 of 12 months spanning 18 years and I've never personally seen penitentes on Rainier like that. Not even close.

 

If camping on the summit is your dream go make it happen. Just don't underestimate Rainier- it does not climb or behave like 14,000' peaks in California or Colorado. In particular, the weather can go from pleasant to shitstorm any month of the year, as in shitstorm where you can't see as far as your feet or stand up. But yes, the last half of July and first half of August does seem to be the consistently best stretch.

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I think 2008 around mid July I remember penitentes like that right above the cleaver on the DC. On that same trip we had planned to camp on the summit and for giggles explore the stream vents. Even though we left Camp Hazard late by most people's standard (6am), wandered over to Point Success then wandered over Columbia Crest it was noon. Way too much time so we headed down and hit up Gaitor for dinner and drinks.

 

Personally I like having the cattle track down, it means one can do a hard route hit the summit perhaps a bit late and boogie down. That said multiple times I have it sat out near the summit while it pissed sideways.

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I think 2008 around mid July I remember penitentes like that right above the cleaver on the DC. On that same trip we had planned to camp on the summit and for giggles explore the stream vents. Even though we left Camp Hazard late by most people's standard (6am), wandered over to Point Success then wandered over Columbia Crest it was noon. Way too much time so we headed down and hit up Gaitor for dinner and drinks.

 

Personally I like having the cattle track down, it means one can do a hard route hit the summit perhaps a bit late and boogie down. That said multiple times I have it sat out near the summit while it pissed sideways.

 

I too have sat out on, or near, summits, while it rain, sleet, snow and blow sideways. I believe I have donned the raingear on 6 of my 12 14,000 foot summits, and about half of the 'lesser' summits. Even more fun with lightening! I feel it is all part of mountaineering, part of the adventure, the excitement.

 

For those willing to climb with a schedule that allows the flexibility to explore, to wait out the weather, and try for a night on the summit, keep in touch!

 

My plans now have me in Washington the week of August 24th, 2014. Might not be the optimal week, but likely in the best 90%.

 

The "cattle tracks" should be well established, so a tired or quick descent is an option.

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If you're still looking for people I'm in. Since it looks like you'll be coming from out of town I have a decent selection of group gear that we could use.

 

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Yes, I am still looking for poeple for this climb! Good to have some gear already in Washington, as flying with gear and everything for a 2 week vacation gets tight!

 

Glad to hear from those interested. As the group develops, we can discuss logistics and route options. I am open to routes, as long as it is not too technical. I am good for 'class 3' scrambles and bouldering, exposure to make a mountain goat blink, and steep snow/ice, but have limited wall experience.

 

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I might be interested. I have climbed Rainier once before and would love to do it again. I took the Shurman route and would like to try something else. Have always wanted to check out the caves. I live in Portland and can get the time off...

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Just wanted to add that camping in crater is very doable. In fact, we did it a couple of years ago (three people team), everyone felt great, even sleeping was pretty decent, we had almost zero wind, and no penitentes. If my memory works, it was around early August. I wish we took time to explore ice caves, which I didn't know before existed, maybe another time. Check weather, wind, and assuming you have no issues with altitude it should be lots of fun. And be ready to see surprising faces of climbers coming up in the morning, it must be not very common to see a tent there (personally, I haven't seen one in my seven climbs). Maybe you can host them with hot tea or something :-)

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With the New Year upon us, and the bulk of the Holiday business behind, I am looking forward to a new year of outdoor fun and adventure! That will hopefully start once the worst of the winter icebox breaks! Today reached a brisk -2, and tonight's low is forecast -20 to -25, and has been unseasonable cold for weeks. In the mean time, it is P90X for me! :eek:

 

I am planning on flying out to be ready to climb Mount Rainier on Monday August 25th. The rest of my vacationing family will fly out Friday August 29th, so I will have 4 1/2 days to fit in the climb and explore the area.

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Anyone interested in getting in on the planning phase of this climb, send me a PM (personal message) with your E-mail address please.

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