Jump to content
  • Announcements

    • olyclimber


      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  

Gib Ledge, Mt. Rainier - 1/26/2014

Recommended Posts

Climbwa and I decided to take advantage of what turned out to be a stellar weather window. We left on Friday late morning, and started up from Paradise around 3 pm, enjoying a beautiful sunset and the clearest night sky I have experienced. I left my headlamp off through most of the walk, and let my eyes dark-adapt, which revealed a mist of stars I'd never seen in all my wanderings.


We arrived at Camp Muir around 7, and after a couple of hours boiling water and resting, slept in the hut. We awoke and left Muir around 4:45, and followed the boot path to the ledges. Along the way we past two other teams already descending, one saying the Ledges were completely dry. We decided to continue anyways, and continued following the establish boot path to what we thought were the ledges, which we found to be dry and very sketchy. Dismayed, we sat to watch the sun rise for an hour or so (which was beautiful and well worth the pause), then realized that we were not in the right spot. We checked around the corner, and there they were. Definitely a lesson in keeping your eyes open, and don't let beta or a boot pack blind you.


We found the ledges to be in excellent shape, and while there were dry sections, they were not problematic. The chute was in good shape, and I found it easy enough with a single axe by traversing left then heading up. We met up with a team of skiers at the top of the chute. Here we rested for a half hour, soaking in the view and the spectacle of a January day on Rainier without wind, and warm enough to feel like July. As we continued up, we ended up stripping down to t-shirts, and genuinely wished for a breeze. As one of the skiers said (paraphrasing), it may be a winter ascent, but it sure feels like cheating.


The upper slopes were firm and made for great cramponing. Despite the 1.5 hours of lolly-gagging, we made it to the summit crater less than 7 hours from leaving Muir. We enjoyed the view, chatted with the skiers, took some photos, and again wondered at the lack of wind. I can't stress enough how amazing it was to be on Rainier in January with no wind, warm temperatures, and firm snow. Felt like cheating. We spent a little more than an hour in the summit crater, and I finally got to see one of the steam caves.


We descended the Ingraham Direct, which wasn't terribly direct but was in fine shape. A boot path guides the way through, and after all the folks on the mountain we saw today, will remain at least until the next snow arrives.


We stayed at Muir that night, and this morning skied to Paradise. The conditions were not terrible on the Muir Snowfield, though crappy for a mediocre skier like me, but we found some good corn snow in the bowls to the east of Panorama Point (which would be even better by afternoon I’m sure). A great way to end what is probably the best trip I've had to Rainier to date. Big thanks to Climbwa for a hell of a trip.


I can't seem to get the photos to work, so here they are on Picasa:



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