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[TR] Mt. Rainier - Ingraham Direct 1/26/2014


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Trip: Mt. Rainier - Ingraham Direct


Date: 1/26/2014


Trip Report:

I have not seen a good weather window like this in Washington for a long time. Especially one that lined up with a weekend. After some short discussions with my climbing cohorts it was decided that it was too hard to pass up such a good window for a high alpine assault in the winter. We settled on Rainier and thought that Gib ledges would be the way to go.

After arriving at Paradise and getting a good look at the ledges we weren't so sure that it would be the best route. Having heard on here that Ingraham Direct (ID) was in and Gib ledges looking thin the discussion of route choice lasted right up until we went to bed. In the end we settled on following our most likely descent route and headed up the ID.



Crew ready to go at the parking lot. Me, Christian, Andy, and Bryan from left to right.


Saying that it was crowded at the parking lot would be an understatement.

I guess I am not the only one who noticed the good weather report. Begin excessive use of Emoitcons NOW!




The Mountain looks good from this perspective. :cool:



Slogging it out. Hard to say what was worse, the hike to Muir or the climb to the summit. :cry:






The masses moving along like ants, just another ant. :noway:



Endless great views to the south of Mt. Adams



Panorama of the Mountain.



The Nisqually Glacier was making a raucous all day with the largest seracs falling off around 2:30 PM. I was lucky enough to get a few pictures of the snowy cloud it produced.



We took a good amount of breaks on the way up and arrived at camp at about 3:30 or so. Set up in what I thought was the best camp site in the whole place. A nice flat spot built up right in the middle of the saddle. Turns out that the NPS or guides or whoever built it didn't make those rock retaining walls so I could have a sweet camp site off the snow. Something about helicopters and shitters or something.

I wasn't really listening.




Hanging out melting water at camp.



Sunset over the guide shack.



I said excessive great views of Mt. Adams. Now enjoy them!




Our tents are the higher tents looming over everyone below on the snow. I hate sleeping on snow. :provoke:



Milky way extending over Rainier, with a little bit of photoshoping.


We left camp at about 4:00 AM after deciding that laying around for a little longer would be beneficial for some reason unknown. Something about not really wanting to get up and slog up a giant hill. :yawn:



Taking a break just above Ingraham flats. We went straight up from Ingraham flats and split a couple of big blocks to access the glacier. Some other teams headed up closer to Disappointment Cleaver.



View through Cadaver Gap.



Stuart Range.



The sunrise views were amazing peaking out over a sea of clods settled in the valleys below.



The cloud layer seemed to stretch endlessly to the south.





Another break around 11,500 when the Ingraham starts to flatten out. :tired:

From here we headed up and left toward Gibraltar rock and connected with the Gib ledges route just above Camp Comfort.



Top of Gibraltar rock. You can just barely make out an old trail coming up the steep snow. There was a ladder sitting at the bottom tied to some rock.



We were blessed with amazing clouds all day that drifted across the sky. But the wind actually seemed to get lighter as we got closer to the summit. :)


obligatory Summit shot with St. Helens in the background. :pagetop:


Nice Panorama to the North from the Summit. I imagine many of you can see were you were climbing in this photo. :wave:


Heading down to the Car after a long day on the Mountain.


We got back to the car at around 6:00 PM and were greeted by the sight of a helicopter in the parking lot and four NPS law enforcement officers approaching us. The asked why we were late as I tried to start my car only to find my battery had died while we were gone. After apologizing profusely for arriving after 5 PM, which is the current gate closing time the officers were nice enough to jump my car and radio down to have the gate unlocked for us. I am pretty sure they wanted to get us out of there for the impending helicopter launch to extract a woman who had broken her ankle hiking in the park, which is understandable because some of the trail was so icy we could hardly stand; I was wishing I had my micro-spikes.

Long story short we benefited from the woman's injury which is crummy but true. :blush:


Next Time I'll make sure my group leader remembers the GPS so we don't get lost coming down from camp Muir. :whistle:


Oh yeah and if you climbed anything this weekend it wasn't really a winter ascent. It was cheating, and cheating can feel SOOOO GOOOOOD. :hcluv:


Gear Notes:

Perseverance and some climbing stuff


Approach Notes:

Join the huddled masses yearning to be free at Camp Muir

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