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[TR] Mt. Rainier - Kautz Glacier 7/3/2014

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Trip: Mt. Rainier - Kautz Glacier


Date: 7/3/2014


Trip Report:

On the 2nd of July my climbing partner and I decided to leave Spokane and head to Rainier for a little fun. We arrived in the park on Wednesday night and after a nice nap woke up to give the Kautz Glacier route a go on the 3rd of July


The day started off in a cloud and we made great time up to Glacier Vista where we dropped down on to the Nisqually. Crossing the Nisqually was pretty straight forward and we decided to use the Fan as our point of access to the Wilson glacier. Above the Fan the snow was sand like and steep. I had to kick in deep steps on the traverse from fan to the Wilson. We made our first camp at 8,100 feet with some cool guys from Colorado and headed to bed early after brewing some water in preparation for a long summit day and carry over.


At about 1:30 the alarm went off and we were off at 2:30. We dropped into the Kautz chute at around 5:30 AM right after some ice fall littered the chute. The Kautz glacier itself was a little spicey. Ice fall from the Kautz ice cliff was falling onto the line to the right so I elected to head up the middle. There were sporadic v threads on various columns from the ice and a 1 inch crust of wind slab along the whole glacier. Under the crust was another 1 inch of sand like snow followed by the bullet proof ice. Despite this the climbing was straight forward and fun.


The top of the route traversed east toward the Ingraham before traversing all the way back toward the Kautz glacier to avoid opening crevasses. The long traverse as well as a long break caused us to hit the summit a little late at around 11 AM. Despite this we descended the DC and were back down at Camp Muir by 1:30 PM and back at the car at 4. A long second day, but a lot of fun for a 4th of July summit.



Morning Fog



The Fan



Steep snow above the fan



High Camp



1st ice pitch on the Kautz



View of Adams from high camp



Upper Kautz




But, first let me take a selfie




Gear Notes:

3 Ice screws for simul climbing / protecting the Kautz

One 30 meter rope

Standard Glacier Rack

One technical hammer and one straight shafted ice axe.


Approach Notes:

Standard approach from Paradise, descended the DC

Edited by Danager

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