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[TR] Mt. Rainier - Gibraltar Ledges / Ingraham Direct 12/14/2014

Alex Leone

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Trip: Mt. Rainier - Gibraltar Ledges / Ingraham Direct


Date: 12/14/2014


Trip Report:

Summary: After a festive Saturday night at Muir, Aaron and I made it up Rainier Sunday the 14th during a beautiful December weather window. We went up the Gib Ledges and down the Ingraham Direct.


Conditions Report: Gib Ledges are in excellent shape as of 12/14:

  • The Cowlitz from Muir to the entrance of the ledges is a mix of 6 inch deep powder and hard snow, with one or two crevasses to pull over.
  • The ledges are fully snow covered and very straightforward.
  • The exit chute is hard snow, no ice.
  • The upper mountain is hard wind-textured snow and very direct from the top of Gib Rock to the crater rim, with one crevasse to pull over.
  • The upper Ingraham bowl is heavy/deep powder with one large crevasse that we jumped on the way down. It could be end-run but that wouldn't be as much fun.
  • The lower Ingraham to the flats is a little broken up, but only required one snowbridge crossing.
  • Cathedral Gap down to the Cowlitz is full of ice flowers which tinkle nicely down the slope when dislodged.




Ledges are fully snow covered. In contrast to last January.



Skinning up to Muir Saturday evening.



The real goal of this trip was to bring Christmas lights up to Muir.



Christmas lights, caroling, hot cocoa and fireball.


We opted to leave the skis at Muir. In hindsight, a good decision since the upper mountain, the lower Ingraham, and Cathedral gap would not have been enjoyable skiing.


We left Muir about 4:30am, hit the crater rim around 11:00am, and were back at Muir about 2:15pm. We packed up at Muir, skied down what was now the Muir icefield, and drove back to Longmire a few minutes before they closed the gate.



Sunrise on the ledges.



Nearing the exit chute.



Top of Gib Rock.



Crater Rim. No wind!!



Crevasse that we jumped on the upper Ingraham.



Our route through the lower Ingraham back to the flats. The flats to Cathedral Gap was a straight shot.


Full Album


gpx track on gmap4


gpx track download


Gear Notes:

  • We each had a whippet and axe.
  • Pickets, Ice Screws, Ice Tools unused.
  • Down jacket didn't come out of the pack. Forecast said 9F and 5mph winds, seemed about right.
  • As evidenced by my peeling lips today, not enough lip balm.



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"Crater rim no wind" NO WAY! Twice I've been up there and always near get blown right off it...


Been up the ledges once and found it really fun in similar conditions. Looks good right now for sure.


Thanks for posting. Brought back good memories.



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Winter ascent is a fantastic experience, congrats.

Mike, snowshoes totally possible, I did last winter going up and down Muir on snowshoes, the only problem... you have to run down to get before closing the gate at 5pm, or move early in the morning. No good to be expose to gate restrictions, but are the rules.

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