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Anyone camped on the summit?

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Hi All -- Planning a summit attempt in June for fourth time up Rainier. Would like to hit Fuhrer Finger depending on how it shapes up. One idea we had was to camp on the summit (of course conditions permitting).

 

Can't find much beta from others that have done this outside of emergency situations. Is it recommended? Any advice anyone can share?

 

My concerns are:

-Where on the summit to build a camp (in the crater, on the rim, etc...).

-Do Rangers take issue with camping there.

-Is it worthwhile - the summit always seemed very... barren. Curious what folks that have done this might think makes it worth the exposure and hauling extra gear up top.

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Sure, lots of people have slept up there.

 

It will depend on conditions, and more so on the expected conditions, eg so ... you REALLY want to choose to try to figure out how to bail from the summit in zero visibility in the middle of the night when something rolls in?

 

It is typically cold and windy on Rainier summit even during the day. (Not that there aren't days where the air is still, too.)

 

Personally, I'd much rather be down the mountain a fair bit, to increase my chances of non-epic.

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I bivied in the crater, on dry ground with ice overhead. I don't recall any wind, just some wisps of condensed vapor drifting up from the ground. Seemed to be a peaceful place to sleep.

 

My partner and I didn't have any hassle from a park ranger, but this was back in the 70s.

 

I do recall a beautiful sunrise the next morning.

 

The reason for camping there was to avoid the crowds. It certainly wasn't crowded up there...

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It would be cool to find the steam caves and caverns, especially the one with the plane that melted down inside one that crashed in about 1990.

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A group of 6 of us ended up camping in the crater about 2 years ago. All of the camping permits on the mountain were reserved except for low on the Muir snowfield or the summit (which is an approved camp location). The forecast was very good and we were feeling strong once we got to Muir, so we told the Rangers and decided to go for it.

 

We just picked the flattest spot we could find in the middle of the crater. We only had two 3-season tents and 2 bivys since we hadn't planned to camp there. It was a very cold night but the stars were amazing.

 

I would do it again with the right forecast but this time I would bring white gas instead of a canister stove. The MSR Reactor took a really long time to get water to boil up there. Also, more layers and a warmer sleeping pad would have made things a bit more comfortable.

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I lead a climb up Mount Rainier this past August, with a planned 1 night on (near) the summit. Was a great climb, but not enough time to explore the summit area, as we needed to finish on the 4th day, rather then the 5th as previously planned. We camped in the East summit crater, and expanded an existing tent pad, digging it deeper and adding a wall on the windy side. Yes, camping is allowed on the summit! watching the sunset from the top was great, and well worth the wind. Could see all of the Olympics, Puget sount and the islands, all the way to Canada and well into Oregon. Planning a second climb this June, starting either the 15th or 17th, with the hopes to have 2 nights on/near the summit. That would allow getting to the summit late, plenty of time to explore the summit craters, all 3 summit peaks, ice caves, crater rim, sunset and sunrise etc. Also allow for an early start on descent day. Likely plan for 2 days to climb, 2 nights on the summit, one day descent PLUS one extra day for either slower climb, slower descent, or weather issues. Also, with carrying gear to the summit, there is the added safety of being able to bivouac anytime high on the mountain. You can look up the trip report on CC, as well as the discussion about this unusual trip. Anyone interested can PM me of look for my post on 'climbing partners"

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