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[TR] Mount Rainier - Liberty Ridge 6/9/2015

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Trip: Mount Rainier - Liberty Ridge


Date: 6/9/2015


Trip Report:

June 9 and 10 Mike Rynkiewicz and I (Daniel Coltrane) climbed Liberty Ridge. With a solid weather window and slightly decreasing temperatures we found good conditions on the ridge with slightly soft snow and small sections of exposed glacial ice in the upper portions of the route. A good boot pack was in place so we were able to follow previous parties for the majority of the route. The route currently stays close to the ridge the whole way skirting the upper ice face on climbers right. Short sections of low angle ice were encountered just above the black pyramid and just below Liberty Cap. Plenty of rock is exposed on the lower ridge and the carbon glacier is close to separating from the ridge at the current access point low on the ridge. Our initial plan was to climb to Thumb Rock the first day, but with the site currently in horrible condition, due to avalanche debris and continuous rockfall, and no visible bivy sites I am glad we elected to camp at Curtis Ridge and climb Liberty Ridge in one push. It made for a big day, but upon arriving at Thumb rock and having two rocks roll through in the 10 minutes we were there I was happy about the decision.




Mike enjoying a little shade at the Curtis ridge Camp



The ridge.



Early morning crevasse crossing on the Carbon.




Sunrise on Thumb rock.



Thumb rock campsite remnants. If you want to bivy here expect to put in some work making a descent site. The ranger said previous parties had built walls around there sites. I saw no evidence of anybody doing any development so it must have been obliterated since. :noway:



Mike sending the last bit of the ice face above the black pyramid. We took the shortest route through the exposed ice but still found thin snow over underlying glacial ice.



Getting ready to send the last technical section to gain Liberty Cap. From here we slogged it out to the summit since Mike had never been. Not coming back here for a while, of course this will not be the first time I have said that.



Sunset on Rainier from Paradise.


Gear Notes:

5 screws and 2 pickets


Approach Notes:

Accessed the ridge from the west side. Glacier crossings were in good shape.

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Solid work!


Given all the melting and evidence of rockfall, the route looks about as craggy as the lady I just saw at the convenience store buying four 16 ounce cans of Steel Reserve and a pack of Eagle 120s.


And I say that not to diminish your achievement at all: only to reinforce that it's pretty rad! :tup:

Edited by astrov

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Nice work! A buddy and I climbed Liberty Ridge on 6/3-6/5 and we camped at Thumb Rock. Freezing levels were low (~6,500 ft) during the two days prior to our climb, but we observed very little rock fall from the feature above Thumb Rock and felt safe camping there. Constructing a tent platform took some effort given all the debris but we managed to make a pretty good site fairly close to Thumb Rock on the east side. Perhaps it has since been taken out by more slides (freezing levels climbed to ~15,000 feet the day after our climb).

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