Jump to content
  • Announcements

    • olyclimber

      WELCOME TO THE CASCADECLIMBERS.COM FORUMS   02/03/18

      We have upgraded to new forum software as of late last year, and it makes everything here so much better!  It is now much easier to do pretty much anything, including write Trip Reports, sell gear, schedule climbing related events, and more. There is a new reputation system that allows for positive contributors to be recognized,  it is possible to tag content with identifiers, drag and drop in images, and it is much easier to embed multimedia content from Youtube, Vimeo, and more.  In all, the site is much more user friendly, bug free, and feature rich!   Whether you're a new user or a grizzled cascadeclimbers.com veteran, we think you'll love the new forums. Enjoy!
Sign in to follow this  
Autoxfil

Rainier Alternatives for this weekend

Recommended Posts

My brother-in-law and I have a pretty short window in Seattle - Saturday afternoon, and all day Sunday and Monday. Rainier is the goal, via Fuhrer, Kautz, or maybe DC/Emmons. But, if weather makes that a bad choice, I am going to have some backup plans.

 

The general thought would be that we might not get 2+ days of clear weather to do Ranier, but we are pretty fast on moderate terrain, and could do many other objectives in one day, which hopefully weather will allow. We are OK with a little harder climbing than the Rainier routes - ice up to AI3 and rock up to 5.5 are super-comfy for us, and we can move fast. But, the goal is a really cool, aesthetic summit, more than climbing difficulty.

 

Mostly Type I fun desired. No terrifying choss or sketchy descents, please (aka, not Forbidden Peak). This is a climbing vacation, not a vision quest. :-)

 

Shuksan - Fisher or Sulphide?

Adams - Mazama direct (headwall)

Hood - Wy'East

 

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

If the weather is bad on Rainier, the best bet is to head east young man. I recommend Mt. Stuart via the Stuart Glacier Couloir, if it is still in good nick, might not be, a little late in the season. If not in, Ice Cliff Glacier or Sherpa Glacier as back up plans are totally worthy. Take a good hard look at Ice Cliff Glacier before committing and make certain there are no wall to wall crevasses or moats that will stymie you.

 

If the weather up north is good, Shuksan is as cool and aesthetic as it gets, however, if you think Forbidden Peak has terrifying choss and/or a sketch descent, you should avoid the Fisher Chimneys route and opt for the Sulphide Glacier. Or, North Ridge or Coleman Headwall on Baker would fit the bill - sporting climbing on a big, glaciated peaks with unrivaled views.

 

Weather can be better down south as well. Nothing strikes me as being aesthetic on the south side of Adams unless you are on skis. Something on the North side of Hood would be worthy, the Sunshine or Elliot Glacier routes are probably in condition.

Edited by DPS

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Thank you man, that is excellent. I will start collecting the appropriate maps and guidebook pages for those routes.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

If you would like something a bit mellower than Stuart, I would recommend a hike up Wolf Creek and a scramble of the Gardners. Very lonely back in there and beautiful.

 

Also, Silverstar is a nice summit that can be done in marginal weather. That one is a bit more of a climb than the Gardners, but still mellow to an aesthetic summit.

 

You might want to look into Black Peak as well (although a scramble as well). The NE ridge is a good climb but might be more than you want.

 

Lots of good east side options if the forecast keeps trending the way it is.....

Edited by JasonG

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
If you would like something a bit mellower than Stuart (and without permits),

 

I did not realize they required permits for the Stuart. Has the permit zone changed or have I been illegally camping for the last 25 years.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

No, sorry Dan, you're right. I blame my over the hill brain. Given the number of times I've been to the north side of Stuart (last year even!) you'd think I could get it right.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
Given the number of times I've been to the north side of Stuart (last year even!) you'd think I could get it right.

Once with me! Over the years it all kind of blends together, only a few climbs stand out and everything feels like 5.7 or WI3.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

I did my own research to be sure:

 

The permit zone boundary excludes climber bivouac sites immediately below Mount Stuart, Sherpa Peak, and Argonaut Peak, such as those near Goat Pass, where a permit is therefore not needed to camp.

 

http://www.recreation.gov/permits//r/entranceDetails.do?arvdate=07/23/2016&contractCode=NRSO&parkId=72280&entranceId=306659

 

Stuart looks awesome, and the weather promises to be stable over there. I'm making one of those Glacier routes plan B.

 

Thanks again, all.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

One thing to take into account with Rainier is that the weather is often crap only low down. More than once I have left Paradise in a piss storm and walk out of it once I reached Camp Muir.

 

Of course then there are the times we have started out in descent weather and woken up to a full on piss storm where we could not see 50 feet.

 

As such, for either it pays to know where you are heading ... as more than one person has managed to walk off the edge and take a long tumble.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

It looks like cold weather, which should be good for Stuart.

 

As far as deciding if Rainier is a go... I am keeping an eye on these links, and will make the final decision on Saturday when we arrive in Seattle. Are there any other good resources to watch?

 

http://www.atmos.washington.edu/data/rainier_report.html

 

http://www.mountain-forecast.com/peaks/Mount-Rainier/forecasts/4392

 

http://mountrainierconditions.blogspot.com/

 

https://www.nwac.us/

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Your first link is probably the best. It'd be an easy decision for me with that forecast- no go. Unless the forecast changes dramatically, I think you should plan for other objectives.

 

I always like to read the NWS forecast discussion, here is the long term section:

 

.LONG TERM...

Models continue to show a cooler and showery period for

the extended forecast period. A large closed low off the WA coast

Friday shifts east across the area on Saturday. Still some

differences with the precise track but overall models show quite a bit of showers over the area on Saturday...especially in the

Cascades. This system exits and is replaced by a brief flat ridge

on Sunday which should allow for drier conditions. The GEM is the

odd model out...with the low slower to move out with showers

persisting into Sunday. For now the faster GFS/ECMWF model

solutions are preferred. Another system enters as early as Sunday

night and lingers through next week. Models differ with the

details this far out with the strength and timing of the initial

front Sunday night into Monday. Thus chance POP`s still look on

track for early next week. /JW

 

http://forecast.weather.gov/product.php?site=SEW&issuedby=SEW&product=AFD&format=CI&version=1&glossary=1

 

You might also want to play around here if you are a weather geek like me: http://www.atmos.washington.edu/wrfrt/data/timeindep/gfsinit.d3.6hr.html

 

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Yeah, it's not looking good. We can decide Saturday when things firm up, since it's really just warmer boots that are needed on top of our lower-altitude gear.

 

Up north looks like total crap, so no Shuksan.

 

Stuart looks great, weather is probably going to be OK. I think I have all the beta I need there.

 

Hood's weather looks like it might be good. Eliot/Sunshine look pretty chill. NF looks like more fun.

 

I am kind of assuming that the bivy and general alpine feel on Stuart is cooler than Hood. True? I've done Adams by hiking up the S. Side, and it was kinda lame, even as my first real climbing experience (6 years ago).

 

Thanks

-Phil

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Oh, also... where should we stop for stove fuel, maps, and NW Forest passes en route to Stuart or Hood?

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

I personally like Stuart more than any Volcano, especially this time of year.

 

I'm not sure if anyone carries much in the way of 7.5' maps anymore. I would highly recommend Gaia or Avenza pdf apps for your mapping needs, depending on how much you want to spend or not. NW forest passes can be bought at a range of gear stores and ranger stations en route (REI in Seattle for sure), same with fuel.

 

 

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
Oh, also... where should we stop for stove fuel, maps, and NW Forest passes en route to Stuart or Hood?

 

I rarely recommend REI for anything, however, that is where I buy my NW Forest pass, stove fuel, and maps. (And sunblock).

 

There is one in Seattle, one in Issaquah (off of I-90) and Portland.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
Oh, also... where should we stop for stove fuel, maps, and NW Forest passes en route to Stuart or Hood?

 

Depends on where you are starting from. When we fly in we stop at the REI in Tukwila. It is a couple miles from SeaTac. Easy on and off I5.

 

If going to Hood the REIs in the Portland area will be way out of your way.

 

BTW Do note that the Cloud Cap Road on the north side Hood will most likely not be open yet. So plan for some extra walking.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Thanks for all the help! We ended up getting a brief weather window and dashed up the DC. We hiked to Muir late yesterday in fog and sleet, and awoke to the forecasted bluebird conditons.

 

I'm pumped about Stuart, though. Next time.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Excellent timing! I was wondering if you stuck to the original plan, it all looked like it was coming together after all. Post up a TR if you have the time.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Create an account or sign in to comment

You need to be a member in order to leave a comment

Create an account

Sign up for a new account in our community. It's easy!

Register a new account

Sign in

Already have an account? Sign in here.

Sign In Now

Sign in to follow this  

×