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The Climbing Club • View topic - Mt Rainier

The Climbing Club

at the University of Washington
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 Post subject: Mt Rainier
PostPosted: Thu May 14, 2009 9:15 am 
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UW Climber

Joined: Wed May 06, 2009 11:11 am
Posts: 2
Hello everyone,
Me and 2 of my friends are heading for Camp Muir tomorrow and if weather clears off, we'll go for the summit through Igrahams direct on Saturday or Sunday. We are not locals and we know about the mountain just from descriptions, maps and reports. We all have at least basic mountaineering experience and equipment, but tips from local people are very helpful. Has anyone climbed the mountain in this season? How about the avalanches, are any places to be aware off? I couldnt find any useful information. What time to you take off for the summit? I read about people leaving at 12, but that sounds way too early for 4000 ft of not technical glacier climb. What do you think?
All comments are welcome!


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 Post subject: Re: Mt Rainier
PostPosted: Thu May 14, 2009 9:34 am 
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UW Climber
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Joined: Wed Oct 04, 2006 5:43 pm
Posts: 494
Location: Seattle
I believe Rainier got dumped on this past week, ending about today. And now freezing levels are forecasted to increase by 9000' approaching the weekend. The avalanche thing might be dicey.

The Muir snowfield isn't so bad, just be cautious around panorama point. The upper mountain is mostly the right angle for good slides, from about 11,500' and up. I myself wouldn't feel comfortable being on those slopes at dawn with the current forecast.

Typically you'd take off for the summit at about 1 or 2 am, but it sounds like you haven't done it before, so I'd leave some more time, leaving at 11 pm. I wouldn't underestimate Rainier, slogging in unconsolidated snow at elevation is hard, and should take you 6 hours in great shape, longer if not.

Rainier forecast:
http://www.atmos.washington.edu/data/ra ... eport.html

Avalanche info:
http://nsidc.org/snow/avalanche/


Last edited by Jonathan Toner on Thu May 14, 2009 9:45 am, edited 1 time in total.

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 Post subject: Re: Mt Rainier
PostPosted: Thu May 14, 2009 9:43 am 
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experienced hiker of the climbing club
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Joined: Wed Dec 04, 2002 6:39 pm
Posts: 1945
Location: Bashing Brush
The overnight freezing levels for this weekend will only be coming down to 11,000 or 12,000 feet, so I think avalanche and rock fall activity will be a serious concern this weekend.


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 Post subject: Re: Mt Rainier
PostPosted: Thu May 14, 2009 1:02 pm 
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UW Climber
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Joined: Thu Aug 21, 2008 9:13 pm
Posts: 107
Location: hopefully outside
The fact that it will be a slog-fest would be enough of a deterrent to me... Assess avalanche conditions as you go and definitely leave earlier than you think. When Jon and I climbed it on hard-packed styrofoam snow this January, we left camp at 3 and summited around 11, began descending at 12:30, and were back at Muir at 2:30. We took a few breaks on the way up, and practically ran down. We were both in good shape, had excellent snow (no post-holing or snowshoes) and we did OK with altitude. Jon had done Rainier 5 times and it was my first time (although I've climbed many other Cascade peaks). It is slow going above 10,000 feet. It humbled me.

The avalanche danger is high, so you will need to consult the climbing rangers and be very aware. Ingraham direct and Cadaver gap have a lot of interesting possibilities for rockfall and avalanches. There are many other good destinations for this weekend if you want more options and advice.


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 Post subject: Re: Mt Rainier
PostPosted: Thu May 14, 2009 6:19 pm 
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UW Climber

Joined: Wed May 06, 2009 11:11 am
Posts: 2
Thank you for all the comments, it is very helpful. I guess we'll just go to Muir and then see how it looks. If it turns into a endless struggle in a melting snow with rocks falling on the head, we'll just turn around and do little angels in the snow around the camp. Im also guessing that snow conditions will not improve by waiting a week or two and that we wont escape the wet mush by going elsewhere. If you have a more entertaining climb on your mind, feel free to share :),


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 Post subject: Re: Mt Rainier
PostPosted: Fri May 22, 2009 7:03 pm 
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UW Climber

Joined: Mon Jan 08, 2007 6:43 pm
Posts: 49


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