This weekend myself, Rob and Sumeet tried an attempt up Mt. Rainier (14410 ft!). Now Rob is an experienced climber, I’m relatively newb and Sumeet just learnt to do ice axe arrest last week :). Anyways, we thought that Kautz route would be do-able since the conditions were awesome!
Pic 1. Geared up to 40+ pounds :).
We got there bright and early on Saturday and got a permit for Kautz route!
Pic 2. Permit = good to climb Rainier for a year!
We started from the parking lot at about 9am.
Pic 3. Rob geared up!
Our plan for Kautz was to drop in to Nisqually glacier then go up the Wilson and camp near camp Hazard (11,500 ft). To give an idea there were about 200 people on the standard DC route and 10 on Kautz. Two parties of 5 and 2, just ahead of us. :).
Turns out that we over simplified the terrain and got carried away with good weather :). As soon as we dropped in to Nisqually glacier from a steep slope we realized that we weren’t prepared for the steepness ahead of us. As I plunged stepped down cautiously, Sumeet behind me took a tumble and got to practice his newly learnt ice axe arrest technique. I’m still amazed how fearless he is and always ready to go new and exciting stuff, while I’m a bit on the timid side :).
We regrouped on the glacier and decided that we will do Kautz some other day and may try and scoot over to Camp Muir and see if we can make our way through the standard DC route. It was already about 11am so kind of late to go try Emmons.
We hauled our selves up to Camp Muir and got there around 3pm. Our goal was to try and get to Ingraham flats and camp there so that we can get start ahead of the crowds. Turns out a ranger was meticulously taking a toll, we explained him our story and requested if we can scoot on this route instead of Kautz. He was really helpful and told us that higher camp is difficult but he will try and find a place for us at Camp Muir. Well 15 minutes later he told us that there are simply just too many people on the route and they had to turn some people back from the ranger stations. With over 200 people on the route it was best of us to come and try some other day :(. We didn’t push too hard, and decided to cook our meals at Camp Muir and head down.
It was perfect T-Shirt weather, I could even take off my shirt! We cooked some pineapple curry, chana Masala and had a party! We even offered some of our awesome food to few colleagues we ran in to at Camp Muir!!
Overall it was awesome weather great time, may be we get to use our climbing passes soon :)!