Last weekend (Aug 6-7, 2011), I summited Mt. Rainier through the Emmons glacier. We had the best weather I have seen on the mountain so far, the views as usual were stunning and the company (Melissa, Jim & Heidi) was joyous!  What better way to spend a weekend, yeah? But wait there is more … I was climbing to support the cause of Asha for Education and fund-raise! In addition to our rope team three more Asha team rope teams summited Rainier! Kudos to all the climbers and the cause!

A little bit about the climb..

We started about 4am on Saturday from Seattle. After getting our permits we got to the White pass trail head around 8am. The glacier basin trail has been remarkably improved, thanks to all the trail volunteers. It felt like a highway! We chomped a wrap and called it lunch around 11am just before we started ascending the inter glacier. We got to Camp Schurman after an itchy scramble around 2pm.

Thanks to the rangers we had a shovel available in the snow-cave to fetch some good snow to start the long process of melting liters of water to be consumed! Given the heavy snow conditions this year there was no running water around. After a hot mountain meal and some hot chocolate we headed to bed around 7pm with the pact to do a summit push around mid-night.

Random assortment of tents at Camp Schurman

    Camping at Camp Schurman

When we woke up around mid-night turned out almost everyone else was also awake. The wide open crevasses and some anticipated jumps had everyone pushing for an early summit attempt. With my relatively dim lamp and Jim leading the rope we were off to the cracks by 12:30am. After long hauls, rest stepping, some crevasse jumps, an amazing sunrise we summit around 8am! The weather was just perfect. Low winds, balmy weather, hot chocolate and wine were order of the day on the summit! Following are some pictures from our lovely ordeal!

Sun breaks over the horizon! SUMMIT!!!Vaibhav bumps in to some friends on the summit.

       Lovely Sunrise                         Rope team on Summit!                                   Pic with our Asha Team

After spending an hour on the summit we had the more treacherous part of the climb – the descent! Suffice to say, we were not looking forward to the descent, we had jumped some funk stuff which with sun on the head would be quite interesting to maneuver. Thanks to Jim belay and Melissa’s singing we did make it safe to the base camp around 2pm.

Jim carefully leading the way down  There was one crevasse we crossed where we placed pickets. CIMG9127

Yes, we did jump some crevasses                           Picket Time!                                          Up, close!

Jim belays us as we leap down and over the largest crevasse.

Happy to be out of the crevasse zone!

After getting to the camp we took a short nap and started out way down from camp Schurman to the white river trail head around 4:30pm. The Asha team just has started their way down as well. The part from Camp Schurman to inter-glacier with some tricky scrambling and wide exposure was a bit nerve wrecking but once we were on the inter-glacier it was one long nice glissade down to the Glacier basin!!! After rather a long walk and lots of “are we there yet!” we got to the cars around 9pm!

A tiny break…

Earlier this year I wrote a series of pic and poem posts, this climb inspired the one below -

Jim carefully leading the way downgqegqegqSong for his post is of course – Don’t stop believing.

“Beauty is abound in the beast

Grandeur and godliness make a feast

The terror is tamed with a team

Might seem a lofty goal with a pulse weak

A step at a time makes it real

And a cause to support makes it surreal!”

A little bit about the cause…

I have been volunteering for Asha for Education, Seattle chapter for a few years now! This organization is ranked among top 10 charities in “International/Development and Relief Services” by Charity Navigator. I believe in the cause of education, and through an organization like Asha I was able to help a school for hearing impaired (Mayaboli) raise money for land near my home town in India. If you believe in the cause as well please considering supporting the climb with the any form of donation!

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