What is the best way for a novice to summit Mt. Rainier?

7:28 p.m. on September 25, 2001 (EDT)
(Guest)

a.k.a. Fred, TheTick

What's the best way for a mountaineering novice to summit Rainier? I would like to do this July of 2002.

I am a flatlander who lives in Iowa. I and a friend have an intense desire to summit Mt. Rainier. He and I have summitted Longs Peak and he has climbed Mt. Whitney. We have zero glaicier experience and very little moutaineering skills. We are both in excellent physical condition (he runs marathons and I am a mountain bike racer) and intend on training hard for the next year.

Because of the expense, we are shying away from a guide service and would like to try and learn what we need to know on our own. Is this smart or is it just asking for trouble? What would be the best (cheapest) way to learn the skills necessary to safely make the climb?

Thanks so much in advance.
Fred Meyer

9:41 p.m. on September 25, 2001 (EDT)
(Guest)

Mountaineering takes practice and skill. Just because you have run a marathon that does not replace skill.For the LOVE OF GOD. IT'S NOT A FRIGGI"N GAME.
You want to climb a mountain yet you want save money(no guide). Is you life worth 400$ a day? Or the search/rescue teams lives?
If you don't want to pay and you don't want to gain the knowledge and skill through time...
STAY THE HELL OF THE MOUNTAIN

 

 


What's the best way for a mountaineering novice to summit Rainier? I would like to do this July of 2002.

Quote:

I am a flatlander who lives in Iowa. I and a friend have an intense desire to summit Mt. Rainier. He and I have summitted Longs Peak and he has climbed Mt. Whitney. We have zero glaicier experience and very little moutaineering skills. We are both in excellent physical condition (he runs marathons and I am a mountain bike racer) and intend on training hard for the next year.

Because of the expense, we are shying away from a guide service and would like to try and learn what we need to know on our own. Is this smart or is it just asking for trouble? What would be the best (cheapest) way to learn the skills necessary to safely make the climb?

Thanks so much in advance.
Fred Meyer

1:06 a.m. on September 26, 2001 (EDT)
(Guest)

I second that...

Here Here!

7:47 a.m. on September 26, 2001 (EDT)
(Guest)

a.k.a. Fred, TheTick
Let me rephrase...

Thanks so much for the advice. I don't think I was clear in my first message about my intent.

My intent is not to just tag the summit and run back down. I have a genuine love for the outdoors, camping and hiking, but no experience with glacial terrain and little experience with mountaineering. I want to expand my knowledge in these areas so that I can enjoy the outdoors even more. My problem is that I don't have a lot of cash to pay for training and I don't live in an area (Iowa) that allows me to gain that experience on my own. I am not opposed to a guide service, but this seems like a fairly expensive option.

Rainier is obviously not a place to learn for novices. I'm looking for some solutions to this dilemma. Do I need to make a couple road trips to Colorado and hook up with someone there? Can I gain experience from reading books; e.g. Freedom of the Hills? Iowa winters are pretty harsh and I'm planning on making many backpacking and camping trips during some of the stormier weekends - is this a good way to prepare?

To sum up: My goal is to be ready to climb Mt. Rainier *safely* in a year. What is the best and least expensive way to do this?

Thanks,
-Fred

10:35 a.m. on September 26, 2001 (EDT)
0 reviewer rep
408 forum posts
One foot in front of the other!

Quote:

Mountaineering takes practice and skill. Just because you have run a marathon that does not replace skill.For the LOVE OF GOD. IT'S NOT A FRIGGI"N GAME.

Actually, I believe its a game climbers play.

Quote:

You want to climb a mountain yet you want save money(no guide). Is you life worth 400$ a day? Or the search/rescue teams lives?

I never climb with a guide. I took a few classes, learned how with experienced mentors, picked up a bunch thru doin' it myself.

I have more respect for folks who get out there and learn how and then "just do it". Hirin' a guide would taint the experience for me. YMMV.

Quote:

If you don't want to pay and you don't want to gain the knowledge and skill through time...
STAY THE HELL OF THE MOUNTAIN

I'm not sure the feller implied that he wanted to short cut the process....

Quote:

Quote:

What's the best way for a mountaineering novice to summit Rainier? I would like to do this July of 2002.
Because of the expense, we are shying away from a guide service and would like to try and learn what we need to know on our own. Is this smart or is it just asking for trouble? What would be the best (cheapest) way to learn the skills necessary to safely make the climb?

Well, you met the "smart" requirement by asking!

Plenty of literature out there which can point you in the right direction. I'd highly recommend a copy of Andy Selters :

"Glacier Travel & Crevasse Rescue : Reading Glaciers, Team Travel, Crevasse Rescue Techniques, Routefinding, Expedition Skills"

This books seems to be one of the better ones for explaining the how to do it with nice simple diagrams.

Another good 'un is:

"Illustrated Guide to Glacier Travel & Crevasse Rescue"
by Andy Tyson, Mike Clelland

So...if it were me, I'd pick up the book (probably available in yer public library) and try to practise the items in it that are doable in the ol' back yard. Learning a few knots, learning belaying and commands, learning how to ascend a rope (I like the texas kick but you should figure out and practise a method that YOU like), rappelling. A climbing gym in yer area would also be helpful for picking up these type of fundamental climbing skills.

Would be helpful to find a closed ski area in the spring for a "shakedown cruise". You can watch Jeff Lowe's video on Alpine ice and then go practise some the basic techniques especially self arrest. Pack on, pack off, upside down, backwards, sideways. Also, team travel and multi fall self arrest. Placement of snow anchors like pickets, burying a pack or stuff sack, ice axe belays (I dislike the boot axe but like to belay off a sling on my axe). Plus, learning how to travel with crampons on (frontpointing, french technique and all the variations in betweeen).

Learning routefinding and how to read a glacier are skills that don't even come easy to seasoned vets. Nice thing about the standard routes on Rainier, there's plenty of traffic to consult on the way. Another nice option, since its a popular gig, you might be able to find a mentor-esque couple of folks to partner up with. I'd highly recommend that. Also, if you live in Iowa, there's probably very experienced folk who belong to the Iowa Mountaineers who might be in your area and perhaps interested in taggin' along.

Other than being in shape and some of the above, all you need is the motivation!

I say, go get it done! Super fun gig and a great experience.

Brian in SLC

10:59 a.m. on September 26, 2001 (EDT)
(Guest)

more stuffage... (slc is my hero)

Quote:

My intent is not to just tag the summit and run back down. I have a genuine love for the outdoors, camping and hiking, but no experience with glacial terrain and little experience with mountaineering. I want to expand my knowledge in these areas so that I can enjoy the outdoors even more. My problem is that I don't have a lot of cash to pay for training and I don't live in an area (Iowa) that allows me to gain that experience on my own. I am not opposed to a guide service, but this seems like a fairly expensive option.

mr. slc makes some good points. i did some similar things to learn basic mountaineering and glacier skills (i'm still no expert). i did a few courses, have had good mentors, have read a bunch. need to practice more! the courses were useful (my first and still most useful was in new england), but yes, they are expensive. you *might*, as a third option, consider taking a full-blown glacier travel course on another hill altogether. might be more relaxed, less expensive, depending, and you might get more out of it. rainier will always be there. i did a course on mt. baker. there are many other places in the cascades to learn.

having said all of that, i've also been fortunate enough to learn from a few experienced climbers. not everyone has the option. in areas with fewer opportunities to hook up, it's tougher to find folks. but, like slc says, mountaineering associations, etc. are good places. gyms are too. local crags can be too.

Quote:

Rainier is obviously not a place to learn for novices. I'm looking for some solutions to this dilemma. Do I need to make a couple road trips to Colorado and hook up with someone there? Can I gain experience from reading books; e.g. Freedom of the Hills? Iowa winters are pretty harsh and I'm planning on making many backpacking and camping trips during some of the stormier weekends - is this a good way to prepare?

you can learn a heck of a lot about mountaineering by reading and practicing on snow slopes, can build anchors, can practice prussiking most anywhere (trees, gym, etc.). yes, read foth, read the two glacier travel books slc recommended. i really like the tyson/clelland book, btw. either is great, selters' is the classic. but the diagrams and scenarios in the newer book are very good, clear and concise.

i would second slc on glacier navigation. it *can* be tough in limited viz, freaky terrain, etc. and it's pretty serious stuff.

Quote:

To sum up: My goal is to be ready to climb Mt. Rainier *safely* in a year. What is the best and least expensive way to do this?

* best is to find someone experienced to help.
* augment this with reading and practicing on your own.
* if the former two don't work out, no harm in getting some instruction, if you can afford it.

rainier is a great hill. and you strike me from your post as having the right attitude about preparation and safety, so i'm pretty confident you'll get it together before you get there. have fun.

best,
mkg

11:49 a.m. on September 26, 2001 (EDT)
(Guest)

A case study

Quote:

Thanks so much for the advice. I don't think I was clear in my first message about my intent.

My intent is not to just tag the summit and run back down. I have a genuine love for the outdoors, camping and hiking, but no experience with glacial terrain and little experience with mountaineering. I want to expand my knowledge in these areas so that I can enjoy the outdoors even more. My problem is that I don't have a lot of cash to pay for training and I don't live in an area (Iowa) that allows me to gain that experience on my own. I am not opposed to a guide service, but this seems like a fairly expensive option.

Rainier is obviously not a place to learn for novices. I'm looking for some solutions to this dilemma. Do I need to make a couple road trips to Colorado and hook up with someone there? Can I gain experience from reading books; e.g. Freedom of the Hills? Iowa winters are pretty harsh and I'm planning on making many backpacking and camping trips during some of the stormier weekends - is this a good way to prepare?

To sum up: My goal is to be ready to climb Mt. Rainier *safely* in a year. What is the best and least expensive way to do this?

Thanks,
-Fred

My partner and I summited Rainier in 1983, via the Disappointment Cleaver route. We had quite a bit of summer and winter mountaineering experience (never had any formal training) and the weather was quite mild, so the trip seemed pretty tame. However, at Camp Muir, we met a guy from Norway who asked if he could tag along with us. We agreed, since we felt more comfortable with a third person in our party. I have no idea how much experience he had, but our original plan was to rise at midnight and just follow the guides' trail to the summit. The three of us had no problems. I suppose you could try to tag along with another party at the last minute like our Norwegian friend did. One thing you really should to do beforehand is learn how to self-arrest with an ice axe and practice hiking up and down steep snowfields under different types of snow conditions, i.e. frozen and loose corn snow. Actually, you may be able to practice on whatever snowfields there are at lower elevations on Rainier. If you don't feel comfortable, then back off and hire a guide. I don't know what the guides charge or how much equipment they provide, but I suspect that by the time you add all the costs of practice trips to Colorado to learn basic mountaineering and snow travel techniques, you may be able to pay for the guide. In the meantime, Freedom of the Hills is worth reading.

12:34 p.m. on September 26, 2001 (EDT)
(Guest)

a.k.a. Brandon, Brandon Lampley
?Why has NOBODY suggested Rainer is a bad idea for a novice's first year?

Hello,

Climbers die on Rainer every year, novices and experienced climbers. Many novices summit every year, on there own and with guides. Some are lucky, some are not.

The best advice I've ever heard about climbing; if you have to ask how to do it, your not ready, be that speed climbing, big mountains, etc. Yeah, 17 year olds climb El Cap their first year, but you don't find them in the Valley asking how to do it. They pour ridiculous amounts of energy into a year's progression of climbs to get ready.

The best advice I can give you is this. If you just want to summit Rainer, hire a guide, they'll drag you up, and teach you some things on the way. If you want to do it on your own, take some TIME and learn, practice at home this winter, any snowy hill can be a classroom. Then tackle something more manageable in the spring, Shasta, etc. You'll learn how you respond to altitude, you'll find out if you even like mountain climbing, you'll get lots of practice on all angles of snow.

My final question. Why do want to summit Rainer so badly? How do you know? I suspect for all the wrong reasons.

Quote:

What's the best way for a mountaineering novice to summit Rainier? I would like to do this July of 2002.

I am a flatlander who lives in Iowa. I and a friend have an intense desire to summit Mt. Rainier. He and I have summitted Longs Peak and he has climbed Mt. Whitney. We have zero glaicier experience and very little moutaineering skills. We are both in excellent physical condition (he runs marathons and I am a mountain bike racer) and intend on training hard for the next year.

Because of the expense, we are shying away from a guide service and would like to try and learn what we need to know on our own. Is this smart or is it just asking for trouble? What would be the best (cheapest) way to learn the skills necessary to safely make the climb?

Thanks so much in advance.
Fred Meyer

12:49 p.m. on September 26, 2001 (EDT)
(Guest)

a.k.a. Brandon, Brandon Lampley
Re: ?Why has NOBODY suggested Rainer is a bad idea for a novice's first year?

my apologies to pls, I believe stay the hell off the mountain qualifies.

fred, email me if you want real advice, i've been guiding for 6 years.

Quote:

Hello,

Climbers die on Rainer every year, novices and experienced climbers. Many novices summit every year, on there own and with guides. Some are lucky, some are not.

The best advice I've ever heard about climbing; if you have to ask how to do it, your not ready, be that speed climbing, big mountains, etc. Yeah, 17 year olds climb El Cap their first year, but you don't find them in the Valley asking how to do it. They pour ridiculous amounts of energy into a year's progression of climbs to get ready.

The best advice I can give you is this. If you just want to summit Rainer, hire a guide, they'll drag you up, and teach you some things on the way. If you want to do it on your own, take some TIME and learn, practice at home this winter, any snowy hill can be a classroom. Then tackle something more manageable in the spring, Shasta, etc. You'll learn how you respond to altitude, you'll find out if you even like mountain climbing, you'll get lots of practice on all angles of snow.

My final question. Why do want to summit Rainer so badly? How do you know? I suspect for all the wrong reasons.

Quote:

What's the best way for a mountaineering novice to summit Rainier? I would like to do this July of 2002.

I am a flatlander who lives in Iowa. I and a friend have an intense desire to summit Mt. Rainier. He and I have summitted Longs Peak and he has climbed Mt. Whitney. We have zero glaicier experience and very little moutaineering skills. We are both in excellent physical condition (he runs marathons and I am a mountain bike racer) and intend on training hard for the next year.

Because of the expense, we are shying away from a guide service and would like to try and learn what we need to know on our own. Is this smart or is it just asking for trouble? What would be the best (cheapest) way to learn the skills necessary to safely make the climb?

Thanks so much in advance.
Fred Meyer

2:05 p.m. on September 26, 2001 (EDT)
(Guest)

A hot topic indeed. Good advice from all so far as well. Some of the sharp words of advice from some of these guys is just a cautionary note. This is more to ward off people who take the same approach to mountaineering as they would learning to roller blade without realizing that its very serious business. To the avg non climber, there is no difference between getting up Rainier on your own or being herded up by a guide. To some thats the draw, they can spend minimum time and effort and get maximum bragging rights while in reality having no independance to do much simpler climbs on their own. Thats where people get confused when it comes to climbing. In hockey, for instance, if you make it into the NHL your an excellent player, no doubt. In climbing, if you make it up Rainier, Denali or even one of the eight thousanders, your definitely a world class climber, Right? Not necessarily. Thats why this forum is usually supicious about requests like yours. From what I can read from your posts, you are interested in getting the skills and experience too, so now that everyone has cautioned about the dangers, heres my advice.

BOOKS: Mountaineering (freedom of the hills)
Glacier Travel by Andy Selters
Climbing Ice by Yvonne Chouinard (old but good may be found in a library)

Get these books and read them cover to cover many times

Keep up with your winter camping and hiking

Get a map and compass and altimieter( if you can afford it) and practice often, particularily in low visibility conditions, fog, snow storms whatever.

Practice knots, rescue systems and rope work exhaustively trying to mimic real situations the best you can.

Even short hills can be used to practice extensive self arrest, french tequnique, glissading, ropework, snow belays, etc. Even with no ice you can use crampons on these slopes to give you the feel of them and how badly they can ball up with snow.

Become intimite with all of your equipment, its use and maitenance and dont get too concerned about having the latest gizmos, used gear for the most part is fine. (except a few things like rope and harness that for safety reasons you might want to buy new)

Fitness-sounds like you have it covered.

Like the others said, join mountaineering groups. They can help you with many of these things.

Practice every skill you possibly can without actually being on the mountain(even if you think it looks stupid being on a tobagan hill with ice axes, ropes and snow stakes)

Listen to all the advice you got from the other posts (good stuff)

The end result, is that whatever you decide, guided or non guided you wont have to waste time with trying to remember different knots, belays, rescue systems or whatever. You dont live near mtns, so you have to do the best you can.

Good luck, climb safe and let us know how it turns out.

 

 

 

Quote:

What's the best way for a mountaineering novice to summit Rainier? I would like to do this July of 2002.

I am a flatlander who lives in Iowa. I and a friend have an intense desire to summit Mt. Rainier. He and I have summitted Longs Peak and he has climbed Mt. Whitney. We have zero glaicier experience and very little moutaineering skills. We are both in excellent physical condition (he runs marathons and I am a mountain bike racer) and intend on training hard for the next year.

Because of the expense, we are shying away from a guide service and would like to try and learn what we need to know on our own. Is this smart or is it just asking for trouble? What would be the best (cheapest) way to learn the skills necessary to safely make the climb?

Thanks so much in advance.
Fred Meyer

2:34 p.m. on September 26, 2001 (EDT)
(Guest)

Helicopter (nt)

Quote:

What's

2:45 p.m. on September 26, 2001 (EDT)
0 reviewer rep
408 forum posts
'Cause we don't have a conflict of interest like you do...

Quote:

The best advice I've ever heard about climbing; if you have to ask how to do it, your not ready, be that speed climbing, big mountains, etc.

Can't remember where I've heard that...was a Yosemite story, and a good one. But...had to do with soloing a big wall which isn't hardly in the same league as plodding up an easy route on Rainier. IMHO!

>Yeah, 17 year olds climb El Cap their first year, but you don't find them in the Valley asking how to do it. They pour ridiculous amounts of energy into a year's progression of climbs to get ready.

So...they do what instead? Not ask any questions? Yer kiddin'! Think they got their head in the sand and figure it out all on their own? Doubt it!

Soloing a big wall, in the big ditch, is a completely different set of skills and equipment than a mountaineering ascent of a standard route on Rainier. Look at the ascent dates for each. Late 1800's compared to when was the nose first solo'ed, 60's? Barely 40 years ago versus well over a 100. Just ain't the same thing.

Quote:

My final question. Why do want to summit Rainer so badly? How do you know? I suspect for all the wrong reasons.

And, givin' the feller the benifit, I'll bet its for all the RIGHT reasons, whatever they may be.

So, do you guide for all the wrong reasons or all the right ones? Har har...gee, that could be a separate thread in its own right!

Sometimes I think folks who guide put people in two catagories: guide and client. They tend to see all beginners as potential clients and everyone else as "amateurs".

The standard routes on Rainier are easy. What can make it difficult are the judgement calls. Difficult for climbers, and guides too.

You got "REAL" advice, why not have the courage to dispense it here? I'll bet yer "real", is tofu, parkay, or velveeta.

Not tryin' to be unfriendly, but, go ahead, blast away...

Brian in SLC

4:27 p.m. on September 26, 2001 (EDT)
(Guest)

a.k.a. Brandon, Brandon Lampley
Sorry

Sorry, it looks like I've started the kind of quabbling rec.climbing.useful aims to be free of.

Ambitious ascents are often described as bold, when the climbers succeed of course, or misguided, approached with hubris, etc., when accidents happen. Some would argue luck plays a large role, others say you create your own luck. Mountaineers draw own the depth of their experience to create their own luck, and there is no substitute for progressive acquisition of skill and experience.

BTW, for the past few years, I've only 'guided' for free, in addition to volunteer SAR. I have no conflict here. A day of teaching essential skills in the mountains sure beats a day of rescuing folks in the mountains, its my way of giving back.

 


Quote:

Quote:

The best advice I've ever heard about climbing; if you have to ask how to do it, your not ready, be that speed climbing, big mountains, etc.

Can't remember where I've heard that...was a Yosemite story, and a good one. But...had to do with soloing a big wall which isn't hardly in the same league as plodding up an easy route on Rainier. IMHO!

>Yeah, 17 year olds climb El Cap their first year, but you don't find them in the Valley asking how to do it. They pour ridiculous amounts of energy into a year's progression of climbs to get ready.

So...they do what instead? Not ask any questions? Yer kiddin'! Think they got their head in the sand and figure it out all on their own? Doubt it!

Soloing a big wall, in the big ditch, is a completely different set of skills and equipment than a mountaineering ascent of a standard route on Rainier. Look at the ascent dates for each. Late 1800's compared to when was the nose first solo'ed, 60's? Barely 40 years ago versus well over a 100. Just ain't the same thing.

Quote:

My final question. Why do want to summit Rainer so badly? How do you know? I suspect for all the wrong reasons.

And, givin' the feller the benifit, I'll bet its for all the RIGHT reasons, whatever they may be.

So, do you guide for all the wrong reasons or all the right ones? Har har...gee, that could be a separate thread in its own right!

Sometimes I think folks who guide put people in two catagories: guide and client. They tend to see all beginners as potential clients and everyone else as "amateurs".

The standard routes on Rainier are easy. What can make it difficult are the judgement calls. Difficult for climbers, and guides too.

You got "REAL" advice, why not have the courage to dispense it here? I'll bet yer "real", is tofu, parkay, or velveeta.

Not tryin' to be unfriendly, but, go ahead, blast away...

Brian in SLC

4:43 p.m. on September 26, 2001 (EDT)
0 reviewer rep
408 forum posts
Wait, I'm not done with you...

Quote:

Sorry, it looks like I've started the kind of quabbling rec.climbing.useful aims to be free of.

Well, I sorta perpetuated too...ditto the sorry.

Quote:

Ambitious ascents are often described as bold, when the climbers succeed of course, or misguided, approached with hubris, etc., when accidents happen. Some would argue luck plays a large role, others say you create your own luck. Mountaineers draw own the depth of their experience to create their own luck, and there is no substitute for progressive acquisition of skill and experience.

Very true...and a heathy dose of common sense.

Quote:

BTW, for the past few years, I've only 'guided' for free, in addition to volunteer SAR. I have no conflict here. A day of teaching essential skills in the mountains sure beats a day of rescuing folks in the mountains, its my way of giving back.

So...ahhh...this is kinda funny...er...what you doin' this Saturday?

I'm thinkin' the "in CA" puts you kinda middle-ish. I'm flyin' into Santa Barbara 29 Sept at 9:30. Bishop's Peak?

Pinnacles may be a tad too far for me to drive...unless I change my flight to Fresno...

Anyhoo, if'n yer sans partner for Saturday...well, I'd buy the post climbin' malt beverages!

Brian in SLC

4:56 p.m. on September 26, 2001 (EDT)
(Guest)

a.k.a. Brandon, Brandon Lampley
Re: Wait, I'm not done with you...

Hey Brian

I live in San Jose, looks like I have plans for some alpine ice this weekend. Spent my time a couple of weeks ago in the Palisades splinting up broken legs, so I'm itching for the ice. btw, should be a great fall season for alpine ice in ca, just as soon as it gets a bit colder.

Quote:

Quote:

Sorry, it looks like I've started the kind of quabbling rec.climbing.useful aims to be free of.

Well, I sorta perpetuated too...ditto the sorry.

Quote:

Ambitious ascents are often described as bold, when the climbers succeed of course, or misguided, approached with hubris, etc., when accidents happen. Some would argue luck plays a large role, others say you create your own luck. Mountaineers draw own the depth of their experience to create their own luck, and there is no substitute for progressive acquisition of skill and experience.

Very true...and a heathy dose of common sense.

Quote:

BTW, for the past few years, I've only 'guided' for free, in addition to volunteer SAR. I have no conflict here. A day of teaching essential skills in the mountains sure beats a day of rescuing folks in the mountains, its my way of giving back.

So...ahhh...this is kinda funny...er...what you doin' this Saturday?

I'm thinkin' the "in CA" puts you kinda middle-ish. I'm flyin' into Santa Barbara 29 Sept at 9:30. Bishop's Peak?

Pinnacles may be a tad too far for me to drive...unless I change my flight to Fresno...

Anyhoo, if'n yer sans partner for Saturday...well, I'd buy the post climbin' malt beverages!

Brian in SLC

7:16 a.m. on September 27, 2001 (EDT)
(Guest)

Get a room! (nt)

Quote:

Quote:

Sorry, it looks like I've started the kind of quabbling rec.climbing.useful aims to be free of.

Well, I sorta perpetuated too...ditto the sorry.

Quote:

Ambitious ascents are often described as bold, when the climbers succeed of course, or misguided, approached with hubris, etc., when accidents happen. Some would argue luck plays a large role, others say you create your own luck. Mountaineers draw own the depth of their experience to create their own luck, and there is no substitute for progressive acquisition of skill and experience.

Very true...and a heathy dose of common sense.

Quote:

BTW, for the past few years, I've only 'guided' for free, in addition to volunteer SAR. I have no conflict here. A day of teaching essential skills in the mountains sure beats a day of rescuing folks in the mountains, its my way of giving back.

So...ahhh...this is kinda funny...er...what you doin' this Saturday?

I'm thinkin' the "in CA" puts you kinda middle-ish. I'm flyin' into Santa Barbara 29 Sept at 9:30. Bishop's Peak?

Pinnacles may be a tad too far for me to drive...unless I change my flight to Fresno...

Anyhoo, if'n yer sans partner for Saturday...well, I'd buy the post climbin' malt beverages!

Brian in SLC

2:26 p.m. on September 28, 2001 (EDT)
(Guest)

Aw hell just buy and ice axe and hike on up there........

I grew up in Seattle, could see Rainier just looking down my street. I grew up wanting to climb it. I called a guide service back in the 80's, they said it would cost $400 to take me up there. I thought '$400, keeeeerist! For that much money I can buy my own gear and do it myself'. So I did. In my mind the guide fee was to cover gear that I didn't have, not their experience. I didnt' know enough about climbing to realize that experience is THE MOST IMPORTANT PART of safe climbing (as long as it is accompanied by good judgement).
I was fresh out of the Army, in great shape, thought I was tougher than the mountain. Grabbed a friend who didn't even have hiking experience and we made it to Camp Schurman (miraculously), where my partner became hypothermic from cold and exhaustion. Next morning we left way too late, were too tired, and around 11,000 realized that those cracks in the snow were damn big. We bailed. That is how I started climbing, but then I was a moron with a lot of dumb luck. Took me a few years to get over myself and gain enough experience to realize how stupid I had been.

My personal opinion is, unless you do nothing but spend time climbing mountains in all kinds of conditions, learning from experienced climbers and studying referrences between now and next summer, you will NOT be ready to do Rainier with any relative safety without relying on a guide or someone with experience.

I have spent a lot of time on Rainier and amongst the local climbing community it is well known to be the best place to go see people doing things on a mountain that they should never do. We made an attempt on liberty ridge this year, and every party that we ran into had made extremely poor decisions, some requring rescue, all from poor judgement and/or inexperience. All (that we asked) were from out of state.
On a good weekend, with good conditions, if luck is with you, anyone in good shape can succesfully hike up one of the dog routes on Rainier. But the smallest mistake can put you on the evening news here in Seattle; "Another climber on Rainier blah blah blah".

3:11 p.m. on September 28, 2001 (EDT)
(Guest)

a.k.a. Brandon, Brandon Lampley
Hey, its about time.

Quote:

I grew up in Seattle, could see Rainier just looking down my street. I grew up wanting to climb it. I called a guide service back in the 80's, they said it would cost $400 to take me up there. I thought '$400, keeeeerist! For that much money I can buy my own gear and do it myself'. So I did. In my mind the guide fee was to cover gear that I didn't have, not their experience. I didnt' know enough about climbing to realize that experience is THE MOST IMPORTANT PART of safe climbing (as long as it is accompanied by good judgement).
I was fresh out of the Army, in great shape, thought I was tougher than the mountain. Grabbed a friend who didn't even have hiking experience and we made it to Camp Schurman (miraculously), where my partner became hypothermic from cold and exhaustion. Next morning we left way too late, were too tired, and around 11,000 realized that those cracks in the snow were damn big. We bailed. That is how I started climbing, but then I was a moron with a lot of dumb luck. Took me a few years to get over myself and gain enough experience to realize how stupid I had been.

My personal opinion is, unless you do nothing but spend time climbing mountains in all kinds of conditions, learning from experienced climbers and studying referrences between now and next summer, you will NOT be ready to do Rainier with any relative safety without relying on a guide or someone with experience.

here, here

Quote:

I have spent a lot of time on Rainier and amongst the local climbing community it is well known to be the best place to go see people doing things on a mountain that they should never do. We made an attempt on liberty ridge this year, and every party that we ran into had made extremely poor decisions, some requring rescue, all from poor judgement and/or inexperience. All (that we asked) were from out of state.
On a good weekend, with good conditions, if luck is with you, anyone in good shape can succesfully hike up one of the dog routes on Rainier. But the smallest mistake can put you on the evening news here in Seattle; "Another climber on Rainier blah blah blah".

October 31, 2014
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