Mt Rainier June 14th, 2014

9:21 p.m. on August 15, 2013 (EDT)
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Reposted because I started this in climbing and it probably should have been in trip planning

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Myself and 2 partners are climbing Rainier in June of 2014. We are taking the Disappointment Cleaver route, unguided. Before I get a slew of messages about what knowledge I should have before doing this - I have taken multiple mountaineering courses, ice climbing courses, ice climb independently, courses on rope teams, glacier travel, and crevasse rescue. 

This winter, my 2 partners and I will be practicing frequently and getting into the kind of phenomenal shape needed for the approach and summit day.

What I'm looking for is advice on logistics. Here's the current plan.

Fly in on June 14th. My wife works for Enterprise rent-a-car, so we're getting a cargo van and sleeping in it at the trailhead that night. 

Wake up early, arrive to Muir a little after lunch. Set up camp, eat, relax, hydrate, prep water for summit day, asleep by 6.

Alpine start between 12-2 am. Down and out that day, drive to a hotel to shower, eat, sleep

We would likely stay until 18th just in case weather delays our climb at all. Worse case scenario we would spend an extra night in the hotel in Seattle.

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Other than what I have laid out, do you guys and gals have any other suggestions, especially about logistics and traveling for such a trip - we are all from Maine and New Hampshire, so it's quite a trip.

11:42 p.m. on August 15, 2013 (EDT)
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iClimb,

As I have mentioned before there is nothing definite about trying to summit high mountains. What elevation do you live at? You would be well served to adjust to the altitude before hand for a couple of days rather than planning a night in Seattle at sea level.

9:45 a.m. on August 16, 2013 (EDT)
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We'll be staying at the trailhead the day/night before which is about 6000 feet. I can also get above 6000 feet this winter several times.

Any other thoughts about traveling out there, the logistics, or helpful tips?

12:59 p.m. on August 16, 2013 (EDT)
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Congrats on the trip buddy!  I know you have wanted this one for a while.  Did you do Adams this year?  Its a good tryout climb.  We did Muir on Father's Day and loved it.  At 10K you do start to feel it.  Train at altitude as much as possible! 

From Seattle to Paradise is an easy drive.  If you enter the park before 7am or so you won't have to pay the entry fee.  Park at the first parking lot.  You will have snow for the entire trip but won't need crampons till after Muir probably. 

Warning: everyone on the mountain acts like an expert, from the guides to the guy in the parking lot wearing flip flops.  Talk to the guides at the climbers ranger stn. for route beta and pretty much ignore everyone else you don't know. 

Enjoy, we expect a great TR!

2:16 p.m. on August 16, 2013 (EDT)
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iClimb,

It sounds like you have the training. Several days above 6000 feet would be better than one. Plan on roping up a lot on Rainier. Your midnight to 0200 start from Camp Muir is the normal plan. Make sure you get off the upper half of the mountain before noon or risk some seriously thawed and moving snow and ice. The oxygen at 14,000 feet feels pretty puny even for people that are in shape. The weather can be terrible even in June. Don't be a hero if you lose visibility. It has happened to me twice up there. I wish you good weather and firm ice.

10:58 a.m. on August 21, 2013 (EDT)
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Also, BUY THIS MAPhttp://www.whittakermountaineering.com/brands/cairn-mountain-company/mount-rainier-guide-reference-map

It gives you GPS coordinates for way-points and compass bearings that can get you home in a whiteout.

Program the coordinates into your GPS (if you use one) before your trip.  This map is really handy.  If I had needed it on my last trip to Muir (it was bluebird skies) I'd do a review on it but I really didn't need it b/c of perfect weather. 

June is another story though, you very well might get crappy weather and it looks like you have a firm date so you'll be climbing, good weather or otherwise. 

If you can't manage to get a hold of one, let me know, you can borrow mine. 

Jeff

October 25, 2014
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