John Guilford's Hikes
Mt. Rainier on 2000-07-10/11
People: (including myself): Clients and guides of RMI Guide Service
My Alt. Real Alt. Miles
Meet at Paradise 9:00 0
Start to Camp Muir 10:30 5460 5440
Break 1 ~11:30
Panorama Point 11:55 6580 6640
Pebble Creek 12:20 7040 7180
Muir Snow Field 12:45 7560
Break 3 - 45F 2:00 8560
Break 4 - 50F 3:05 9420
Camp Muir 3:45 9920 10100 ~5
Goto Bed 7:10pm 9920 10100
Get up - 40F 12:30am
Leave Muir 2:00 9920 10100
Ingraham Flats 3:10 10960 ~11100
Break 2 ~5:10 ~12000
Break 3 ~6:45 ~13400
Summit Crater 7:45 ----- ~14200 ~10
Leave Crater - 40F 8:40
Break 1 - 45F 9:50 12200
Camp Muir - 50F 12:05 9900 10100
Leave Camp Muir 1:00 9880 10100
Break - 60F 1:50 7240
End of break 2:15 7200
Pebble Creek 2:20 7040 7180
Panorama Point 2:35 6560 6640
Paradise 3:30 5440
I climbed Mt. Rainier with Rainier Mountaineering Inc., a professional
guide service. As we were meeting at Paradise at 9am, I spent the night
before the climb at the Paradise Inn. This is an old and historic building
constructed with post and beam construction. The older rooms have a shared
bath while the newer rooms have a private bath. When we made reservations,
only a room with a shared bath was available. The older rooms (with a
shared bath) sit over the current restaurant. The room itself is very small
- hardly bigger than the two beds (a twin and a double) and the sink.
However, there is a large, friendly common room that extends across most of
the front of the inn. The common room has large fire places on either end
of the room and is lit by a multitude of hanging lamps whose shades depict
various flowers and plants native to Mt. Rainier.
Due to anxiety about the climb, I didn't sleep very well the night before.
It was somewhat encouraging when I found out the next morning that most of
the clients (climbers other than the guides) also felt anxiety about the
climb. To my surprise, most of the 22 clients were non-locals. Counting
myself, there were only two people from Washington climbing. Our lead
guide was named Paul and there was going to be a total of seven guides on
our climb. Six were coming up with us from Paradise and the seventh,
Craig, was already at Camp Muir (at 10,100'). As an aside, Craig has the
record for fastest ascent from Paradise to the summit, having done it in 5
hours 25 minutes. He later beat this time by five minutes.
We spent some time at the guide building while the guides gave us a talk
and did a pack check. Before leaving home I weighed my pack and found it
to be about 35 pounds. It was a comfortable load; it was about what I
expected and I didn't find it too heavy or tiring. We finally started the
actual hike up to Camp Muir at 10:30. I was glad to actually get going. I
didn't mind doing it - it was the anticipation of the climb that had me
anxious. The guides had us going up in two groups of 11 (not counting the
three guides with each group). They had us going up in single file in a
big line. I felt like I was in a flock of sheep with the guides being the
sheep dogs circling around us. This wasn't my favorite way of hiking - my
view consisted primarily of the boots of the person in front of me. Except
during the breaks it was hard to see where we were going or where we'd
been. It was also difficult to stop and take any pictures as that would
have stopped everyone behind me. However, this arrangement made it easier
on the guides and I figured that as long as I was paying them to guide me
up, I might as well do it their way. For the trip up to Muir I wore long
polypro underwear under a pair of shorts with a short sleeve polypro shirt
on top, plus my Seattle Sombrero hat for sun protection.
Paul said that he was going to keep a good pace on the way up to Muir, in
part to evaluate how fit we were and to make sure we'd be able to go all
the way to the summit. I didn't feel the pace to be that fast and was
pleased with how well I kept up that pace. The day was pleasant and sunny,
unlike the previous day where Paradise was completely socked in with low
clouds and fog. It was a comfortable hiking temperature, neither too hot
nor too cold for the amount of energy we were expending. The temperature
was 65 when we started off at Paradise, dropping to about 45-50 near Muir
(it was hard to get a consistent reading on my thermometer as the reading
seemed to vary with being in the sun or not and whether it was next to my
body or not).
We took our first break down below Panorama Point. There I saw a good
Hoary Marmot and a ground Squirrel. After a 15 minute "maintenance break"
(to allow people to adjust footwear or clothing) we continued up. We had
our second break near the beginning of the Muir Snow Field, a bit above
McClure Rock. We had two more 15 minute breaks about an hour apart before
reaching Camp Muir. I found the pace relatively easy and got to Camp Muir
feeling good. It was calm, sunny, and 50F at Camp Muir - really nice
weather (though the clouds were coming in further down the mountain above
The clients' bunkhouse at Muir is a wooden box shaped building. Along the
far wall (from the entrance door) are three sleeping shelves each of which
hold six people. There is a fourth shelf above the entrance way that holds
another six. Additionally there are some side shelves that holds another
one or two people. Access to the top shelves is via an extension ladder or
a little wooden ladder built into the side of the building. Each sleeping
spot has a foam pad provided. The space between shelves is so that I can
just sit up without banging my head on the next higher one. Earlier that
morning, while waiting for a shower at the Paradise Inn, I had met a
climber who had must come down from his summit climb the day before. He
warned me to try to get a bottom bunk. He said that it got rather warm
nearer the top of the building (he was late getting into Muir and had to
take an upper bunk) and said there was more hassles with having to use the
ladders in the middle of the night (or having other people climb over you
to use the ladders) when you have to get up to go to the bathroom, which
everyone does (due to all the water the guides have you drink). I was in
the first group of climbers to get to Muir, and I quickly dropped my pack,
grabbed some clothing to claim a spot and was the first person to grab a
spot. Having complete choice, I got a really good space - the right side
of the bottom shelf. This was easy to get into and out of, and it only had
another person on one side. That let me put some of my things against the
We had some time to get our things organized. After everyone was up and
somewhat settled they had a talk where they told us what the schedule for
the evening and the next day was going to be. People (myself included)
still had anxiety about the upcoming climb. That was common. Paul tried
to help us by saying that we needed to take a fatalistic attitude towards
the climb. We had already prepared and trained as much as we could.
Nothing we did tonight would change it. Either we'd be able to make it to
the top or we wouldn't, so there wasn't any point in worrying about it. It
was in our best interests to relax and try to get as much rest as we could.
The brought out hot water and we prepared our dinners (each client bringing
his own - I brought a 2-3 man freeze dried dinner of chicken and rice). I
found that when I was doing things I felt pretty good. However, when we
were left with little to do, I found myself getting somewhat lonely and
anxious. Most (if not all) of the other climbers had come in groups of
people who knew one another. I was one of the few loners and mostly kept
to myself. My freeze dried dinner wasn't bad - you pour hot water into the
plastic bag it comes in. That sits for ten minutes or so, and then you eat
it out of the bag. That freed up my cup for some hot chocolate. The meal
was okay though I wouldn't go out to a restaurant for it. It filled me up
and was probably just a little more than I would have preferred eating, but
I didn't have trouble finishing it. To my surprise I didn't have any
headache or nausea to speak of. In fact I had a pretty decent appetite.
After my first trip to Muir a few years ago, I worried that I wouldn't have
any appetite once I got to 10,000'.
After dinner I cleaned out my cup with some snow and they had some more
lessons on putting on climbing harnesses and the avalanche beacons and did
a crampon check. After that we got our gear somewhat organized for the
next day (the packs stayed outside the building - there wasn't room for
them inside) and turned in. The guide service recommended bringing ear
plugs to deal with snorers and make it easier to get some rest. I brought
a set and they worked great. During the "night" I heard some of the louder
noises but other than that it was (to me) pretty quiet. It wasn't till we
were getting up and I pulled them out that I realized what I had been
I was plenty warm in my sleeping bag. In fact, later in the evening I got
rather warm. I ended up partially unzipping my bag and sticking various
appendages out trying to maintain a comfortable temperature. I
intentionally didn't drink copious amounts of water not wanting to have to
get up in the middle of the night. It didn't work. About 9pm I was
feeling my full bladder and decided to take care of it. I was warm enough
that I just put on my pile jacket and boots (left untied) and went out in
my underwear. As someone remarked on the climb from Paradise to Muir, a
climber's modesty is inversely proportional to his altitude. It was a
pleasant night and I decided to grab my camera and take a couple pictures.
One was of the moon above Mt. Saint Helens and another was of the glow from
the sunset in the west. I don't think I ever really got to sleep that
night. I think I did some dozing off and on, but the strange surroundings
and the anxiety regarding the climb kept me from dropping off into deep
At 12:30, Paul came in, turned on some gas lights inside the bunkhouse and
got us up. I was surprised how easily I (and the other clients) got up. I
thought that we would be dead tired at that point, but we weren't. They
brought in hot water and we had an hour and a half to dress, eat breakfast,
and get our gear organized for the climb. The hiking stopped at Muir - the
climbing started there. Paul said that it was really pretty warm (40F) and
recommended against wearing long johns under our pile pants. I had two
packets of oatmeal for breakfast. After that I tried to clean out my cup
with snow but found the snow too hard so I had to leave it as it was.
For the start of the summit bid, I wore pile pants, a long sleeved polypro
undershirt, and a pile jacket. I had a harness, avalanche beacon, and a
climber's helmet with my headlamp attached. It took me a while to find my
harness. I had tried it on the night before but forgot where I put it
afterwards. I would have hated to go to the guides and told them that I
lost it, but I couldn't find it either near my sleeping bag nor near my
pack. I finally located it on the stone terrace where I'd tried it on. I
must have put it down afterwards and forgotten about it. I had to re-do
the moleskin on my heals (which were there mostly to prevent any problems
from developing) as the pieces I had worn from Paradise to Muir had come
off during the night in the sleeping bag. I used essentially the whole
hour and a half eating breakfast, organizing my gear, and making one last
stop at the outhouse. I was *just* finished getting ready when Paul wanted
our rope team (the first to leave) to get going.
Paul led our team, behind him was Jill, behind her was Les, I was next, and
I can't remember the name of the final guy behind me. It was kind of
exciting. At long last *it* was starting. Something that I had wanted to
do for years was beginning. Either I'd make it to the top or I wouldn't,
but I could stop waiting for it, worrying about it, and training about it.
All I had to do was to do it.
It was interesting climbing with headlamps. For the most part your world
is reduced to a little spot directly in front of you where you are placing
your feet. When you had the chance to look around, you could see other
spots of light slowly moving on the mountain. Even though we were the
first rope team with the guide service to get going, other independent
climbers had already started up before us. Unfortunately, there wasn't too
much opportunity to sightsee. Paul kept up a steady pace and with the
rope, one couldn't pause for any significant time without the rope coming
taunt. Thus I focused on my rest step and breathing and on walking with
crampons. The snow had firmed up during the night giving the crampons good
purchase. The trail, used every day by the guide service and independent
climbers, was well established and very easy to follow, even under head
The trail starts off as an easy rising traverse across the top part of the
Cowlitz Glacier. It gains about 300 feet in a big curve ending at
Cathedral Gap. Here we coiled in the rope and started climbing on loose
dirt and rock. I didn't relish climbing loose rock with crampons, but it
wasn't really that bad or that hard. There was far less slipping backwards
than I had expected. After climbing through Cathedral Gap, we were on the
top of the Ingraham Glacier and climbed a bit to a relatively flat spot
known as Ingraham Flats. Some climbers set up camp here instead of at Camp
Muir. Here we took our first break. It was still dark and when we turned
our head lamps off, in the north we could see a faint Aurora. I didn't
think it was that spectacular or interesting. It was just a glow in the
sky that didn't seem to move or form sheets. As was standard procedure at
a break, we took off our packs, pulled out and put on parkas, and sat on
the packs, rested, and had some food and water. I ate a piece of a bagel,
but I wasn't very hungry. At Ingraham Flats, the air was still calm though
it was getting cooler. You were cold when you took the parka off, but you
soon warmed up when we started climbing again. We lost one climber at this
break (we also had one who never went beyond Camp Muir).
She developed blisters from her rental boots on the hike up to Camp
Muir. She thought she'd give the summit bid a try, but after the first
hour realized that her feet weren't going to make it. The guides pulled
out a sleeping bag and foam pad to keep her comfortable until they had
enough people to form a rope team (due to the glaciers, she couldn't return
A bit above Ingraham Flats we had to cross the widest crevasse on the
trip. It was about 5' wide and the guides had lain a ladder across the
crevasse. They had warned us about the ladder so it wasn't a surprise when
we came to it. I worried that it would be precarious trying to walk across
the rungs with crampons on, but they thoughtfully had lain some wooden
planks across the rungs which gave fine footing for the crampons. I would
have liked to dawdle a bit and look down into the crevasse, but the rope
wouldn't let me, so I had to hurry across with just a brief look down.
I had thought we'd take the "standard" route which leads across the
Ingraham glacier to a band of rock known as Disappointment Cleaver. The
standard route climbs onto the Cleaver and continues up its top. However,
comparing rock fall danger on the Cleaver with ice fall danger on the
glacier, the guides currently had the route avoiding the Cleaver and
continuing straight up the Ingraham Glacier Headwall. Here the glacier was
steeper, but the trail zig-zagged across the glacier resulting in the trail
not being that steep. I didn't find it that difficult to get purchase with
As we went up I sort of zoned out. My life became an interminable process
of taking one step after another, breathing, with the monotony slightly
broken when the path turned directions (at which time we'd have to step
over the rope and move the ice axe to the newly uphill hand). At this
point it was still too dark to really see the terrain around you (except
for the spot illuminated by the headlamp), though the sky was turning light
in the east. Sunrise was still quite a ways off. I still didn't find the
pace to be that bad. I was keeping up though I felt somewhat tired getting
into the rest, er maintenance breaks. As we climbed the headwall, the wind
started picking up and it started feeling colder. This second leg of the
climb was a bit longer than the first, but we eventually got to a safe
place to stop and we took our second break just as dawn was breaking in the
At this time we were above and almost directly due west of Little Tahoma
Peak (a smaller sub-peak on the east side of Rainier). Here Paul had us
take off our head lamps and put on our sunglasses. I also put on nylon
overpants over my pile pants, my Gore-Tex shell over my pile jacket, my
pile hat (under my helmet), and switched from my light glove liners to my
ski gloves. I was beginning to feel downright cold when we stopped. In
fact I found myself shivering on occasion, even with my parka on top of
The route from here on up was pretty straight forward - it was a direct
zig-zag up the glacier pretty much straight to the crater rim. There were
some detours and meanders to go around crevasses. We had to step over a
handful of them, but I didn't find them at all scary. The gaps to step
over were small (at most a foot) and I never even considered the
possibility of falling into one.
With the dawn came enough light to see around us, but my world was still
focused on the rope in front of me (which controlled my pace) and placing
one foot in front of the other. I was getting tired but I was pleased with
my ability to keep up the pace.
The third leg of the climb was another relatively long one. The wind was
blowing which made it feel cooler, but it wasn't really that bad of wind.
(Two weeks previous, the wind had been blowing so hard that they canceled
the climb due to it.) The summit was clear with no lenticular clouds
hanging on it. The sun wasn't up enough to start warming things up yet.
In some ways, the third leg is the crux of the climb. The guides say that
if you make it through the third leg, then you are close enough that
virtually anyone makes it to the top. I don't remember much about the
third leg besides being tired and almost continuously pressure breathing.
I found it interesting that I almost had to make a mental effort to breath
deep and/or pressure breath. Sometimes I'd find my mind wander and notice
that I was breathing a relatively shallow breath - certainly less than I
needed. Perhaps with the thin air (it was definitely getting thin by now)
one tended to blow off much of the CO2 in the blood stream resulting in
less motivation to breath.
With the colder temperatures, I found that the water in the threads of my
water bottle would freeze between uses. This made it a bit more
challenging to break the lid free to unscrew it.
The fourth leg took us to the crater rim. I personally found the top half
of this leg to be the hardest part. Up until then I was relatively
comfortable with the pace Paul set. However, as we neared the crater rim,
I had to push myself more and more to keep that pace. I would have
preferred to have gone a bit slower. Near the top I found myself hunching
forward somewhat (which I knew I wasn't supposed to do as that collapses the
lungs a bit and makes it harder to get a full breath of air which you
need). I don't know if the thinner air finally got to me, or whether Paul
may have upped the pace a bit with the summit so near. I did push myself
enough to keep up and before I knew it, we were at the crater rim. There
This isn't technically the summit of Mt. Rainier. Rainier, being a
volcano, has a shallow crater on the top. The true summit is almost
directly across the crater, about a hundred or two feet higher, known as
Columbia Crest. Some of the climbers stop at the crater rim while some of
them cross the crater to Columbia Crest (about a 45 minutes round trip).
During the climb up I wondered whether I'd cross or not. It would have
been nice to get to the true summit, but the final push to the crater rim
really wiped me out. The decision not to go the Columbia Crest was cinched
when Paul recommended that I didn't go. I'm sure I could have gone there
and back. My big concern would be the lack of rest. If I did go to the
Crest and back, then I would have only had five minutes of rest before
heading back down and I wanted a bit more than that. If I could have
stayed up there longer, I think I would have gone.
Instead I stayed at the crater rim, got some food, and lost my water
bottle. I set my bottle down next to my pack and sat down. I must have
jostled the bottle or had it set in a bad spot because before I could stop
it, it started sliding down the slope away from the crater. One guy below
me went to grab it, but didn't even get close before it passed him (you
tend to move somewhat slowly at 14000'). It took off down the hill and I
figured I never see it again. I wasn't too concerned, I still had another
water bottle and with it being as cold as it was, I wasn't going through
the water that fast. I wasn't worried about running out before we got back
down to Muir. It turns out that one of our rope teams coming up behind us
came across it. I'm not sure if the bottle stopped somewhere and they
picked it up or whether they saw it coming down and managed to stop it and
grab it. In any case, someone later showed up at the rim and asked "Anyone
missing a water bottle?" I also took the break as an opportunity to put on
some sunscreen. I had put a little on my nose at our previous break, but I
had a hard time getting motivated to put on sunscreen when it felt like it
was freezing out and when I had to take off big ski gloves to do so. My
face got a little sun, but it wasn't really burned.
The view on this route is dominated by Mt. Adams to the southeast
(directly behind you it seems). We had clear weather giving good views of
Mt. St. Helens and Mt. Hood. In the distance one could just make out
Mt. Jefferson. Due to Rainier being in the way, I couldn't see Mt. Baker
which I'm sure was visible.
I never heard officially how many of us made it to the top. Being in the
first rope team, I didn't get to see how many people behind me didn't make
it. From an overheard comment between guides at the rim, I think we lost
another couple climbers besides that first one at Ingraham flats. That
would mean that we got about 18 of the initial 22 people up to the top.
The people who had gone to Columbia Crest came back and we got ready to
rope up and start heading down. It was warming a bit by now, though it
still felt cold. Paul had us remove our wind jackets (my Gore-Tex jacket
that I wore over my pile jacket) which made me feel pretty cool till we got
moving. A short distance down from the rim we paused for a moment (not
really a break) to change clothes if needed. Here I switched from my ski
gloves back to my glove liners.
The way down went about twice as fast as going up had been. Instead of
having to turn my feet sideways to get my foot flat against the snow as I
had to on the way up, on the way down I could merely plant my foot.
Constantly breaking my descent was a real quadricep burner and my quads
quickly started getting tired.
I found a bit of "boot banging" on the way down. This is where your foot
slides forward in the boot bumping into the front of the boot. I had
prepared for this condition by clipping my toe nails several days before
the climb. Thus even though my feet did slide forward, I didn't suffer too
much discomfort and didn't trash my toe nails (like I have on other
hikes). I had meant to tighten my boot laces at a rest break. But due to
my being tired I forgot to do so. Soon after we started I was reminded
about it but it was then too late to do so. However, as it wasn't
bothering me too much I didn't worry excessively about it.
Like the way up, the way down was an endless series of short steps repeated
over and over. It was nicer in that in the day light we could see things
that we couldn't on the way up. We only had two breaks on the way down.
The first was at about 12200'. Here I took off my windpants (leaving my
pile pants). The snow was getting softer than it was on the way up, though
it never got too mushy to be too bad.
Going down hill on a rope team was more of a hassle than going up. The
difficulty lay in part with the person behind you. If they went too fast,
then slack rope would develop and the loose rope would slide down under
your feet which was a pain (trying to avoid stepping on the rope with
In my opinion, the guy behind me wasn't the greatest about
keeping the slack out of the rope. I'd like to think I was better for the
Les (in front of me), but I suppose he may think differently. I also had
some trouble with occasionally catching a crampon point on the other leg's
crampon strap. When I did this, I could usually recover okay. Twice I
couldn't recover in time and did a face plant. The first time was coming
down towards Ingraham Flats (but still quite a distance above it). From
the softness of the snow I wasn't at all concerned about sliding of control
as I fell. As I expected I merely fell forward into the snow and stopped.
Interestingly, the guy behind me yelled "Falling!" as I went down and I
noticed some of the other people on the rope team in the self arrest
position as I was climbing to my feet (just as we'd been trained to do).
Even though it wasn't necessary this time, it was encouraging to see that
response in case it ever was necessary.
Our second break was planned to be at Ingraham Flats.
However, when we got to the crevasse with the ladder across it, Paul didn't
like the looks of it (though several rope teams before and after us used
it). We ended up spending about a half hour or forty five minutes crossing
the crevasse higher on the glacier (which Paul later decided he didn't like
any better) before Paul and another guide re-set the ladder across the
crevasse. Here I pulled off my pile jacket as it was getting quite warm.
We had lost the wind when we descended the Ingraham Headwall.
Due to the break at the crevasse, our rope team skipped the break at
Ingraham Flats and continued down to Cathedral Gap. There, we coiled in
the rope and descended the loose rock and dirt to the top of the Cowlitz
Glacier. I was really looking forward to getting to Muir and getting
unroped and getting the crampons off. By now the snow was certainly soft
enough that we didn't need the crampons and if I had been on my own I would
have taken them off (as I saw other independent climbers had done).
However, the guides service's policy is that you wear the crampons,
helmets, and gloves all the time you are above Muir. Camp Muir is only
half way down from the summit, but it sort of feels like you are almost at
the bottom when you get there, even though you are still at 10000'.
Crossing the Cowlitz Glacier I caught another crampon point and did my
second face plant, though I recovered and got up without stopping the rope
Finally we made it back to Camp Muir. It was interesting how thick the air
felt (compared to the higher mountain) compared to how thin it had felt the
first time I had climbed to Muir (a couple years ago).
At Muir I changed into clean socks, shorts, and my short sleeve shirt.
Unlike the calm air at Ingraham Flats, it was a bit windy at Muir. It was
a bit cool with these clothes, but I figured that as soon as I got moving
I'd be plenty warm. When I changed my socks I found that I had sweated the
old moleskin off of my heels. That was all the moleskin I had, but I
figured that I wouldn't need any for the descent to Paradise (and I didn't)
so I didn't get any from the guides.
I took my time changing, packing up my sleeping bag, and getting my gear
together. I was in no rush. I did have a period of deja-vu when I
couldn't find my ski poles (which I had left sitting against a rock terrace
next to the bunkhouse). I finally found them sitting on top of the terrace
(where I believe someone must have moved them).
In my mind I was "almost down" even though I still had 2-1/2 hours of trip
left. Since I was thinking myself almost there I didn't bother putting
sunscreen on my knees or arms (which were now exposed due to the shorts).
This proved to be my biggest mistake as these parts sun burned on the way
down. It will give me something to remember the next time I'm in a similar
It was almost pleasant descending the Muir Snowfield. Without the crampons
I could do partial standing glissades in the soft snow. Without the rope I
could go at whatever pace I wanted, pausing when I wanted, and going faster
when I wanted.
A group of climbers had gone down from Muir as I was packing (we got into
Muir late due to Paul working on the ladder). I had just made the second
group to head down. They made a couple of brief stops on the way down the
snow field. At the base of the snowfield, just below McClure Rock, they
stopped for a longer break. Personally I would have just as soon continued
down, but the group stopped so I stopped. They ended up stopping for much
longer than I cared and I was almost ready to start down with out them when
we got going again.
I took my time on the rest of the descent to Paradise and was the last one
to arrive there (I think). I had pushed myself on the upper mountain and
didn't see any need to push myself down here. Pam met me at the Guide
Service building (across the parking lot from the Paradise Inn) at 3:30.
She told me that some time before I came down, the guides were bringing
down another client who seemed not to be in that great of shape. He seemed
to be somewhat out of it and though he came down on his own power, the
guides had to watch him and direct him to keep him going the right way.
In general I was very pleased with the climb. The weather wasn't the most
perfect weather they had, but it was pretty close. I couldn't have asked
for better weather. I did rather well at altitude - better than I expected
that I would do. I never really had much of a headache nor did I ever have
much nausea. I had an appetite when I got down to the base. I upped my
high altitude climbing record by almost 2000 feet and didn't really feel
too bad. It seems the training I had done and the preparations I had made
paid off in the end. It was several days before I stopped feeling the
muscles in my legs every time I went up or down stairs.
All in all it was a rewarding experience that I'm glad I had the chance to
What I brought:
Down sleeping bag
Three pairs of socks
Two pair of underwear
Long polypro pants
Pile pants (side zip)
Nylon windpants (side zip)
Short sleeve polypro shirt
Long sleeve polypro shirt
Down vest (not used)
Light weight glove liners
Wool mittens (not used)
Gore-Tex overmitts (not used)
Two 1L water bottles
2-3 man dehydrated meal (chicken and rice)
4 bagels (I ate maybe 2)
a bag of M&M's (I ate some of them)
a bag of chocolate covered raisins (never touched them)
a bag of corn Chex (never touched it)
3 apples (I ate 1 - next time cut them up and put in ziplock)
2 packets of oatmeal
2 packets of hot chocolate (I drank one)
first aid kit
The common room at the Paradise Inn.
John putting on his pack at Paradise at the start of the climb.
RMI camp at Muir. Client bunkhouse is at left, outhouse is at
center, guide bunkhouse is right. The A-frame is the NPS ranger's cabin.
Interior of bunkhouse at Camp Muir showing three sleeping shelves,
each holding six people.
John eating dinner (in plastic bag) with hot chocolate at Camp Muir.
Dawn at 12000' with climber visible.
View up the upper mountain from about 12000' showing the zig-zag track
John resting at the crater rim.
View from the summit crater rim showing Mt. Adams and another ascending
Rope team descending from the crater rim with Little Tahoma in background.
Crossing a small crevasse on the Ingraham Glacier.
Crevasse with ladder across it. Paul has his back to the camera.
John resting while the guides worked on the ladder that crossed the
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Last updated on: Mon Jun 8 16:50:16 PDT 2015