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John Guilford's Hikes

Mt. Rainier on 2000-07-10/11

Date: 2000-07-10/11

Location: Mt. Rainier

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.  [ PIX5 ] 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. 

[ PIX9 ] 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 Paradise).

[ PIX1 ] 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 wall. 

[ PIXd ] 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. 

[ PIX4 ] 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 missing. 

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 sleep. 

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 lamps. 

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 by herself). 

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 my crampons. 

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 east. 

[ PIX3 ] 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 everything else. 

[ PIXb ] 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 we stopped. 

This isn't technically the summit of Mt. RainierRainier, 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. 

[ PIX8 ] 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. 

[ PIXc ] 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. 

[ PIX7 ] 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 crampons).  [ PIX2 ] 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. 

[ PIX6 ] [ PIXa ] 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 team. 

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 situation. 

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 do. 

What I brought:

Pack Down sleeping bag Ski poles Ice axe Crampons Headlamp Climbing boots Three pairs of socks Two pair of underwear Long polypro pants Pile pants (side zip) Nylon windpants (side zip) Shorts Short sleeve polypro shirt Long sleeve polypro shirt Pile jacket Down vest (not used) Gore-Tex jacket Ski parka Pile hat Light weight glove liners Ski gloves 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


[ PIX5 ] The common room at the Paradise Inn. 

[ PIX9 ] John putting on his pack at Paradise at the start of the climb. 

[ PIXd ] 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. 

[ PIX1 ] Interior of bunkhouse at Camp Muir showing three sleeping shelves, each holding six people. 

[ PIX4 ] John eating dinner (in plastic bag) with hot chocolate at Camp Muir. 

[ PIX3 ] Dawn at 12000' with climber visible. 

[ PIXb ] View up the upper mountain from about 12000' showing the zig-zag track we followed. 

[ PIX8 ] John resting at the crater rim. 

[ PIXc ] View from the summit crater rim showing Mt. Adams and another ascending rope team. 

[ PIX7 ] Rope team descending from the crater rim with Little Tahoma in background.

[ PIX2 ] Crossing a small crevasse on the Ingraham Glacier. 

[ PIX6 ] Crevasse with ladder across it.  Paul has his back to the camera. 

[ PIXa ] John resting while the guides worked on the ladder that crossed the crevasse. 

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Last updated on: Mon Jun 8 16:50:16 PDT 2015