Mt. Rainier Climb via the Kautz Route
July 22-29, 2008
This is a shot of the stretch of climbing on the Nisqually Glacier before transitioning to the Turtle Snowfield.
We had an incredible climb and experienced all the range of mountaineering scenarious you could pack into a week on Rainier. I will skip to the chase and tell you that we were unable to summit this time due to a number of factors. First was weather, the winds were 50 mph on summit night, not that that deterred us from trying, second was dangerous route conditions. We took the Kautz route and ended up in a very precarious spot of 50 degree vertical ice that was calving off the icefall.
(Dan climbed back up in the morning to shoot this
it been daylight or no wind was of less consequence than this factor which
turned around the only other two climbers on that face. We got to a little under
12,000 feet. It took hours to get back to our high camp because it involved a
section of fixed rope through which we had to send up our backpacks first, then
climb with ascenders out of the rock band, probably a 5.7 scramble. Sometimes
you have to listen to the mtn and live to climb another day. After that, it was
a very brutal descent and we dropped 7 thousand vertical in 7 hours in complete
whiteout with 65 lb packs. I am still very sore but am happy to have been up
there for 6 days, most of which was above 10k feet. We knew that we were
attempting the route late in the year and a week before our attempt, the NPS had
to rescue a climber from near this spot. I didn't care for that kind of media
attention if you know what I mean.
Peace and Climb On!