08 February 2017 ~ Comments Off on Mount Rainer — Family Style

Mount Rainer — Family Style

In late 2015 my brother Karl and I hatched a plan to do a “family” Rainer trip. We choose August (of 2016) because of the typically stable weather (which it was, we had only a light breeze on the top and had sunny weather throughout). We also selected the commonly-done Disappointment Clever route as it has a less vertical gain than other routes and typically has a boot track in place, increasing the probability of success.

We allowed three days on the mountain (an extra bad-weather day), but only used two. Our group of 12 included myself, Karl, Levi (son), Rosemary (daughter), Ryan, Mark, Todd (nephews), Jonny (Rose’s friend) and several other friends of Karl. It took us about 5.25 hours to go from the car to Camp Muir. We got a few hours of sleep (some of us anyway, my sleeping pad was flat, so I got none) and then headed out at  11:00 p.m. for the summit. We left in the middle of the night as the weather was very warm so we wanted to be down off the upper mountain before the snow warmed up too much, increasing the danger of someone dropping through a soft soft-bridge and into a crevasse. It took us eight hours to summit and then four hours to get back down to Muir — and then finally about three hours to return to the car. Total climbing was a little over 9,000 feet of elevation. Here is my Strava upload of this trip.

This was my fourth trip and fourth summit success on this mountain, all with my brother Karl.

Probably the most memorable family reunion I’ll ever participate in!

The approach on day one. What a beautiful mountain.

Early on day one.

Levi running up the mountain!

Snowfield just before Camp Muir,

With a group of 12 people we had three stores going constantly to melt snow for water, because there was no open water sources at Camp Muir.

Since we arrived on Thursday afternoon, the heart was basically employee so we had a pretty much to ourselves.

Crossing crevasses on ladders wearing crampons was always spooky.

Early on the summit day.

The boat track, which is very common on the so-called dogs route.

Sunrise on summit day, at about 13,000 feet.

On the summit with Rose and Levi.

Karl, Rose, Jonny and Levi. Descending off the mountain on a summit day.

More stunning views.

I could not find any traditional mountaineering boots that would work with my problem ankle, so I used running shoes (Altra Lone Peak Neo Shell) fitted with a cycling neoprene overboot. A very lightweight method that work good except for my toes got a little bit pinched due to the crampon and soft shoe.

Karl’s roped team approaching Camp Muir after a successful summit bid.

Are used lightweight aluminum crampons as they were the only kind that would fit over my running shoe combo.

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