|Mt. Rainier --
Emmons/Winthrop Glacier route, Jun '00
Devil's Tower -- The "Classic" Durrance route, Jul '00
Mt. St. Helens -- The "Standard" Monitor Ridge route, Aug '00
Mt. Rainier -- Training climb to Ingraham Glacier, May '01
Mt. Rainier -- Tahoma Glacier route, Jul '01
MT. RAINIER -- TAHOMA GLACIER ROUTE, JUL '01
To the right is a shot taken at the beginning of the Tahoma Glacier route from the end of Westside Road. The summit of Mt. Rainier is approx. 8 miles away as a crow flies. The hike, however, is approx. 12-15 miles not including the elevation gain of 12,387 ft.
This is a shot off the well traveled trail just past Round Pass. The forest's of Mt. Rainier are extremely thick; full of vegetation. This is Big Foot country, do you see Big Foot in the left hand corner of the picture? Keep looking until you do . . .
The bridge over the South Puyallup River is approx. 4 miles in on the trail. It was a great place to bask in the sun and take a nap. The river below looks like chocolate milk due to all the glacial run-off from the Tahoma Glacier. (Rumor has it that the brown color is from all the climbers that leave there dookie in the snow instead carrying it out in their "blue bags." :o)~ "Blue bags" are plastic baggies, supplied by the Park Service, used for removal of your own, and if you dare, other's crap from the snow. Let me tell you, it ain't fun carrying your crap on your shoulders!!).
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This is a shot of Gary taking a break after the steady uphill climb to St. Andrews Park at around 5,500-6,000ft. You can see Mt. Rainier's Sunset Amphitheater just through the trees. Another hour or so of relatively easy hiking to our first camp.
This is a shot a little further up in St. Andrews Park. The peak in front of Rainier is around where our first camp will be. Look just to the right of the smaller peak at the glacier flowing down the middle of Rainier, that is the route we hoped to take to the summit.
This is our first camp at around 6,500 ft. above sea level. We were on a saddle between two peaks. Notice the clouds shooting up over the pass. At our camp there were only clouds below us. Sunset Amphitheater, pointed out earlier, is the rock peak/cliffs to the left of the middle saddle on Rainier.
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This is a shot at sunset to the south from our first camp. The white peak in the middle of the picture, just above the black peak showing through the clouds, is Mt. Adams, which is about 50 miles away near the Washington-Oregon border .
The next morning we left for High Camp, which would have been at around 9,500 ft.. This is a shot back down the route of Tokaloo Rock/Spire after passing it. The morning was a bit overcast and extremely windy.
We are long on our way to High Camp. The high clouds are starting to lower and thicken, not a good sign. Again, Sunset Amphitheater is the upper left point and our route to the summit would've been on the glacier flowing down the right of the middle.
Gary took a shot of me at the end of the rope about to our High Camp. We are roped up because we are on the Puyallup Glacier, which, along with all other glaciers on Rainier, is continuously flowing down the mountain. To give you an idea of how fast a glacier may travel, the Nisqually Glacier, the fastest moving glacier on Rainier, travels 23 inches a day.
This continuous flow often opens up huge gaps called crevasses in the snow/ice. Some crevasses are hundreds of feet deep and possibly hundreds of feet wide. If one was to fall into a crevasse, the only hope for rescue is for your partner on the other end of the rope to pull you out or anchor the rope long enough for one to climb out. We had to jump over many crevasses about two feet wide. Pretty nerve-wracking.
Needless to say, we didn't make it to the top of Rainier on this try because we doubted the stability of the upper ice of Rainier due to the hot weather and because we would have to come down the same route, filled with crevasses, after the snow/ice had become soft due to the afternoon sun. We chose not to risk it. The morning sun, after retreating from around 9,500 ft., made the trip worth it.
But . . . we plan on returning to this luxurious home in the clouds in 2002.
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