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Ascent of Mount Rainier on 1979-08-22

Climber: Greg Bramlet

Date:Wednesday, August 22, 1979
Ascent Type:Successful Summit Attained
Peak:Mount Rainier
    Location:USA-Washington
    Elevation:14411 ft / 4392 m

Ascent Trip Report

Geographic Setting, and Geologic and Eruptive History

Mount Rainier volcano (14,410 ft) dominates the landscape of a large part of western Washington. It stands nearly 3 miles higher than the lowlands to the west and 1.5 miles higher than the surrounding mountains. The base of the volcano spreads over an area of about 100 square miles, and lava flows that radiate from the base of the cone extend to distances of as much as 9 miles. The flanks of Mount Rainier are drained by five major rivers and their tributaries. -- Excerpt from: Crandell, 1971
Mount Rainier National Park, established on March 2, 1899, contains vast expanses of pristine old-growth forests, subalpine flower meadows, spectacular alpine scenery, and great opportunity for stimulating outdoor activities. Mount Rainier National Park is the fifth oldest national park in the United States. The park encompasses 378 square miles (980 square kilometers, 235.612.5 acres). Elevation ranges from 1,880 at the Carbon River rain forest (NW corner of park) to 14,411 feet at the summit. Annual visitation exceeds 2 million visitors, with the majority of visitors coming to the park during the months of May through October. During this peak period, the best time to visit the park is Monday through Friday, to avoid large crowds which arrive early on sunny summer weekends. Parking lots at the most popular areas, such as Paradise and Sunrise, are generally full before noon on weekends.

Mount Rainier is located in west central Washington, approximately 1-2 hours driving time from Seattle, Tacoma and Yakima, Washington and Portland, Oregon. The Nisqually Entrance, located on the southwest side of the park on State Route 706, is open year-round. Other park roads are open only during the summer months. Opening and closing dates vary depending on snow conditions.
All locations and facilities in Mount Rainier National Park are open from July 1 through Labor Day. Most locations are accessible from Memorial Day into early October. Between November or December into May, snow limits vehicle access to the 18 miles of road between the Nisqually Entrance and Paradise (SW entrance via State Routes 7 and 706). The Stevens Canyon road closes when snowfall requires it. Visitor centers, hiking trails, lodging, mountain climbing, camping, wildflower displays, backcountry camping, and picnic are as are located throughout the park.
Excerpts courtesy of: U. S. National Park Service - Mount Rainier National Park Website, 1999
Typical Route: Muir Snowfield to Camp Muir; then access ridge to descend to base of Ingraham Icefalls; follow icefalls to top Disappointment Cleaver; then access Emmons glacier to ascend to caves at craters rim; traverse crater rim to summit. Descent via same.
Summary Total Data
    Elevation Gain:9001 ft / 2744 m
    Elevation Loss:1 ft / 0 m
    Route Conditions:
Maintained Trail, Unmaintained Trail, Exposed Scramble, Snow Climb, Glacier Climb, Ice Climb
    Gear Used:
Ice Axe, Crampons, Rope, Bivouac
    Weather:Cold, Calm, Clear
Ascent Statistics
    Elevation Gain:9001 ft / 2744 m
    Route:Disappointment Cleaver-Emmons glacier
    Trailhead:Paradise Ranger Station  5410 ft / 1648 m
    Time Up:2 Days 7 Hours 
Descent Statistics
    Elevation Loss:1 ft / 0 m
    Route:Same
    Trailhead:Summit  14410 ft / 4392 m
    Time Down:5 Hours 



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