Ascent of Mount Rainier on 2008-09-04

Climber: Trey Pinkerton

Date:Thursday, September 4, 2008
Ascent Type:Successful Summit Attained
Peak:Mount Rainier
    Elevation:14411 ft / 4392 m

Ascent Trip Report

Hiked up to the Muir Camp from Paradise on Sept 3rd. The weather was clear and it was fairly warm. The last stretch was icy, and there were a few cracks opening up.
We were roped up and moving at 1:00 am the next day. Crossing the Cowlitz was uneventful, although we were watching for rockfall. We climbed up Cathedral gap and started across Ingraham flats where we took our first break. There were tents on the flats and a few people were getting ready for the climb.
It began to get very windy as we climbed up onto the flats and this was to be the conditions for the day. The push up the nose of the Dissapointment Cleaver was tough as usual, and the winds kept on increasing as we climbed onto the spine of the cleaver. Out on the Emmons glacier the winds were relentless, at 40-50mph with 70-80mph gusts. This made the final push to the summit exhausting. There was no relief in the crater, as it was windy there as well.
After signing the register and a quick stop at the true summit, the group tried to warm up a little and get motivated for the decent. The cold wind took a lot out of us, and it was hard climbing while getting pushed off balance by the wind. Another cold break above the cleaver, and a tough decent. By the time we reached the Ingraham flats I was extremely beat, but felt good that we had summitted. A short break at the Flats, then back to Muir. We packed up and then hiked the 5000' back down to Paradise.

All in all I enjoyed the climb immensely, despite the cold. I felt I was in good condition but could have trained more. It's a big mountain, and even on the common route a serious challenge. I am very excited to head back to Rainier and climb again...perhaps on another route.
Summary Total Data
    Route Conditions:
Maintained Trail, Unmaintained Trail, Glacier Climb
    Gear Used:
Ice Axe, Crampons, Rope, Ski Poles, Guide, Hut Camp
    Weather:Cold, Extremely Windy

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