Ascent of Mount Rainier on 2013-06-11

Climber: Marlin Thorman

Others in Party:Trisha Thorman
Date:Tuesday, June 11, 2013
Ascent Type:Successful Summit Attained
    Motorized Transport to Trailhead:Car
Peak:Mount Rainier
    Elevation:14411 ft / 4392 m

Ascent Trip Report

Camp Muir
We had a beautiful day today with lots of blue sky. Left Paradise at 9:15 and arrived up here just after 3pm. Trisha was 30 minutes behind me and Ron another 30 minutes behind her. Camped at Big Rock campground out of the park near Ashford because Cougar Rock campground was closed. Snow conditions were pretty good on the way up. Got a touch slushy later on. Lots of nice tents spots to pick from on when we got here. Quite a few people up here although nothing like the weekend. Saw Elias with a guided RMI group. Had a nice rest after setting up camp then cooked supper and melted snow. They are calling for a storm to come in tomorrow afternoon ish. Hopefully the night and morning will be clear. The route is said to be in great shape. Planning on getting up at 1am.

Summit/hike out
Got up at 1am this morning in preparation for our summit attempt. Left camp at 2am behind a team of 2 and a group of 7 (2 rope teams). Started out at a nice steady pace. Three RMI teams passed us at Cathedral Gap with a bunch of clients. Passed Ingraham Flats camp and had to head quite a ways up before traversing over to the cleaver. There were several fixed ropes on the traverse and a couple more on the first steep section of the cleaver. Sunrise happened while on the cleaver and the valleys were full of clouds. We stopped at 12,100 ft at the top of the cleaver for a long time. Watched all the RMI teams as they tried to organize the chaos of deciding who was going down from which teams with which guides. Anyway after about 45 minutes we fell in behind 3 RMI teams, 2 teams from an outdoor school, and another independent team. Shortly later the independent team turned around and went down. We just took it slow and steady. Had several crevasses to step over and 1 ladder to cross at 13,200. Finally reached the crater rim and dropped all of our packs and gear. Then slogged over to Columbia Crest at 10am. Then back to the crater rim for a long break to eat, drink and rest. A group that we had passed arrived at the rim but didn’t go on to the summit. Seemed kind of weird why you would climb 8,700 feet up a mountain only to look across another 300 and say no! Anyway started down with Trisha in the lead. The weather was still sunny up high but with quite a stiff wind. Made really good time and within an hour we were back to the cleaver. Took a short break to shed some layers then headed back to camp. Arrived there around 1:30pm to find clouds and snow coming down and proceeded to pack up. The clouds had been rising all day apparently so we didn’t want to stick around for the night in the snow/winds. Made it back to the car in 2hrs and 15 minutes. It was a cold, wet, and very windy trip down. Overall it was a good trip. Glad for the good weather and the snow conditions were wonderful too. Nice hard snow for the ascent and a little soft for quick downhill.
Summary Total Data
    Total Elevation Gain:8991 ft / 2740 m
    Round-Trip Distance:15.6 mi / 25.1 km
    Route:Disappointment Cleaver
    Trailhead:Paradise Lodge   5420 ft / 1652 m
    Grade/Class:Class 3, Grade II
    Quality:8 (on a subjective 1-10 scale)
    Route Conditions:
Maintained Trail, Snow on Ground, Scramble, Snow Climb, Glacier Climb
    Gear Used:
Ice Axe, Crampons, Rope, Tent Camp
    Nights Spent:1 nights away from roads
    Weather:Pleasant, Breezy, Clear

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