Ascent of Mount Rainier on 1995-09-14

Climber: Stephen Wark

Others in Party:Kevin
Date:Thursday, September 14, 1995
Ascent Type:Successful Summit Attained
Peak:Mount Rainier
    Elevation:14411 ft / 4392 m

Ascent Trip Report

This is an older trip log, but a high peak nevertheless. After training for months, we headed with massive packs up the Muir snowfield to Camp Muir, a trip that took 7 grueling hours. I was in good shape, but damn - I had not yet learned the value of lightweight backpacking or climbing! Getting up the next day was unbelievable - the clouds were at 8,000, and from our pearch at 10,000, it look liked an ocean of clouds with other summits sticking up through the white blanket. Wow - what a way to start the day!

The five of us spent two days at Muir, and an extra day as two of our group felt sick. We filled in the time with ice and rock climbing, and sacked out early.

We moved up to the Ingraham glacier, intent on the disappointment cleaver route. Camp was set at 12,500' and what a night - sunset was amazing! We awoke that night at 11:00 planning the typical nighttime start - what a fiasco. We go totally off route, and ended up almost sliding off a scree-field. I was scared, and one of our group even more so, resulting in a retreat back to the tents. After 30 minutes and a sunrise, all but one of us returned to the route. Let me tell you - seeing the route in the sun makes all the difference! We eventually summited in perfect weather, windy as all can be, but one of the defining moments in my life.

After we returned to the tents at sunset, I was whipped. Had lots of water but no real food (we had stayed one day too long),and the next day we returned to Muir to collect our cached gear. The decent was mostly on my butt as I slid down the snowfield. What a fantastic trip.
Summary Total Data
    Route Conditions:
Snow on Ground, Exposed Scramble, Snow Climb, Glacier Climb
    Gear Used:
Ice Axe, Crampons, Rope, Ski Poles, Tent Camp
    Weather:Cold, Very Windy, Clear

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