Wednesday, August 19, 2009
Climbing Mt. Rainier Days 3-6
Well Tuesday morning started out cold and rainy. I was prepared for all weather but when the wind is blowing and your already wet it starts to become dangerous. We hiked in from Paradise and to the Kautz route. We had to cross rocks and glacier ice if gravel on it first. He had to climb up the rocks on the side of a waterfall. Remember it's been raining the whole time. Then we did hours of snow treking and climbing. We went from 4000 feet up to 8500 feet. We used a shovel to flatten out the snow and our ice axes as tent stakes. Still raining we set up our tents as fast as we could. We stayed in our tent the rest of the night. Next day rain stopped for two hours and we did some ice climbing and some rescue training. Then a huge storm rolled in and put us back in our tents until the next day. This is expedition training at it's finest because on the Denali you can get stuck in your tent for days. The plan was to start climbing at midnight to attempt summit but, the storm kept blowing all night. Thursday around 8:00am it stopped we packed up and started climbing again. We used ropes and just took one step at a time. I really didn't take that many pictures because of weather and I had an ice axe in one hand and a ski pole in the other. We climbed to around 10,000 feet just up to the "castle" and the plane wreck. The plane wreck happened in the 1960's due to a military coordinate mishap. The plane had been frozen into a glacier up to five years ago when it thawed out. So again a huge storm rolled in and we had to find safety so we started to down climb. Needless to say we climbing all the way back to the parking lot in the pouring rain again. The next day we learned more rope skills and mountain medicine.