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Rainier Info pa pa pa please

14ers in California and Washington state or any other peak in the USA
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Rainier Info pa pa pa please

Postby seth0687 » Thu Jan 24, 2013 12:48 pm

Hey guys,

Jus spent the last 6 or so hours reading through any and all threads that had the key word "Rainier" and just had a couple questions if you have time.

1. Anyone have a training regiment that worked for them? Specific climbs in Colorado you used to train before your attempt?
2. Any particular books that are good reads on the area/mountain?
3. What gear did you find particularly helpful, necessary, comforting, preferred etc..(brands, models, etc.)
4. Travel recommendations prior to and after the climb (i.e. hotel preference, cab or bus vs. rental car)
5. How was flying with a retarded amount of gear lol?
6. Any tips, tricks, hints, or things you learned on your climb that are of note?


Cheers,

Seth
Last edited by seth0687 on Sat Mar 02, 2013 6:48 am, edited 1 time in total.

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Re: Rainer Info pa pa pa please

Postby SurfNTurf » Thu Jan 24, 2013 1:18 pm

seth0687 wrote:Hey guys,

Jus spent the last 6 or so hours reading through any and all threads that had the key word "Rainer" and just had a couple questions if you have time.

1. Anyone have a training regiment that worked for them? Specific climbs in Colorado you used to train before your attempt?
2. Any particular books that are good reads on the area/mountain?
3. What gear did you find particularly helpful, necessary, comforting, preferred etc..(brands, models, etc.)
4. Travel recommendations prior to and after the climb (i.e. hotel preference, cab or bus vs. rental car)
5. How was flying with a retarded amount of gear lol?
6. Any tips, tricks, hints, or things you learned on your climb that are of note?

Thanks again guys. The climb will be unguided on either the Emmons Glacier or the IG/DC. The climb will take place sometime between Mid June to the End of July. Also, if anyone has any interest in joining feel free to shoot me an email, right now it is just a two man team.

Cheers,

Seth


1. I just hiked in Colorado a lot. Climb a few low-angle couloirs to get used to walking in crampons and using an ice ax. Do some spring overnighters to gain experience carrying a Rainier-heavy pack and camping on snow. Oh, and make sure you and your partners intimately know basic crevasse rescue techniques.

2. Glacier Mountaineering is a fantastic and fun guide for beginners. Specific to the mountain, The Challenge of Rainier by Dee Molenaar covers it.

3. Way too much to mention, but if you have specific questions I'll try my best to answer them. One thing I'd recommend is a very thin long-sleeve shirt (many companies make a "glacier hoody" or "solar hoody") for the hike up the Muir Snowfield. The sun can bake you up there, and you'll want something that covers as much skin as possible without being hot.

4. We stayed in a cheap hotel on the eastern outskirts of Seattle. It worked well. You pretty much have to rent a car, as far as I know there are no public transportation options to reach the trailhead. At least, not that I could find last summer.

5. My 60L pack and one large duffel covered it easily. We flew Southwest so checking them was free. The one big inconvenience is you can't travel with gas; you have to find a spot to buy fuel in Washington. We stopped at a Wal-Mart on the way to the park.

6. Build in a few extra days if you can. The weather up there can be vicious, and if it's not, taking your time to enjoy the mountain is very rewarding.

Good luck!
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Re: Rainer Info pa pa pa please

Postby shredthegnar10 » Thu Jan 24, 2013 1:55 pm

1. For training, the main thing is to get used to carrying a 40-50lb pack. So hiking anything in Colorado with a heavy pack is the best training.
2. No need for a guidebook on either of the routes you mentioned; you can get any information you need on SummitPost and from the park rangers.
3. I used plastic boots but many climbers get by with leathers since it's only a 2 or 3 day thing. If you have plastics and they're comfortable, take 'em, but realistically you'll be fine with leathers. I have a pair of Scarpa Omegas and they were perfect, if a little too warm at times. My partner and I used a 30m rope. This was perfect for a two person team. You will definitely need to melt snow to make water, so make sure you have a reliable stove. You should each have two pickets ... we took a couple ice screws each as well but did not need them ... probably overkill.
4. If you're flying into Sea/Tac, definitely get a rental car.
5. Flying with gear isn't a big deal. If you're going to try to take a stove on the plane make sure you clean it well; some people just rent or buy a stove when they get there to simplify things. Make sure you wrap something over your axe so it doesn't tear your other stuff. When I travel to climb, I usually try to pack the heaviest allowable items -- and stuff that might be difficult to replace -- in my carry-on and put everything else in a checked bag.
6. I'd suggest making your reservation at least a month in advance. It's pretty easy, you can find all the stuff on the NPS website.

Anything else you want to ask, I'll try to answer as best I can.
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Re: Rainer Info pa pa pa please

Postby seth0687 » Thu Jan 24, 2013 2:34 pm

Thanks for the quick replies guys. I'm sure I will have more questions as the logistics planning comes together. As far as #5 goes (gear info), I was mainly just looking for what you liked or didn't like about what you used. Any items that worked really well versus brands or items that did not work out so well. Just glancing at the RMI/IMG/AAI gear lists I have just about everything minus a few soft goods.

As far as training goes, I have been running between 3-5 miles 3-5 times per week, and was going to start heading up longs and Lambslide just for the added mileage with a pack. Any other ideas, training plans, programs etc....would be much appreciated.

So far your tips and advice are great, so thank you again for taking the time to help me out. Also, anyone in the Foco area that wants to chat over a beer, it's on me....

Seth

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Re: Rainer Info pa pa pa please

Postby Rainier_Wolfcastle » Thu Jan 24, 2013 2:37 pm

1. SurfnTurf's solar hoody recommendation is right on (particularly as you get into July), I did not have one but bought one right after I got off the mountain.
2. For Emmons, you will be hard pressed to find a simlar length, slope angled, glacier type surface to prepare on. But you need to prepare for the following: You are not front-pointing, the angle requires the french technique (keeping all your points in contact with the ice). You probably will be following other's crusty tracks (possibly buckets from previous soft afternoon condition descents that have re-frozen). Anyways, you need to be able to maintain ascending a 30+ degree slope on a crusty surface for 4,500-5,000 ft of gain without killing your feet, ankles, calves, or quads. With rest-stepping 75% of the time, depending on angle, I kept switching out between the duck-walk, American hybrid (one straight one duck), front cross-steps (my fave for the route), reverse cross-steps . This method worked great for keeping me fresh and preventing soreness.
3. For the descent, practice knocking balled up snow off your crampons with your axe without missing a step or losing your balance on a slope.
4. Practice tacking quick breaks on hard 30+ degree slopes...be efficient in taking your pack off, getting out your parka/water/snacks, putting your parka on, and sitting on your pack (outside down).
5. Practice being roped up with your partner...pace, keeping rope downhill on switchpacks (stepping over), and switching hands with your axe...all while maintaining your balance and pace.
6. For travel: I used a large duffell, kept under 50 pounds, put my unpacked large pack in it with gear, food, and anything I could not bring on the plane. Then brought medium size pack on the plane. I wore my boots (my most important gear item).

Have a great time and stay safe!
Shawn D
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Re: Rainer Info pa pa pa please

Postby schrund » Thu Jan 24, 2013 2:58 pm

We went up the Camp Shurman route this past August, on the dates we wanted but without reservations. We showed up at the Ranger station the day before we wanted to launch, about an hour before it opened and were the first ones in line. There was no problem getting a permit as they reserve a certain number for first-come-first-served.
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Re: Rainer Info pa pa pa please

Postby RoanMtnMan » Thu Jan 24, 2013 4:15 pm

Don't carry too much stuff. Seriously, that is one of the most common mistakes I have seen up there. Here is an interesting TR from a couple of days ago. There is a second TR from our previous trip linked at the bottom of this one.

http://www.wildsnow.com/9265/mt-rainier-fuhrer-finger-ski-mountaineering/
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Re: Rainer Info pa pa pa please

Postby seth0687 » Fri Jan 25, 2013 7:47 am

Again, thanks very much guys!!

Is anyone else OCD about their gear lists or itineraries like I am...pershaps you put them in spreadsheets....perhaps I could take a gander at said spreadsheets lol.

Also, I was curious as to what amount of food and type of food your brought with you. I am planning on a two day ascent with a third day built in just incase.

Thanks again,

Seth

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Re: Rainer Info pa pa pa please

Postby Brian C » Fri Jan 25, 2013 8:22 am

seth0687 wrote:I am planning on a two day ascent with a third day built in just incase.


We had planned on a 2 day ascent and it ended up being a 3 day. We would not have made it if we had not brought the extra food and fuel. We brought meals for 3 full days and lots of stuff like GORP, mountain house meals, oatmeal, bars, etc. Just the typical backpacking stuff.

I'm not sure if it's helpful, but I wrote a brief report that can be seen HERE.
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Re: Rainer Info pa pa pa please

Postby speth » Fri Jan 25, 2013 8:28 am

seth0687 wrote:Again, thanks very much guys!!

Is anyone else OCD about their gear lists or itineraries like I am...pershaps you put them in spreadsheets....perhaps I could take a gander at said spreadsheets lol.

Also, I was curious as to what amount of food and type of food your brought with you. I am planning on a two day ascent with a third day built in just incase.

Thanks again,

Seth


You're overthinking it. Are you going guided?
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Re: Rainer Info pa pa pa please

Postby lpyle » Fri Jan 25, 2013 8:37 am

As for travel recommendations, I was going to suggest that you stop by the Mint in Enumclaw for beer and food afterwards. But I just googled them and it appears they have closed. So sad!
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Re: Rainer Info pa pa pa please

Postby CO Native » Fri Jan 25, 2013 9:10 am

Try spelling it Rainier in your search and you might find some better info. :)

I recommend driving if you're going with a group of friends. The road trip is fun and you don't have to worry about renting a car there or buying fuel for your stove or being accosted by airport security. Saves a lot of money too, especially if you have a fuel efficient car to drive. It's about a 20 hour drive so you can do it in one long day.

I also use spreadsheets to plan my gear. I don't still have my list from Rainier though. I usually change the list for every big hike. I use it to have a check list that I go through on my final packing. I make sure that I actually look at every piece on my final check. It helps prevent those problems of getting halfway into a hike and realizing you've forgotten something critical. My list was last adapted for my Gannet Peak trip which was very similar gear. Let me know if you'd like a look at that one.
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