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Has anyone skied any of the routes on Rainier? I am in the process of planning a trip with a friend and would like to get in contact with an EXPERIENCED ski-mountaineer who has done the many many routes that can be taken on this mountain.
My friend and I are both expert level skiers, but our backcountry experience is limited to day hikes in the Rockies. This trip will be taking place in the first half of July, and we would like to ski a route with as much vertical as possible, but not one in which the risk of crevasses is severe.
I know the Muir snowfield route is recommended for someone with these qualifications, but is there anything else? say something that would be more than a day-trip?
also, if there are any experienced BC climbers who would like to poney on to this trip and show us the ropes feel free!! with someone like that on board we would feel a lot more comfortable taking a road less traveled.
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you came to NS to look for experienced ski mountaineers? you're funny. As said before, hit up TGR, and I'm sure if you go to REI or a similar shop they'd have some good books with info in them... I know you're not going for a summit, but the weather up there can get pretty interesting. Read a stat that around 10000 people go for the summit every year, and less than half actually succeed.
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what would shane do?
Best two options for July are the Fuhrer Finger or the Emmons glacier.
No matter what route you do on the mountain you will have to be prepared for potential for crevasses - unless you climb something like the Success Cleaver (which is all lose and shitty rock but free of glacier travel).
The Finger has some crevasse potential on the upper nisqually and lower nisqually glacier or WIlson glacier, but is usually money. Very popular. Climb the DC route or the Finger itself. About 12,000 vertical feet.
Emmons glacier is 2nd most popular ascent route on the mountain. In July there is usually a path to the summit and crevasses are not generally an issue (but the ones you can't see are the ones you should be concerned about). Popular ski ascent/descent route because of its pitch and lack of rock.
There will be a lot of snow this summer, so once things start clearing up, there will be ski descents left and right, like last year.
Muir snowfield is easy shit. A good few portions are rather flat, so when it gets warm, you are skiing on glue and can barely move. It is still nearly 5,000 vertical feet, but it doesn't really feel like it.
not necessarily an "experienced ski mountaineer" but someone with experience. trying to avoid 15 year olds telling me things i already know
i would love to try a summit but im concerned that im not experienced enough, thats why ive thought about doing Muir, but now that you say its not a very entertaining decent im not sure how i feel about it.
do you know anything about Adams? from what ive read i hear summitting is real popular because there is a much less serious crevasse problem, and that you can ski up to 7,000 vertical on the way down even in june.
thanks for the help!
Rainier is definitely best climbed with some training. It can be done without, but if shit goes wrong, you can be in big trouble.
Adams would be a solid consolation ski. The south spur is free of any technical climbing and is always skied. Like the Muir snowfield, it can get gluey down low, pikers peak and below are fast and fun. Wicked popular though, which can be a good thing in an unfamiliar place. Like any of the volcanoes, go if the weather forecast is good. The only time I did Adams years ago our car got broken in to.
im thinking Adams would be a fantastic weekend experience. ive read the South Spur is an excellent trip for those who arent technical as long as the weather holds up and you are prepared and in shape.
when you say "gluey", when does this kick in? ive seen peoples trip reports about Adams that say you can ski 7000 vertical in mid june, and about 5000 vertical in mid july, +/- depending on the seasons snow fall. what was your decent experience like? how much of the terrain wasnt gluey? only the top? guess im lookin for some details here...
also, what kind of tech did you use on your accent? did you skin it/snowshoe/boot hike or a combination thereof?
thanks so much, and sorry bout ur car!
the main thing about doing rainer is the altatude jump you will climb up 10.000 feet in a short time and then decend... this is hard on the body.. really is. make sure your in good shape.. and if you have the means. hypobaric(sp) chamber it up if you can.
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summitting Rainier was never an option considered haha.
im not experienced enough for that.
was considering a ascent to somewhere south of the summit, but further reading has led me to think summitting Adams could be within my ability.
The sticky snow is really dependent on the weather and what time of day you actually ski it. For us it kicked in around 6800'. It was also 90 in seattle and we started our descent around 11am, so go figure. If start your descent when the area below pikers peak is just getting slightly soft/corn, then the whole descent to the end of the snow should be money.
As for method, you have a lot of options. A combo of skinning to maybe 10000 then carry the rest of the way is probably most efficient. But you could skin the whole way up if the conditions are good. So many damn people go up Adams there should be a well established bootpack to the summit. Crampons may not be necessary, but they might be nice to have in case things are really firm.
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