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Ascent of Mount Rainier on 1997-07-20

Climber: Greg Slayden

Others in Party:Glenn Morrison
Karin - stayed at high camp
Date:Sunday, July 20, 1997
Ascent Type:Successful Summit Attained
    Motorized Transport to Trailhead:Car
Peak:Mount Rainier
    Location:USA-Washington
    Elevation:14411 ft / 4392 m

Ascent Trip Report

It was forcasted to be a sunny and warm weekend, and after work on Friday we met at a restaurant in Ashford and spent the night at a cabin nearby. With an early start we got up to Paradise quickly and hiked up to Glacier Vista, then dropped down to the Nisqually Glacier. Here we roped up for the crossing, and then climbed up the chute leading to the Wilson Glacier/Snowfield. It was a long and tiring slog up to Camp Hazard at 11,600 feet, a very high camp. We were the last party there and it was very crowded, so we had to chip out tent platforms on the slopes below the main camp area.

The next day we were up in the middle of the night, and the long approach hike had taken its toll--Karin was too tired for a summit attempt, and I elected to leave my skis behind, too. We started out in the dark and immediatealy had to cross the small bowl underneath the Kautz Ice Cliff, hurrying to avoid the incessant rockfall. Then we climbed the steep Kautz Glacier, using nice snow steps left over from yesterday. At 13,000 feet or so the slope moderated, and we reached the summit pretty early in the morning.

We took a long nap at the register below the summit, to allow the snow time to soften for the descent, and then started down. Glenn had his skis, and my ropemate and I descended alongside him, keeping up well on the downhill. In the steep Kautz Chute I belayed my partner down, while Glenn skied, falling once but able to arrest in the soft snow.

After a hurried crossing of the "bowling alley" we returned to camp, packed up, and started down to Paradise. I now had my skis, but it was hard to ski in the soft snow with a full pack--Glenn gave up after falling several times. I stuck with it and was able to ski almost to the Nisqually. We crossed that glacier, hiked the agonizing 286 feet back up to Glacier Vista, and then hiked back to our cars, dead tired.
Summary Total Data
    Elevation Gain:9563 ft / 2914 m
    Extra Gain:286 ft / 87 m
    Distance:11.3 mi / 18.2 km
    Route:Kautz Glacier
    Trailhead:Paradise  5420 ft / 1652 m
    Quality:8 (on a subjective 1-10 scale)
    Route Conditions:
Snow Climb, Glacier Climb
    Gear Used:
Ice Axe, Crampons, Rope, Skis, Ski Poles, Tent Camp
    Weather:Pleasant, Breezy, Clear
GPS Data for Ascent/Trip


 GPS Waypoints - Hover or click to see name and lat/long
Peaks:  climbed and  unclimbed by Greg Slayden
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Note: GPS Tracks may not be accurate, and may not show the best route. Do not follow this route blindly. Conditions change frequently. Use of a GPS unit in the outdoors, even with a pre-loaded track, is no substitute for experience and good judgment. Peakbagger.com accepts NO resposibility or liability from use of this data.

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