Ascent of Mount Rainier on 2007-07-19

Climber: Caj Svensson

Others in Party:Eva
Date:Thursday, July 19, 2007
Ascent Type:Successful Summit Attained
Peak:Mount Rainier
    Elevation:14411 ft / 4392 m

Ascent Trip Report

After some thinking and discussion what to do, we decided to make another tour to Seattle in 2007 to make a new attempt on Mt. Rainier.
Our friend Pontus was working in Tampa, Florida at the time and he happily signed up for the adventure. The first few days in Seattle was used for the Air museum at the airport, the Boeing factory in Everett and to stock up at REI.
We rented a three person Trango tent in Ashford where we stayed overnight. Packed the packs with all we needed for five days
on the mountain. Five days was the maximum we had, as we all three had tickets to fly out in the morning of day six. Four nights is
also the maximum the climb permits give you.
In June 2006 the path was snow covered all the way from Paradise but in July 2007 the path was dry the first few miles, up to
Panorama Point. This wasn't nice as we hiked in the mountaineer plastic boots. Uneventful ascent to Camp Muir where we raised the tent and I prepared dinner. I am always cooking when we camp. We met Anderson, an ice climbing guide, on the ascent. He and his clients were heading to Ingraham Flats to climb in the crevasses.
We broke camp after breakfast the second day and crossed the Cowlitz Glacier and the Cathedral Rocks to reach the Ingraham Glacier. Just a short hike up the glacier are the Flats. This is where we set our new camp and also where Anderson and his clients had their camp. One guiding company had a permanent camp at the Flats. It was cold and foggy at the Flats and Eva found it nice to have her position between Pontus and me in the tent. We got both some good wind and snow and the third day resulted in a short hike to scout out the instep to the Disappointment Cleaver. No summit attempt this day. All other climbers left the Flats to go back to Camp Muir.
The forth day was likewise a disappointment as we didn't have weather to climb. We hiked across the Flats to some big crevasses and got some pictures. A slow day with time to sleep and to play the Fluxx card game that Pontus brought with him. Looks like we were running out of time, considering the time it takes to break camp and to hike out.
The sky was clear at 1 AM the fifth morning, we had breakfast and then off, at about 2 AM. We were leading up the mountain and had a good progress on the Cleaver until I took the wrong turn somewhere and found myself on steep ice. Eva and Pontus belayed me back and we were now after a guided group. We could easily follow the wands and the trail up to the top of the Cleaver. Next obstacle was a
bergschrund that was secured with a permanent rope. We traversed horizontally above a big crevasse and then turned uphill with a long
and monotonous climb to the crater rim. Left the packs in the crater and hiked across and up to the Columbia Crest. We got some great pictures in the sun. Eva was now also a 45 state highpoint completer. A quick lunch in the crater and then back
down, to camp. We broke camp and started down the mountain.
Packed the car after an uneventful descent and left Paradise by 9 PM. A late dinner at Wendy's in Puyallup. We got back the phone coverage when getting closer to Seattle. Eva called the hotels 800 number but they could not help us as they are located on the East coast and it was already the next day over there.
We realized that some fair and/or conference was going on in Seattle and called every hotel we could find in the AAA book. After more than an hour, a Best Western hotel had one vacant room. We checked in by 2 AM, 24 h after we started the climb.

Pontus flight back to Tampa was at 6 AM and he had a shower and left for the airport. Eva and I had some more time and slept for two hours before packing the car and left for our flight to Salt Lake City at 8:30. More on this in my Idaho/Borah Peak trip report.
Summary Total Data
    Elevation Gain:9011 ft / 2747 m
    Distance:14 mi / 22.5 km
    Trailhead:5400 ft / 1645 m
    Route Conditions:
Maintained Trail, Unmaintained Trail, Open Country, Snow on Ground, Scramble, Exposed Scramble, Snow Climb, Glacier Climb
    Gear Used:
Ice Axe, Crampons, Rope, Ski Poles, Tent Camp
    Nights Spent:4 nights away from roads

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