Ascent of Mount Rainier on 2013-07-07

Climber: Sarah Holt

Date:Sunday, July 7, 2013
Ascent Type:Successful Summit Attained
Peak:Mount Rainier
    Elevation:14411 ft / 4392 m

Ascent Trip Report

Fuhrer Finger - left from Paradise and headed to Glacier Vista, where we headed down and crossed the Nisqually. Easy crossing in early July, didn't rope up. Headed up the fan and continued across the Wilson glacier to camp near a large rock outcropping at 9,200ft. This is a great spot to camp. We originally dug a snow camp on the east side of this rock. When we later explored, looking for water, we discovered that the west side of the rock had several cleared out bivy sites on dry ground, was totally blocked from the wind and about 10 degrees warmer, and had a small waterfall. A great place to sleep, I went to bed warm, and woke up warm at 11:30pm. Saw what I believe to be a mountain goat on the slopes to the west, a few hundred yards away.
To get into the Finger, descend a little back down onto the Wilson, navigate around some crevasses and rock islands. Then up 45 degree slopes for 2000ft. The snow was very hard - no kicking steps possible, we French stepped all the way up. Good purchase with crampons, just had to trust it! My ankles and calves were very tired the next day. Rockfall is reportedly a big issue in the Finger, but we luckily did not experience any.
Some route finding required once you exit the couloir, a few big crevasses to get through. We used some snow bridges that probably won't last much longer. Set up pickets and belayed across them. Snow was softer up here than in the couloir, plus the sun was coming up, so kicking steps became easier.
There were a few short but very steep sections up here. I used my axe in high dagger in one hand and used the other hand to grab the hold created by Monica's footsteps in front of me. Exciting:)
Carried over and descended the DC. Great climb if you want to get away from the crowds! We saw a couple of rangers who climbed the Kautz, but otherwise, didn't see a single other party until we reached the summit crater.
Summary Total Data
    Route Conditions:
Glacier Climb
    Gear Used:
Ice Axe, Crampons, Rope, Bivouac

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