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Ascent of Mount Rainier on 2019-05-31

Climber: Brian Hutchins

Date:Friday, May 31, 2019
Ascent Type:Successful Summit Attained
Peak:Mount Rainier
    Location:USA-Washington
    Elevation:14411 ft / 4392 m

Ascent Trip Report

My cousin Ellen and I joined International Mountain Guides (IMG) for this climb 5 days after Climbing Hood. This is their 3 1/2 day program and was totally worth the cost of admission.
On Tuesday we meet our Guides and team, had a gear check and went over the itinerary. They do a great job of getting everyone’s pack weight down to 35 lbs or less with food (they provide 2 meals we bring our own snacks/lunch) and water. On my own I would have overpacked, always do.
On Wednesday we met in the morning and ride in a van up to Paradise Lodge. From the parking lot up to Camp Muir is almost 5000 ft and was on snow the whole way. 4.5 miles and 5 1/2 hours later we made Camp Muir and my cousin wanted to kill me. The sun beat down on us and reflected off the snow mercilessly. Not an easy hike, rest stepping all the way. We spend the night in the IMG side of the shelter. The bathrooms are primitive but clean, thanks NPS! Yes you have toilets to sit on. That night we ate in the IMG food tent and had awesome burritos! With guacamole, sour cream and everything else that makes burritos great. Seriously good eating.
On Thursday we had pancakes for breakfast and went through your basic training for glacier travel with ropes and ice axes. Lots of important information and skills are learned. We then leave for our next camp on the Ingraham Glacier at the Ingraham Flats. This hike is about 1 hour and 40 minutes with an elevation gain of just over 1000 feet. We are assigned tents and have a great dinner of salmon pesto pasta, awesome! Now rest til they wake us up for the summit bid. This glacier is huge and awesome to be on. I can’t use the word awesome enough! Some lightning and snow that night while we rested in the tents.
We were woken up after 12:30am Friday morning for a quick breakfast and leave close to 2:00am. Up the Ingraham Glacier for 2.5 miles and 3000+ ft. breaking trail through fresh snow to the crater rim. Got to experience 3 crevasse crossings, one ladder covered a 10 foot gap. Hit the summit around 6:30am, we did not go to the Columbia Crest so did not hit the highest point. The guides were not going there so neither were we. After a long trek down we hit the parking lot around 1:30pm. Some sunburn was the worst damage, didn’t think heat would be more problem than the cold on Rainier but it sure beats gale force winds and heavy snow.
Thanks to our guides - Mike, Zack, Ava, Lara, AJ and Elliot.
Summary Total Data
    Total Elevation Gain:9011 ft / 2746 m
    Route Conditions:
Snow on Ground, Snow Climb, Glacier Climb
    Gear Used:
Ice Axe, Crampons, Rope, Headlamp, Ski Poles, Guide, Hut Camp, Tent Camp
Ascent Statistics
    Gain on way in:9011 ft / 2746 m
    Start Trailhead:5400 ft / 1645 m
Descent Statistics



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