Mount Rainier: Disappointment Cleaver

Trip Details

Elevation: 14,410 Feet

Elevation Gain: 9000 Feet

Distance: 15 Miles

Gear: Standard Glacier Gear

We finally had the opportunity to climb Mount Rainier! We had planned on doing it a few times while we lived in the Pacific Northwest but the weather never cooperated.

Our flight landed in Seattle around 10pm, picked up rental car and left the airport around midnight. Stopped at a Walmart and picked up some stuff around 1am. We drove out to the park and slept for a few hours in the Paradise parking lot.

We woke up at 5am and sat in front of the climbing center door first in line for permits! We ended up getting a Camp Muir permit for Sunday night. After that, we spent the day checking out the park and getting our bags packed.

Sunday morning we started hiking up to Camp Muir at 7:15 am. It took us 4 hours and 8 minutes to make it to camp. Our packs were pretty heavy, probably 40-45 pounds(?).

We wanted to start the climb before all of the guide groups so we decided to wake up at 10:50 and start at 11:30pm.  We finally laid down around 6:30, woke up at 11pm and left a little later than planned at midnight exactly (luckily still beating the groups). We quickly passed a group of 3 and then continued up. Overall we moved pretty quickly and had really smooth transitions between the glacier and rock sections. Justin was battling some bad nausea from 13k up. Don’t think it was altitude related it might have been exhaustion due to the lack of sleep the past few nights. We also only had a small breakfast (split a fig bar and cliff bar) that could have been the cause. Jenn was feeling great the entire climb and could have pushed harder.

We summited at 5:05am. It was extremely windy at the true summit and very cold.

The way down the route wasn’t bad. Justin felt better except in the spots where we had to go uphill. Once we got back to camp we broke it down and packed everything up. As usual packing was a real PIA after climbing for hours. We eventually got everything to fit and started the walk down.

The hike from Camp Muir to Paradise was brutal. The snow on the snowfield was soft but not too soft for solid plunge stepping and the sun was beating down on us. We were so happy to get back to the car. We stopped at the bunkhouse for a celebratory Rainier and a burger. It. Was. Delicious.

We drove back to Seattle and spent the night at a hotel eating dominoes and fantastic Breakside/Hopworks beer. Baller.

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