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Moon from the Summit of Rainier # 6094

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Date: 2004.06.04
Vantage Point: From near the summit of Rainier

Caption: Another unsuccessful attempt at a handstand. And I was hoping that less gravity will help...

PhotoDescr: I am 6' 4" and very clumsy. So handstands come by very rarely, and usually to great cheering of the bystanders (entertainment, not elegance). This one was not different.

I helped Jelte dismantle part of the defunct seismology station on Mt. Rainier this summer. We took Emmons glacier route up just a week after the first fatal accident on Liberty ridge that summer. While we were there, two accidents happened - another fatality on Liberty Ridge (the subject was given first aid by a member of the Varsity Outdoor Club) and a broken ankle on Emmons glacier (a member of US Special Operations commando, they were training for ... you know what). So a lot of helicopter traffic but quiet otherwise. We left for the summit at midnight from Camp Sherman and were on top around 5 a. m. Then we spent two hours looking for the antenna, then digging out four car batteries in plastic suitcases, buried under a meter of icy crust and mud, and just having a blast around the vast summit area on a quiet morning, observing the crows (Jelte claims he saw a coyote last time he was up; rangers were not surprised). We soon realized there is no way we will make it down with all four car batteries (each was about 15 kg), so we just took one each and walked back. Next time, though I hope we'll go up something more exciting. I tried a handstand on the summit from sheer exhilliration, but it did not work as usual. I loved it nevertheless.

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