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Mt. Rainier via Disappointment Cleaver
Timestamp Free: 2020.01.23 - 22:48:23
Ranges: North America Ranges / Pacific Cordillera Range / Cascade Range / Washington Cascades
  (2 days)
Participants: Martin Berka, Joshua Hacker, Claudia Roegers
Three of us made an unexpectedly fast ascent of Mount Rainier (WA), leaving Vancouver at 4 a.m. on September 22, and returning at 3 a.m. on September 24. On the cold and windy first day we hiked up the snowfield to Camp Muir and spent the night there. At 5:30 a.m. we left for the summit, passing Ingraham flats and icefall along the way, then swinged north to the Emmons glacier due to missing bits and pieces in the Ingraham headwall. The lack of breath in the last strech was more than compensated by the spectacular views and interesting ice formations around the summit crater. At 12:30 p.m. we stood on the summit, where we met 3 other guys who were also from UBC. The way back was quick, we reached Paradise at around 7 p.m., and since we could not find any place to camp we drove straight back (hence the speed).
Please see this page for pictures of the climb.

This is a non-technical route which is not surprisingly also the most popular one. Most people hike from Paradise info centre to Camp Muir where they stay overnight. Reportedly there can be long lineups to the camp which tends to smell of human junk throughout the high season. Fortunately we went later, and there were "only" about 50 people at Muir. One can also push a little further and camp at Ingraham flats.

We started at 5:30 a.m. - bit later than planned due to colder temperatures - and watched the sunrise just before the Ingraham flats. There were a few guided groups in the steep icefall ahead. The icefall was straightforward to get through because all crevasses were visible, but higher up they became too wide (more than 10m) and the missing chunks of the path made Upper Ingraham Glacier inaccessible. We circumvented them via Upper Emmons Glacier further N, passing two guided groups in the meantime. The third group was busy crossing a freshly grown crevasse after the guides installed a new ladder (many thanks!!). From upper Emmons the path is easy and the views magnificent. Claudia had a few bad moments before we reached the crater due to the lack of breath, but once we were there the enthusiasm took over. We crossed the crater and hiked up the ridge on the N side of it. There we met another triplet - and hey there were from UBC! Indeed, that day saw only a few summiters as all the guides turned back. All of us were from UBC and none was Canadian :).

The way back offers fantastic views in good weather. I recommend starting earlier even if the temperatures are low because the sun and exhaustion may cause headaches. It is a non-technical but a long route - a bit...

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