He’s moving up to the Olympic area next week to work on some hippie farm. We’re talking about climbing Rainier in mid-May. I’d plan to book a flight from Denver to Seattle a week or so in advance, and he’d drove on through and pick me up that morning, drive to the National Park to camp that night, then work on the mountain during the next couple of days.
Dang…both TRs have me even more stoked for an upcoming trip to the Emmons in June! :bananas:
Wondering how difficult the route-finding (i.e., crevasse avoidance) was during the ski/board descent? My partner has climbed the DC, but has never boarded anything of this magnitude, so we are still trying to decide whether to take the splits all the way, use them up/down from Schurman or just boot the whole thing :scratch:
Avs (coincidentally, I was growing up in Denver during both the cup years) . . .
Route-finding wasn’t difficult, and I wouldn’t really expect it to be in June either, but of course that depends on a lot of things. We descended adjacent to the well traveled boot path, and as long as you take your time and are careful that should prove to be a reliable handrail.
Probably our biggest route finding folly was on Liberty Saddle, where we descended slightly further than necessary to cross the bergschrund. It didn’t really matter that much, since we wanted to rope up and downclimb over the ‘schrund. There were a few snow-bridges/tight crossings that we felt safer crossing sans board (though we didn’t rope up for them either, just hustled across). At the top of the Corridor (about 1,500 feet of no crevasses) there is a small icefall that we also walked through unroped. From just below Emmons Glacier camp to below Camp Schurman when climbing back onto the prow we traveled roped up/booting, since it’s pretty low-angled, there were more crevasses, and not much vert missed.
My take on the splits/taking a board: why not take them at least to Schurman, and see how you feel. That way, you still have a few thousand feet of quick descent down the interglacier. But if you guys feel comfortable, I’d urge you to take ’em all the way. Most of the summit teams left between 10pm – 2am, while we (the only skiiers at the time) got up at 3am and left at 4am. They passed us while we were ascending, we topped out, and the descent took about 45 minutes, as opposed to 2-4 hours. We got back to Camp Schurman more refreshed, and were actually out of there faster than many of the teams that had gotten back to camp around 7-8am and gone back to bed.
And, if you’re looking to save some weight, you could just take a solid board (depends on snow conditions down low). The upper glacier (>9500) is probably not worth trying to skin, the Interglacier could go either way, and below Glacier Basin (~6k) was melted out when we where there.