In June of 2001, Alex and Jim invited me to attempt Mt. Rainier with them.  The plan was to complete a conditioning hike in early June to Camp Muir and back, and then make the summit on a trip 2 weeks later.  The second trip we would hike to Muir, acclimate for a day, and then attempt the summit on the second night.  Once we took care of our permits, we headed up around 11:30 in the morning.  We got to Muir around 6:30, which was over an hour slower then our first conditioning hike - what a difference a rope, and food makes!  After setting up camp, we settled in for a nice snooze into the next day.  The word wasn't good from the parties that attempted that morning - the avalanche hazard from spring storm a few days earlier was turning everyone back.  This turned out to be the case from the next morning also, so we had to abort our attempt.  Below are some pictures Alex took with his digital camera...

First break out of Paradise - The weather at Paradise was pretty gloomy, around 50 degrees, and overcast.  The promise was for the clouds to break at around 9,000 feet.  Here we take a break to adjust clothing layers, and to hydrate.

Shedding about 30 minutes from Paradise...

Out of the clouds... -  Almost on cue at 9,200 feet, we break out of the clouds, and get our first glimpse of the summit for this day.  Camp Muir is barely visible at the edge of the shadow.  Because of the slope, it feels like it takes forever to make this last 900 feet vertical to Muir!

Tom with Muir in site, just breaking out of the clouds...

Cozy accommodations... - In order to save weight, we all cram into Alex's tent.  While cozy, it was also warm.  Constant wind during the first night (and I think the 10,000 foot elevation) made sleeping difficult though.  Here, Jim is caught snoozing during our acclimation day...

Jim snoozing...

Camp Muir... - Since we weren't able to climb due to avalanche conditions, we ended up just taking in the sites around Camp Muir.  This shot is of Mount Adams to the south...

These other shots were taken while heading up:

Butler Shelter Ranger Station...  Here is a shot of the ranger station at the camp.
MRI shelters...  The MRI shelters were for those using the MRI guide service.
Our camp with the summit in the background...  Once two thirds the way up the mountain at Muir, you start to get the perspective of just how big this mountain really is!
The route to Disappointment Cleaver...  Ingraham Flats lie just on the other side of this gap.  We had thought of setting our camp there, but since it took us longer than anticipated to get to Muir, we dropped the idea.
Solar toilets...  These toilets use solar energy to evaporate as much material as possible.  The remainder is flown out via helicopter.  You definitely want to check the prevailing winds before you set up camp.
Tom cooking breakfast with Jim...  There was still enough snow to carve out a very comfortable area to cook.  Mount St. Helens is on the horizon in the background.
Tom's kitchen...  A closer look at my cooking facilities...
The view from our doorstep towards Mount Adams...  The weather at Muir was stellar the entire time we were up, except for some wind in the evenings.  The clouds stayed at around 9,000 feet to whole time.  This view shows how the camps are dug in to the various snow banks.  Things get pretty hectic at around midnight, the traditional time for starting the summit accent.
 

Mt. Adams from Camp Muir...

Back to Tom in the mountains...

 

Home - Contact - Search - Guest Book - What's Tom Up To

All content on this page is Copyright 2004, and can not be reproduced without the expressed permission of themarxes.us.

Accumulated page views since July 18, 2002: Hit Counter