Mount Rainier 14,440 ft
Cascade Range, Washington
Mount Rainier from Tipsoo Lake
Rainier is the pride of the Pacific Northwest, and it seems everyone wants to climb it. Rightly so, too. It is a truly beautiful mountain and there are many routes from which to choose. I was fortunate enough to have stable, warm weather for my September '94 ascent. Disappointment Cleaver is one of the most heavily-trafficked routes, but I saw only a half-dozen other climbers then, almost like Robson, Fisher or Assiniboine in the Rockies. Busy days here see 200 people on top, rather like Mount Blanc in the Alps.
Click photos to enlarge
Camp Muir is the normal camping spot for this route and is a half-day hike from Paradise parking lot. A stone shelter here has 2 bunks inside, others tent on the snow. There was a smelly solar shitter that was so bad, even the one and only female left the door open to avoid gagging.
Starting about midnight from Camp Muir, we ascended by moonlight up Disappointment Cleaver route and reached the top around 7 a.m. as the sun rose.
Huddled among rocks at the first summit. The wind was cold, temperature was just above freezing.
Crossing the summit crater to reach the highest point on the far rim. This took about 40 minutes round trip. I left my pack halfway to save my lagging energy, that's how whupped I felt.
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