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more Mount Rainier .

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Descending Rainier. Descending Rainier in mid-morning, the sky heavy with haze from nearby Seattle. People breathe that stuff.


Crevasses and seracs on RainierGaping crevasses on the route ready to eat the unwary (or the unroped, perhaps!) When they are this wide it is easy to avoid them, which we did. Seracs pose a threat from collapsing and perhaps crushing the unfortunate.


Crossing a crevasse on Rainier.More crevasses. We did this ascent in late September and all crevasses were wide open and visible. Normally, everyone ropes up as these crevasses are usually hidden by snowbridges that may not support you. Many people have died after falling in.


Disappointment Cleaver.jpg (83826 bytes)Just below Disappointment Cleaver, in the danger zone. Parties should be back down here by 10 a.m. as increasing sun releases rockfall from the Cleaver every few minutes, and this debris falls on the route. Notice the rock debris that has already fallen here. Starting at the edge, you run like hell back across the glacier towards Camp Muir.


From Camp Muir, we packed up then and walked back down to Paradise by about 4 p.m. after a long, tiring day, and celebrated with Rainier Beer at the outdoor patio. The stuff is swill, but what the was a special occasion and we were thirsty. Then I spent an hour wandering the parking lot looking for my faithful Astrovan. Then I suddenly remembered that I hadn't driven from Calgary, I'd flown down to Seattle and rented a car, a sedan in fact...D'oh! And there it was after all!

Rainier route.jpg (99008 bytes) Here is a close-up of the mountain. Disappointment Cleaver route is tucked in behind a bit but you get the idea.  The red line is often drifted over after a storm so take a map and compass. Ha ha.


It was a good little vacation in the Cascades that September as I climbed Mounts Adams, St Helens and Rainier in 6 days. Earlier that summer I had climbed Tsar Mountain in the Canadian Rockies and had a hoot doing it as well. Good weather makes such a difference!

More info? Jeff Smoot has written a good guidebook for Mount Rainier and also other Cascade Volcanoes including  Mount Hood. Check out Falcon Press @

For online info, visit Roger Rowlett's page at

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all photos copyright by the author 1999.