Logistics & cost to do a trip to the NW

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Re: Logistics & cost to do a trip to the NW

Postby griddles » Wed Feb 06, 2013 4:17 pm

To save on checking a bag, there are 2 grocery stores in waling distance of the AAI office. You actually pass one walking on the way to the office from the hotel.
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Re: Logistics & cost to do a trip to the NW

Postby herdbull » Wed Feb 06, 2013 5:28 pm

Gabriel wrote:I see you live in Wisconsin. If you have no interest in Rainier you can get all the training you need at Devil's Lake State park North of Madison. I did all my training there before my Denali climbs and continue to train there before annual trips to the Andes or Himalaya. There is great crack on the east bluff that you can use to simulate a crevasse rescue situation. With snow you can practice setting snow anchors and making bollards. Pulley systems for crevasses rescue can be complex so practicing every weekend before trip is better than practicing one time when you go out to Washington. I see you got up Orizabawithout guides so you must value beng a climber rather than a guided client. Teach yourself, it's really rewarding. PM me if you have questions. I live in Madison.


I like your thinking but up until a few months ago I've never owned a harness and the one I have has only been out on once to make it was going to fit. I just don't have the background to teach myself.

That's great info on the grocery stores. I would be there earlier enough the day before to hit up some stores. Wonder what's around there for climbing stores or a place to pick up some dehydrated meals. Anything I could buy there sure would help. I think I mentioned this already but I eat a lot :lol:
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Re: Logistics & cost to do a trip to the NW

Postby yedi » Wed Feb 06, 2013 6:15 pm

One other thing to note: if you do the standard 3.5-day climb up the DC route, you're not going to get a lot of instruction on glacier travel and you're not going to get any crevasse rescue training.

I did Rainier with IMG a couple of years ago, and I have nothing but praise for them, but you should understand that the focus of that trip is getting you up the mountain, not teaching you glacier travel skills. They teach you some very basic skills (how to hold your ice axe, how to travel on a rope team, how to tie a butterfly knot and rewoven figure-8) and give you some very basic practice (cramponing and self arrest), but they only go over this enough that you are reasonably safe on the mountain with their guides. The snow school/skills practice on my trip was about 3-4 hours one morning at Camp Muir. That was it. They didn't even mention crevasse rescue, and we probably only practiced self arrest 10 times. I'm not knocking their system. It's great for getting people to the summit of the mountain while relying on the company guides, which is what most people on those trips have in mind (we weren't even allowed to tie into the rope, for example, the guides tied all of the knots and we just clipped in). It sounds like you're more interested in developing skills that you can take out on your own, though. I wouldn't feel comfortable at all heading out on my own based only on the 3-4 hours of instruction I got on this trip. (You obviously get more cramponing and roped travel practice while you head to the summit, but I'm not sure it's worth spending all that money just to practice these skills.)

Again, I'm not criticizing IMG. I had a fantastic trip, and I would recommend IMG again in a minute if you were looking for a guided summit climb. I just don't want you to plunk down all that money thinking you're going to get the skills you need to travel safely on a glacier from a trip like this.
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Re: Logistics & cost to do a trip to the NW

Postby Scott P » Fri Feb 08, 2013 8:25 am

As it sits AAI is the only one that would not require a car but would require $350 in hotels, plus taxi, plus extra baggage fees.

Someone mentioned the Seattle City Hostel, which is actually a very nice hostel and $28-35 a night (I'll be staying there again soon):


It looks to be about 1 mile from the AAI office.

Also, you don't really need a taxi to get downtown. There is a fairly expensive (but still way cheaper than a taxi) door to door shuttle service (~$21) from the airport to the hotels downtown. If you can walk a few minutes from the airport, there is the light rail station which takes you right downtown for $2.75.
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Re: Logistics & cost to do a trip to the NW

Postby taylorzs » Fri Feb 08, 2013 8:37 am

There are some great crevasses rescue courses in Colorado. Before I went to Rainier (and some other glaciated volcanos) I hired a guide at Colorado Mountain School to teach me and my partners crevasse rescue and glacier travel techniques. I then practiced with my parners once every week or so for a few months. Then I climbed Rainier, Shasta, and Hood in a week with my friends, snowboarded down all of them, and did everything unguided. We felt well prepared between taking the class and then practicing our techiques off cliffs and cornices in Colorado. I think the class cost me $200 if I remember correctly. Might be a better route to just take a course somewhere, learn & practice crevasses rescue, then go without a guide. This route does require that you have all the other requisite mountain experience (cold weather/camping, snow climbing, avalanche, navigation skills, etc) and friends with similar goals and experience...and I do not know your experience in everything else but thought I would throw that idea out there for you. It is cheaper and more rewarding than hiring a guide to take you up the mountain.
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Re: Logistics & cost to do a trip to the NW

Postby cougar » Fri Feb 08, 2013 8:47 am

you might check out Alaska or western Canada - lots of glaciers up there and high elevation, and you may be able to get some transport without a rental car, depending on where you're going. For example, the train can take you from Anchorage to Talkeetna, or to Seward (glaciers on the Kenai), plus they have the ferries. There are hostels in many places.
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Re: Logistics & cost to do a trip to the NW

Postby herdbull » Sun Feb 10, 2013 3:28 pm

I'm 90% sure I'm going to do a private 2-day class/climb in Jackson Hole. It'll save me around $1750 and I can tie it into my early summer trip to Colorado. I think this is the best option for me as they can "push" me hard and challenge me in the 1:1 situation more than I would get in a group setting.

Thanks again for talking me through some of this stuff and for throwing out some ideas.

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