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- Location: Castle Rock, CO
Early July, IMO, is not the time to go, if possible look at going mid April through June, for various reasons. I went end of April early June and conditions were sweet, ie crevasse etc.... although no gurantees
A guide service depends on the groups experience, on the 4th of July Im sure you can follow the masses but if no one knows avy danger, ropes use, self-arrest etc...then...from what people say guides will get you up and down in a hurry, usually 3days, not much time is spent on teaching rope work, avy danger, rescue systems.
DC is the easier route, so Im told,
Ill stop there cuz Im sure others will chime in with more detail,,,again do a search to find more info.
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- Location: Lyons, Colorado
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- Location: Lower Highlands/Denver, CO USA
Plus, dont ya think any outfit that Ed Viesturs is involved with would be top notch?
And that's when the Ducati got its second wind. From 4000 to 6000 in third will take you from 75 mph to 95 in two seconds - and after that, Bubba, you still have fourth, fifth, and sixth. Ho, ho.
~Hunter S. Thompson, Song of the Sausage Creature
You're right in your comment that Rainier is a different animal than Colorado 14'ers. Probably more so than you imagine.
To self guide your party will need to be adept at roped travel, navigating crevasse fields, crevasse rescue (self and assisted rescues), and route finding on a very big mountain. While the DC route likely will be well traveled and have a good boot track, you can quickly lose that track if the weather turns, as it frequently does.
If you don't have complete confidence in these skills as well as ice-axe and crampon use, please avail yourself of one of the guide services. While the DC and Emmons ascents are pretty straight forward in good conditions, any route on the mountain will become epic if it socks in. And in a much bigger way than our Colorado 14er's.
Enjoy your trip. It's a great mountain. But be aware of and realistic about your skill set.
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- Location: Colorado Springs
It's an interglacial period...
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- Location: Westminster, CO
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If you are skilled at glacier travel and cravass rescue there is no need to go with a guide service.
Piggy-back their route as it will be marked and filled with traffic.
This sentence pretty much sums up what I was trying to say. "You need to know the fundamentals of glacier travel and crevasse rescue. If you don't have these skills, then you need a guide period". I'm just saying that Rainier requires different skills and experience than peaks in Colorado. If somebody doesn't have the skills necessary for the climb then they need a guide.
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