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Denali & Rainier - Should They Even Be in the Same Category?

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Re: Denali & Rainier - Should They Even Be in the Same Categ

Postby RoanMtnMan » Tue Apr 23, 2013 5:14 pm

Fletch wrote:Willis Wall! It was late last night and I had had two scotches... My bad!


I knew it was a typo, and I figure you know I was just joking a bit. It would take me at least 2 scotches before signing up for either of those routes. Your typo actually accentuates the point I was attempting to make though. If you climb either one successfully, you are in a very elite group of lucky people.
Always follow the 7 P's. Proper Planning & Preparation, Prevents Piss-Poor Performance.

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Re: Denali & Rainier - Should They Even Be in the Same Categ

Postby shredthegnar10 » Tue Apr 23, 2013 5:25 pm

RoanMtnMan wrote:But Rainier has volcanic concerns that Denali doesn't to balance the scale.

Heh, the first time I climbed it, when we were walking across the crater, my partner asked me, "What are the chances that it is going to erupt right now?"
Seriously, though, while Rainier is active, it's not just going to erupt out of the blue while you're climbing it. The USGS has it well-monitored so people would know well in advance of an eruption if there was magmatism going on ... plus the heat from the magma would melt a bunch of the ice on the mountain before it began to erupt, so the whole area would be messed up and you probably wouldn't be able to get very close to the mountain anyway :wink:
So let's hope that doesn't happen any time soon, because Rainier is seriously a beautiful mountain and I like it just the way it is right now :)
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Re: Denali & Rainier - Should They Even Be in the Same Categ

Postby screeman57 » Tue Apr 23, 2013 8:02 pm

shredthegnar10 wrote:it's not just going to erupt out of the blue while you're climbing it.


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Re: Denali & Rainier - Should They Even Be in the Same Categ

Postby Scott P » Tue Apr 23, 2013 8:28 pm

it's not just going to erupt out of the blue while you're climbing it.


Happened to me once. Got some good photographs though.

Rainier is probably heavily monitored, so the chances of it erupting by surprise is fairly low, but it does happen on occasion. All the volcanoes in New Zealand, for example, are heavily monitored, but Mount Tongariro had a surprise eruption last year that was unexpected. There were a few small earthquakes (which are very common there), but it erupted out of the blue and unexpected to scientists.

According to volcanologist it is possible that Rainier could erupt unexpectedly too:

There may be little or no advance warning: Studies by U.S. Geological Survey (USGS) scientists show that at least one of Mount Rainier's recent large landslide-generated lahars may have occurred when the volcano was quiet and not providing the warning signs typical of a restless and erupting volcano. In such a rare case, the only warning could be a report that a lahar is already underway.

http://geology.com/usgs/rainier/

Expected or not, when Rainier does go, it's going to wipe out a lot of homes and be a large scale disaster. The source above gives a 1/10 chance of a large lahar within an average human lifespan.

Anyway, I'm from Washington. We left before St Helens blew, but went back just after the eruption. As a six year old kid (it happened a month before I turned 6), I remember scooping up volcanic ash and viewing the destruction. It was rather awe inspiring for a little kid. St Helens is just a little baby volcano in comparison to Rainier.

Maybe this is getting a bit off topic though.
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Re: Denali & Rainier - Should They Even Be in the Same Categ

Postby shredthegnar10 » Tue Apr 23, 2013 9:24 pm

Off topic, yes, but also fun :)

I should clarify that when I said "it's not just going to erupt," I was referring to an eruption that extrudes lava in some form -- not degassing or even a lahar.
Lahars are the biggest concern at Mt. Rainier -- but it doesn't even have to erupt for them to happen. The huge amount of glacial ice potentially melting is the main cause for concern -- regardless of how this happens. Magmatism (that doesn't necessarily end in an eruption, for whatever reason) would generate heat that gets conducted through the rocks and melts the ice. Also, the size of the volcano doesn't really have anything to do with the explosivity of an eruption -- it's more about the ratios of gasses and composition of the magma.

Anyway, back to the original point, if you're really concerned about Rainier erupting while you're climbing it, you can always go to the CVO web site to check its status before you head up :wink:
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Re: Denali & Rainier - Should They Even Be in the Same Categ

Postby RoanMtnMan » Wed Apr 24, 2013 6:22 am

My reference to volcanic concerns wasn't limited to eruption. Climbers have been killed on PNW mountains from toxic vapor multiple times.
Always follow the 7 P's. Proper Planning & Preparation, Prevents Piss-Poor Performance.

"An adventure is misery and discomfort, relived in the safety of reminiscence.” --Marco Polo

www.CalebWrayPhotography.com

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