Rainier June 2021

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Plugugly
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Re: Rainier June 2021

Post by Plugugly » Sun Jan 03, 2021 11:43 am

Eli Boardman wrote:
Sat Jan 02, 2021 7:48 pm
CaptCO wrote:
Sat Jan 02, 2021 7:37 pm
Eli Boardman wrote:
Sat Jan 02, 2021 7:34 pm

And which routes have you climbed on Rainier?
You act like Rainier is K2 lmfao. Trollolololol #AverageJoes
And you think your last name is Messner but the biggest piece of ice you've ever touched is probably the one in your iced latte.

I thought you told me privately a while back that you didn't want to be a troll anymore?
"I thought you told me privately a while back that you didn't want to be a troll anymore?"

Love that.
Rudy can't fail.
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Plugugly
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Re: Rainier June 2021

Post by Plugugly » Sun Jan 03, 2021 11:45 am

nyker wrote:
Sun Jan 03, 2021 6:34 am
bdloftin77 wrote:
Fri Jan 01, 2021 9:26 pm
Is anyone interested in doing Rainier in the first half of June, 2021? I'm planning on going guided, and am seeing if anyone else would be interested in joining.

Feel free to send a PM if you have an interest or any questions.

Thanks!
-Ben
Sounds like fun. Check with the outfits though for availability. Many of the 2021 trip dates for Rainier climbs are sold out already from the main companies (RMI, AA, IMG, etc.) so if you're keen on doing it with one of them, get your name on a wait list now. I'm sure some cancellations will happen.
Also be prepared to have the trip cancelled due to COVID, they're all playing it by ear. Given the current environment, they appear to have made some changes, like not offering meals, no group transportation included, individual tents etc. I assume Camp Muir will have some social distancing guidelines put in and that climber hut probably closed. Not sure how they will modify the dynamics of rope teams since when on a rope team like that you often will be pretty close to one another around some transition points, adjusting gear etc.

For the other comments on going unguided - that *could* be a good option to consider - if you and your chosen teammates are each comfortable with rope/knot work, setting anchors, crevasse rescue, wanding, moving through avalanche prone terrain are all appropriately fit/acclimatized and could each act as a capable leader on a team if things go south, then this is an option to consider. If you are not comfortable doing any of those items or there is a weaker link that won't be able to really act as an asset on the climb, then use a guide.

Rainier is a mountain with two personalities; on a good day with good weather and stable conditions, you can get up and down in one long push like a 14er with 3-4k extra vertical gain (Rainier has about 9k vert). Folks only seeing that side of the mountain will be lulled in to a complacency. On most other days you'll have to deal with less then perfect weather, possibly whiteouts, very strong wind often quite cold as it blows across glacial ice, shifting crevasses, seracs, rock and icefall and navigation and probably some fear and confusion in bad conditions. Navigation might not be as simple as your iphone app on a 14er - even on the "easier" DC/ID routes, the route changes as a function of terrain, crevasses, snowfall etc. so blindly following a .gpx generated route could have you walking into a new crevasse or stumble onto a blocked route where a huge block of ice now sits. Recent snow may thinly hide cracks. In a stretch of good weather you might have a trench from the guided teams, assuming they have been up that week, but those teams might not look upon it favorably if you are poaching their efforts in the same trench.
This is the reason I come to 14'ers--interesting, important information like this.
Rudy can't fail.
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cottonmountaineering
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Re: Rainier June 2021

Post by cottonmountaineering » Sun Jan 03, 2021 12:28 pm

just FYI to OP - rainier has unpredictable weather up until early July, its more likely than not in June not to have a weather window on any given day
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bdloftin77
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Re: Rainier June 2021

Post by bdloftin77 » Sun Jan 03, 2021 1:35 pm

d_baker wrote:
Sat Jan 02, 2021 7:25 pm
bloftin, sorry for the thread drift! I hope you find some partners and good luck on Rainier! Which route are you looking at?
No worries! It was surprising, though it probably shouldn't have been given the forum's recent history. We haven't set anything in stone yet, but possibly DC. Thanks for the Pete Lardy with Pikes Peak Alpine School suggestion. I'll look into that.
pvnisher wrote:
Sat Jan 02, 2021 9:30 pm
Are the guiding companies going to be running trips in the summer?
There's definitely some forced close contacts among clients.
Maybe they've figured some ways out around it, it's mainly the shelter/tent and meal times.

I've done it in June, July, and September, and think mid July was my favorite, and higher likelihood of success, if you can select those dates.
I haven't checked with the main companies. I've been considering an individual (Ricardo Pena, https://www.alpineexpeditions.net/index.html) who has done Aconcagua, Denali, Kilimanjaro, the 50 state high points, attempted Everest twice (earthquakes and avalanches first time, 80+ mph winds above 26k ft second time), and has guided 50+ times on Orizaba, several on Aconcagua, and many times on other mountains. I'll see if he has availability in July.

Was July your favorite because of better weather?
nyker wrote:
Sun Jan 03, 2021 6:34 am

Sounds like fun. Check with the outfits though for availability. Many of the 2021 trip dates for Rainier climbs are sold out already from the main companies (RMI, AA, IMG, etc.) so if you're keen on doing it with one of them, get your name on a wait list now. I'm sure some cancellations will happen.
Also be prepared to have the trip cancelled due to COVID, they're all playing it by ear. Given the current environment, they appear to have made some changes, like not offering meals, no group transportation included, individual tents etc. I assume Camp Muir will have some social distancing guidelines put in and that climber hut probably closed. Not sure how they will modify the dynamics of rope teams since when on a rope team like that you often will be pretty close to one another around some transition points, adjusting gear etc.

For the other comments on going unguided - that *could* be a good option to consider - if you and your chosen teammates are each comfortable with rope/knot work, setting anchors, crevasse rescue, wanding, moving through avalanche prone terrain are all appropriately fit/acclimatized and could each act as a capable leader on a team if things go south, then this is an option to consider. If you are not comfortable doing any of those items or there is a weaker link that won't be able to really act as an asset on the climb, then use a guide.

Rainier is a mountain with two personalities; on a good day with good weather and stable conditions, you can get up and down in one long push like a 14er with 3-4k extra vertical gain (Rainier has about 9k vert). Folks only seeing that side of the mountain will be lulled in to a complacency. On most other days you'll have to deal with less then perfect weather, possibly whiteouts, very strong wind often quite cold as it blows across glacial ice, shifting crevasses, seracs, rock and icefall and navigation and probably some fear and confusion in bad conditions. Navigation might not be as simple as your iphone app on a 14er - even on the "easier" DC/ID routes, the route changes as a function of terrain, crevasses, snowfall etc. so blindly following a .gpx generated route could have you walking into a new crevasse or stumble onto a blocked route where a huge block of ice now sits. Recent snow may thinly hide cracks. In a stretch of good weather you might have a trench from the guided teams, assuming they have been up that week, but those teams might not look upon it favorably if you are poaching their efforts in the same trench.
Thanks for all the info - I appreciate it. I have minimal experience with the above, so I'm definitely leaning toward guided.
cottonmountaineering wrote:
Sun Jan 03, 2021 12:28 pm
just FYI to OP - rainier has unpredictable weather up until early July, its more likely than not in June not to have a weather window on any given day
Thanks for the tip. I'll see if the guide I'm looking at has availability in July, and check out Darin's Pete Lardy suggestion as well.

It sounds like May might have bad weather, July might be icier (?), August has lengthening crevasses, and June might still have not the best weather. Might be a trade off no matter which month, but June or July might be best? Weather seems like a pretty big factor that you can't really control, so having a few days window when there's generally better weather might be a good idea.
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Eli Boardman
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Re: Rainier June 2021

Post by Eli Boardman » Sun Jan 03, 2021 1:42 pm

AFAIK July is considered ideal. I certainly got a taste of the nasty June weather--postholing below 6,000 feet isn't fun.
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Re: Rainier June 2021

Post by d_baker » Sun Jan 03, 2021 1:50 pm

When we did it in '06, we went Emmons route in mid-June(Father's Day wknd, maybe) with I think 4 days.
Summited day 3.
Day 1, packed in to Camp Sherman.
Day 2, iffy weather I think, but was a planned crevasse rescue type training day. Built anchors and dropped into a crevasse and did a combo of climb out and get hauled up on pulley system. Fun day!
Midnight Day 2, started for summit, and on top around 8ish?

Ben,
Pete answers email rather quickly I've been told.
It's possible that you could set up some training in advance with him too, if you go with him. He has a few other guys that work with him locally as well. If Phil Wortman still works with him, he's a cool guy too and an animal with ice tools in his hands.
pete@pikespeakalpineschool.com
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Re: Rainier June 2021

Post by NathanRL » Sun Jan 03, 2021 3:27 pm

I really want to do it on skis; with all the snow the PNW is getting this year, late May/early June might be great conditions. I'd have to really work to get my rope/crevasse skills up to par by then, but it's a goal!
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Re: Rainier June 2021

Post by nyker » Sun Jan 03, 2021 8:40 pm

NathanRL wrote:
Sun Jan 03, 2021 3:27 pm
I really want to do it on skis; with all the snow the PNW is getting this year, late May/early June might be great conditions. I'd have to really work to get my rope/crevasse skills up to par by then, but it's a goal!
last time I was there, folks seemed to be having a blast skiing down from camp Muir...I was definitely jealous postholing the remaining 5k vert!
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Re: Rainier June 2021

Post by pvnisher » Sun Jan 03, 2021 10:08 pm

Guides on rainier are like spare tires. You don't need it until you do.
If you aren't comfortable with your own skills and rescue techniques don't count on someone else saving you and your team. Be self sufficient.

The route will be wanded and will have ladder crossings. Some years that's minimal and others it feels like everest videos I've seen. My July trip had the biggest crevasses. Depends on the snow year and the route, which changes from day to day.
On the descent we got stuck for about 90 minutes while the guides moved ladders since the ice had shifted from the morning. I was leading my own trip so I didn't *have* to wait, but it's damn foolish to go out and try to route find on your own.

The weather is, as the case many times, the deal breaker. In June we sat at the Whittaker bunkhouse for 5 days waiting for a weather window. As an independent party that was fine, and I had the days to spare. With a guide, the whole trip would have been scuttled.
We ended up starting with heavy rain at paradise. Wore only shells since it wasn't terribly cold, just wet. As we ascended the rain turned to ice. We got so cold we couldn't stop to put on more layers but also could barely keep going because we were freezing. The team ended up getting separated on the snow field losing sight of each other and it easily could have gone very badly. I learned some lessons on that trip about enforcing rules.
The next trip I was probably a little over bearing on those rules since the last trip went sideways, and then the weather was perfect and easy day with beautiful pictures.

Bottom line is that mountain is no joke, it's definitely a different league than standard routes in Colorado, and while you might get lucky, the consequences of bad luck and inadequate preparation are much worse.

It's also my favorite mountain in the USA and hope to do it again this summer of things line up well. Planning on either a no-sleep single push, or else ski at least from Muir. But, we'll see.
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Re: Rainier June 2021

Post by Scott P » Sun Jan 03, 2021 11:01 pm

July typically has the best conditions, but the biggest crowds. If I went again, I'd go in June, though the weather can be more fickle. If you do the DC route, the cleaver itself is more pleasant when snow covered as well. Better glissades from Camp Muir as well. I haven't summitted from the other routes though.

I have had good weather on the Cascade Volcanoes on trips from early June through early September, though July offers the best chance of good weather. If it were my only chance to climb the peak July might be the best bit, but if you can take a little chance with the weather, June is better in several ways.

Anyway, pvnisher has a lot of good advice in his post.
I'm slow and fat. Unfortunately, those are my good qualities.
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Re: Rainier June 2021

Post by jbealer » Mon Jan 04, 2021 8:39 am

In 2018 i went with AAI, we made it to 13,400 and turned around in a blizzard, 2nd weekend in june. The day b4 everyone summited, then no one our day or the day after due to avy concerns. I plan to go back unguided this yr. with new skills i learned i 2020 so i can have the chance to wait out bad weather. Late july and on you also have icefall. I am hooping late june early july.
Good luck and pick a good guide, best to have 3 to 4 on rope if rescue is needed.
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Re: Rainier June 2021

Post by curt86iroc » Mon Jan 04, 2021 1:50 pm

i've been on rainier in both june and july with great weather both times. part of it will just comes down to luck...and the expectation that you will run into some kind of less than ideal weather...
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