Peak(s):  Mount Rainier - 14,410 feet
Date Posted:  07/17/2013
Date Climbed:   07/10/2013
Author:  theguydog14
 Success on the Kautz Route  

Last year in June I went up to Washington with my old boss and his friends to climb Rainier via the Kautz. However, I never saw the mountain once despite the fact we hiked up to 6,500 ft. and were tent bound for 15 hours due to horrible weather. I was fortunate enough and climbed Mount Saint Helens and Mount Hood instead. Even though I had a great time on the other two mountains, it left me wanting Rainier that much more. When the same group made plans to climb Rainier this July I was definitely on board. Anxious and nervous, I was consumed with thoughts of whether or not I was going to summit this time. Luckily, we timed it just right.
Sunday July, 7 we left the TH around 10 and hiked up to 9,100 ft to camp at the Castle. I was greeted with incredible views of the Nisqually Glacier and Mount Rainier. We got up to Glacier Vista and scoped our route carefully. The fan had a lot of Rock Fall and avalanche danger so we went up to the right and around. Image We took our time and eventually made it up to the Castle and set up camp. Weather was absolutely perfect and the views were outstanding. We set up camp and found running water to filter and took in the views as we relaxed. Image
Monday July, 8 we took our time breaking down camp and making our way up to our high camp around 10,800 ft. It was a pretty mellow day and gave us a lot of time to relax and take in the views. Image Image
Tuesday July, 9 we just hung out and enjoyed each others company and planned to wake up at midnight and start moving by 1 am on Wednesday. Again, I was consumed with thoughts of whether or not I would get to see the summit. Tossing and turning, my alarm finally went off at 12 and it was time to rally the troops.
Wednesday July, 10 was summit day. Stoked beyond belief, the sky was incredibly beautiful with the milky way shining bright and a shooting star here and there. Before long we were down climbing at the fixed rope to get onto the Kautz Glacier. We accidently turned up the wrong gully and it added about and hour on to our trip. Eventually, we made it back down and got onto the right ice chute. And then the fun began! We stayed towards the right side of the first pitch as we climbed up some solid ice. It was definitely exciting climbing up somewhat steep and interesting ice and snow in the dark. Before we knew it we were on top of pitch one and heading towards the more snow covered pitch 2. Image Image Image Eventually, we were above the crux and heading up towards the summit. Navigating the crevasse filled land and painting more and more sun block on my face as we got closer and closer to our goal. Finally, we made it to the crater and I ran up to the true summit while getting blown sideways by the strong winds up there. Image We took time to drink some water, eat some food and take some pictures before heading back down to camp. When we arrived to camp we were blind sighted with incredibly strong winds. The winds were too strong to filter water, cook dinner or sit around and talk to I crawled into my tent and went to sleep. The entire night was insane winds that broke 2 of our 4 tents so we woke up and got our stuff together quickly and headed down the mountain. Luckily, as we got lower the winds stopped and we took our time to get back to the TH. Image It felt great to get down and grab a Rainier beer and took off my boots. Image We stopped of at the climbers restaurant in Ashford and got some food and beers and enjoyed each others company.
The rest of the trip was just as fun. I got to spend time with my sister in the Willamette Valley and checked out the Rogue Hop farm and then made our way to Eugene to go to the Oregon Country Fair. If you have never heard of it... check it out. It is a very interesting hippy festival with live shows and an unreal place to people watch. Some guys are wearing bras at the same time some girls are walking around topless. Saw a good band called the Shook Twins that are playing here in Denver July 25th. Highly recommend checking them out. After the hippy fest we went down to Smith Rock for two days to climb and relax. Image All in all the PNW treated me very well this year. Now its time to hopefully finish off my last 12 of the 58 Colorado 14ers this summer. Wish me luck and thanks for reading. Image Image Image Image Image Image

Thumbnails for uploaded photos (click to open slideshow):

 Comments or Questions

Willamette Valley
07/17/2013 15:52
looks pretty sweet. Image #11 looks like an illustration off a Sierra Nevada bottle.

Nice work on the Kautz Route.


07/17/2013 15:57
looks like a ton of fun


07/17/2013 16:09
Pretty sure its on a Deschutes beer


07/17/2013 18:19
Way to go buddy, glad the trip was a success and you had fun. That fair sounds cool.....


Very nice, Anthony
07/17/2013 16:25
Perseverence pays off. Well done, man.


07/17/2013 16:53
Nice job Anthony!


nice work!
07/17/2013 21:24
and topped off with a hippy fest!

just curious, were you hiking up to the 2nd flatiron earlier this summer in your boots? Came across someone doing so and asked if they were training for something and they responded Kautz.

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