Mount Rainier, September '03

Back to Mt. Rainer for the fourth time. This time we go on our own, without a guide, up a less technical route, the Emmons Glacier. Lots of crevasses and fairly steep, 40 degrees or so. We hiked a couple of hours from the White River Campground up to Glacier Basin Camp and spent the night. The next day we hiked out of the forest and onto the ice field and up past Camp Curtis and then to Camp Schurman at about 9,500 feet. We felt fairly good, but we could still feel the altitude. At midnight we got up and put all the gear on, including roping up and started up. We did well for a couple of hours, but after climbing what seemed to be straight up, we just gave up. Our calves were on fire. The altitude seems to sap not only your strength, but your mental attitude as well. On the way down we did a glissade that had to be a half of a mile, maybe more. It was so steep, it was hard to control and I was going what felt like 40 miles an hour. I was sure I was going to break something.


Rainier is becoming our arch-nemesis. This will be our fourth attempt.

On the trail

These Rainier trips aren't all ice and snow.

On the trail

Our campsite at Glacier Basin.

Open air toilet

It's a little difficult to see, but these are the open air toilets at Glacier Basin Camp. You sit perched on top of these containers and do your business and all the while able to see Nature in all her glory. Of course Nature is able to see you in all your glory, too.

Outside Glacier Basin Campground

About to make the transition from forest to ice, just outside Glacier Basin Camp.

Two marmots

Two marmots scuffling over territory. The loser sulked.


Steep snowfield with Rainier in the background.

Camp Curtis

Looking down on Camp Curtis.

Rainier from Camp Curtis

Rainier from just above Camp Curtis.

View from Camp Schurman

View from Camp Schurman.

Our tent

Our tent, and Ric beside it, at Camp Schurman.

Our tent

Another view of our tent and Ric.

Camp Schurman Ranger hut

Ranger hut at Camp Schurman.

Sunset at Camp Schurman

Sunset at Camp Schurman.