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
These Rainier trips aren't all ice and snow.
Our campsite at Glacier Basin.
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.
About to make the transition from forest to ice, just
outside Glacier Basin Camp.
Two marmots scuffling over territory. The loser
Steep snowfield with Rainier in the background.
Looking down on Camp Curtis.
Rainier from just above Camp Curtis.
View from Camp Schurman.
Our tent, and Ric beside it, at Camp Schurman.
Another view of our tent and Ric.
Ranger hut at Camp Schurman.
Sunset at Camp Schurman.