|Facing Mount Rainier|
My 2012 summer goal is to stand on the summit of Mount Rainier. I have dreamt of this climb for a long time and after many years of training, education and gear buying I feel that the time is right to make an attempt. My climbing team and I want to make this even more epic by attempting the summit without the aid of a guide.
Mount Rainier is a volcanic 14,417 foot peak located 54 miles south of Seattle, Washington. It is home to 26 glaciers which makes it the most glaciated peak in the lower 48 states. Reaching the summit requires 9,000 feet of vertical climbing that includes glaciers, snowfields, crevasses and many other mountaineering challenges. The mountain is also prone to unpredictable weather so anyone who climbs it needs to be ready for anything. About 13,000 climbers attempt Rainier each year with a 50% success rate. In my opinion, Rainier is a phenomenal gateway mountain to the world of mountaineering.
|As high as I climbed in 2010|
I visited the Mount Rainier National Park in 2010. Although I made no attempt for the summit during that trip I did get a close up view of the awesomeness of this peak.
Many first timers climb Rainier with the aid of a guide which greatly increases their chance of success. There is absolutely no shame in climbing with a guide but I am seeking a greater challenge. I will be climbing as part of an unguided 4 man crew who has spent years training for this climb. Without a guide we will be responsible for glacial travel, route finding and any other challenge that comes our way. Even if we don’t succeed, this will be the ascent of a lifetime.
My crew and I have spent years perfecting our gear, skills and fitness in the ideal cold weather training ground that is the White Mountains. We have also worked with a guide to provide the proper education before we head out west. There are no guarantees in the world of mountaineering but we have done our best to position our ascent for success.