Rainier 2000

Ok, so I will add a bit more text later... Feel free to help guys...

The usual mess before a trip. After about an hour of packing, we were good to go. For some stranbe reason, among this bunch of some ultra-light freaks, I ended up with the lightest backpack. Stranger still, instead of admiring me for the frugal packing, the group hinted that I was not carrying my share. So much for good packing skills...

Her Amanda is practicing her stretching while trying to take a photo of Rob. I am pretty sure whe could have made that a full split, but we were impresses nevertheless.

Pat was the backbone of the group. At least he carried the most stuff. Or was it Rob?

A friendly race at Glacier (?) campground. See who won..... A moment later Pat decided to run up a nearby 1000 foot high hill, and some of us foolishly followed...

It snowed overnight, and our group moved up into uncertain weather.

Hiking up, and a view of the Interglacier. The mountain teased us by a brief view of Liberty Cap.

Mike traversing Interglacier. For most of us this was the first time on a glacier, though we had practiced before. The word crevasse did evoke a bit of apprehension, but on Interglacier our worries soon faded. That is, until we got to camp Curtiss...

...and spotted the Emmons Glacier proper. No wonder the route avoids it on the lower stretches of the mountain.

Arriving at Curtiss, which was not supposed to be there but lower, we took GPS and altitude bearings, and decided that the camp was moved up the ridge. Or that some new camp was not marked on the relatively new map.

Our first foray onto Emmons Glacier took us over a huge snow bridge. The massive overhang was not visible until after the crossing.Yes Hector, there is air directly under you.

Camp Shurman. We were supposed to stay at Emmons, but we managed to talk the Ranger into letting us stay lower, and in close proximity to the excellent outhouse. After an hour digging snow and setting tents, a strong gusty wind flattened our two Mountain Hardwear Room with a Views despite the snow walls. After a major battele, we anchored the tents with ice screws, snow pickets and ice axes. Hector's TNF single wall tent, up on an exposed platform, did not budge an inch. The four dead-tired and exhaused guys enviously eyed Amanda, who spent the entire windstorm warming up inside the rock-solid tent.

Soon the night fell. We woke up to a gorgeous morning, but the clouds soon moved in. We decided to practice crevasse rescue in some conviniently located crevasses.

We all took turns self arresting and hauling up a loaded pack, making observations about gear and methods that are hard to convey in books. Suddenly the books made much more sense.

Finally, Hector volunteered to go down into the crevasse and be rescued. We took a while, and he almost climbed out under his own power, but eventually a firm tug from five people and a 2:1 pulley did the trick nicely.

The following day was supposed to by summit day, but lousy weather the night before made us decide not to make an attempt. Sure enough, the morning was gorgeous. Oh well. We just went to 11 thousand feet, soaked up some views, stamped our feet, and vowed to return next year.

Rob enjoying the scenery. Of all of us, he was the most disappointed about missing the summit, perhaps because this was supposed to be his only big mountain this year. Hector and I, back from an amazing climbing road trip, were less concerned about it. We knew we'd be back.

11100 Feet....

...and back down. Hector showing off his fuel-carrying capacity.

Whatever we do we seem to fe just feeding off each other. In other words, if Rob does a flag then Mike will do a flag and Hector will do a flag and Luke.... etc. You get the idea. Anyway, the runners gang is now going back to Boston, leaving me behing to conquer the west for myself.

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