Friday, July 4, 2008

Mount Rainier

*Prepare yourself, this is a long post.
Last weekend we hiked Mount Rainer in Washington State. It was my third time summiting and Casey's fifth. The route we did (Gibraltar Ledges) was my favorite so far, but Casey's favorite is still Liberty Ridge (I missed that trip). Gibraltar Ledges is a very direct, steep, fun route that makes you wonder why you ever went up Disappointment Cleaver. We didn't see any other groups on the route which always makes it a better experience. Everyone we went with did a fabulous job and it was definitely a successful trip.
So this is how it goes:
Day one - hike up to Camp Muir (base camp). The hike starts at 5400 feet and Camp Muir is at 10,188 feet so that is almost an elevation gain of 5000 feet. Having a heavy backpack on your back doesn't help.
Day two - rest day - practice self arresting and rescue procedures if one of us falls in a crevasse.
Day three - start for the summit at 1:00am. It's a good thing it was dark while we were hiking through the ledges, otherwise I might have felt much more exposed. If you fall it is like falling into the depths of Mordor. Scary . . .
We just kept getting higher and higher and we almost reached the top when the sun came up. There's nothing better than watching the sunrise at the top of Mount Rainer. Beautiful.
After we reach the top (elevation 14,411 feet) we hiked back to base camp, packed up all our gear and hiked all the way back down to our cars. It's over a 12 hour day of constant hiking and climbing which leaves you very stinky, tired, ready for a shower and a really yummy dinner.
Here are some pics of the trip.*Sorry these photos are kind of out of order
This is us on our way down. Sometimes you can slide on your butt and it makes it much faster and much more fun!

We could always see Mount Adams and Mount St. Helens in the background. It made the views spectacular!
Little Tahoma Peak ~ This is my favorite peak that you can see while you are hiking.

Ingraham Glacier and Ingraham Flats base camp ~ We camped out here on one or our trips. It has amazing views of Little Tahoma Peak, and lots of sweet crevasses to lower down into and climb out of.

Camp Muir ~ Our tent is the yellow one. Isn't that view of Mount Adams great! We were living the life at this base camp because they actually have porta potties. They were the most foul smelling things but we at least had them. See, if you don't have porta potties then you have to do your business in a bag and carry it down the mountain with you. Sorry, that was a little too much information.
This is our wonderful group of nine. A big group but we were well organized, climbing machines!

Lovely view of the sunrise
We're not tired, I promise. We have a long way to go.

Anyone up for next year's trip?!
By the way. . . Happy 4th of July!


Ed and Susan said...

What gorgeous pictures . . they'd look great framed. Enjoyed the summary of your trip ... . . Glad you made it home safely

Luv ya both,

Mom & Dad

Suzanne said...

You guys are amazing, what more can I say....

Kim said...

I didn't realize that trip came so soon, you guys are awesome seriously! Hiking starting at 1:00am for twelve hours no thanks! The pictures are amazing glad you made it!

The Woolf Pack said...

Hey Alisa
Jen Woolf again, you guys are amazing! We always get to read in our local papers about people hiking Mt. Rainier, but never personally knew someone. Nice Work!

Nanette said...

Wow, that looks amazing. Those pictures are beautiful! I'll start training right now for next year....

Wendy said...

where to next, guys??? Hey, when you get tired of climbing high mountains how about diving deep with me and Dave. It would be a "gas" !

Haylee Munk Brown said...

Thanks for posting all those pics! I love them! Looks like you guys had a lot of fun! You guys are awesome!

allison said...

you guys are hard core.

sweet pics too. that looks hard.

Kristi said...

Hey Alise, Kristi here.... (Jason's sister)Matt is climbing Mount Rainer right now or at least he will be at Camp Muir tomorrow. I am glad someone else I know has done this makes me feel more comfortable about him doing it. Maybe next year...better get training.

daveandabbyjohnsonfamily said...

Ok all I have to say is you guys are AMAZING!!! & the pics are sweet!!

Bonnie-Lee said...

Hey, I realize you don't know me, I'm a friend of Kendra Huffman's - Anyway, I was wondering who you hiked Rainier with - as in, was it an expedition group??? I'm currently living in Seattle and really want to summit. You can email me at