Sue, Eric and I started out
in the morning from Pullman, arrived at Paradise on the south side of the
mountain. We waited for the rest of the party to show up and then we all
climbed up a couple hundred feet, to practice self arrests. We had a solid
overcast and a steady drizzle turning to rain on occasion. We camped at a
campground just below the Paradise visitors center and decided that we would go
as far as we could, even if the summit was surely out of grasp.
morning, the group gathered at Paradise and we all put on our warmest cloths and
rain gear. After hiking twenty minutes or so, we stopped and everybody stripped
off some of their warm gear and shredded rain gear. We soon climbed into the
clouds and the rain turned to driving snow. We roped together just to keep from
getting lost, and followed Tagenfoster who was following his compass to camp
Muir. Even though we were only fifteen feet apart on the rope, there were times
when the snow got so heavy that we couldn't see the person ahead.
Camp Muir has a small rangers
shelter and a climbers shelter built of stone. The climbers shelter was a
room about 15'x30' with one narrow walkway down one side and two levels of
sleeping platforms taking up the remainder of the room. We arrived at camp
Muir and were soon joined by about thirty other climbers. Eric and I, were
the first climbers at the camp, and took claim to the center of the top platform
to take advantage of body heat warming the shelter. We felt this was
important since our sleeping bags were designed for 50 degrees or above.
The entire sleeping area was soon claimed and people were turned away to sleep
in their tents in the snow.
Eric and I hauled out a 32
ounce can of Chinese food with noodles and all. We got more looks from
everybody that brought dried food, but we ate well. When we brought out
our two liter bottles of water instead of cooking snow like everybody else, we
got even more looks. That night, I thought I was going to kill Eric
because he wouldn't quit snoring, and no matter how hard I kicked him, he
We got up
just before sunrise and the clouds were broken up. I could see Mt. Adams on
occasion and blue sky from time to time. Tagenfoster decided that it would be
safe to go as far as Ingram flats, so we packed up, roped up and climbed up. We
traversed right across a large bowl, just below Gibraltar rock, and then climbed
up Ingram glacier to Ingram flats. We could see disappointment cleaver but
Tagenfoster didn't want to venture across Ingram flats because the trail was
obscured by the new snow. We turned around and headed back to Camp Muir just as
a new weather front hit the mountain and obscured our view.
We got back to Muir, packed
up the rest of our gear and headed down. Sue had been a little worried,
because when we left Paradise the day before, we told her that we might be right
back. We drove to the Tri Cities and ate lunch by the river.
Things that went wrong: