Mt. Rainier (2)




  Last Updated 11/30/03

Trip Details


Aug 5-7, 1989


Eric Swanson

Pack Weight


Attempted Route

Disappointment Cleaver

Other Attempts

( 1 ) ( 3 ) ( 4 ) ( 5 ) ( 6 ) ( 7 ) ( 8 )


Climb Description


Eric and I decided to go in the middle of the week so that we wouldn't encounter so many climbers on the mountain.  We left Pullman and camped on the side of the road along the way.  An early morning start got us to Paradise in time to prepare and hike to Muir.  The weather was perfect and we were thrilled and nervous at the same time.   

















We climbed to Camp Muir and set up our tent.


With plenty of time left in the day, we decided to climb up a way (possibly to the summit) the same day.  We got to the same spot on Ingram flats that we did on our previous attempt, took some pictures of ourselves by a crevasse and climbed back down to Muir.  I would later think that it was a mistake to make the extra trip.  I would have rather spent the time resting.  The next day was pretty brutal.




We got up about 3:00 am the next morning and started climbing.  we lost the route on disappointment cleaver a couple times because it was still dark, but we followed the voices of other climbers and made the top of the cleaver just as the sky was beginning to light.  From here,  we could see a well worn trail ahead of us, and a long line of climbers. 






























It was basically a march to the top, but the view was spectacular.  We reached the west ridge of the crater and dumped our gear, crossed the crater to the east side and climbed up to the ridge.  The wind was so strong here that I took shelter behind a large boulder to let Eric catch up before reaching the summit.  After waiting for about 60 seconds, I fell asleep. When I woke up, I thought Eric was going to be mad for having to wait for me, but when I looked over, I saw that Eric was sitting beside me and was fast asleep himself.  I lay back down and fell asleep again.  I'm not sure how long we slept there, but when we woke up, all the other climbers had left already.  We hiked the last 100 yards to the summit and took some pictures.   






We climbed back down to camp Muir, sliding on our butts for part of the way, and then made a toboggan by arranging our packs on the plastic tarp that Eric had brought for setting up the tent on.  We rode the toboggan from 10,000 ft. to 7000 ft. in about forty five minutes.  We had a few good spills, and got bogged down in a couple slushy spots, but for the most part, we had a blast.  It was like riding a raft through white water rapids.












Eric cut his hand with his pocket knife while cutting away a few strings we had tied on his tarp, and I used the first aid kit for the first time.  When we got down to the tree line, we encountered fog and got on the wrong trail.  We had to ask some people which way it was to the parking lot, but it turned out that we were not far off course after all.