Category Archives: Expedition

Mt Rainier moving forward

After returning from Mt Rainier we spent 3 days in Seattle and the weather was perfect. The expedition that was scheduled to summit the day after my team had  perfect weather— no wind and smooth sailing all the way to the top! I was a bit bummed when I thought that my bid to the summit of Mt Rainier would have been different and more favorable if the weather had been better. I really beat myself up while we were in Seattle just thinking  about why the guides didn’t let me go further up the mountain. Was it my clumsiness, my stamina, my lack of concentration, my determination— what was it?  In the end it really came down to my safety and the safety of the other climbers due to my instability and lack of experience and the weather didn’t help either.

Mt Rainier the day after
Mt Rainier the day after out summit bid, don’t mind the electrical cables and the cars!

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Mt Rainier Summit Day

Ok everybody this is  the day we have  all been waiting for—Summit day!

The guides woke us up at 1 AM and we had one hour to get ready! I think I slept maybe 3-4 hrs, usually it takes me while to fall asleep and up in the mountains was no different. I was still sleepy and tired when I woke up but had no choice. Had to put on my gear and get on with it!

That hour sure went quickly.  Before we knew it, it was time to go. I  had actually slept with a couple of layers so just had to change my socks and add a few layers, made some coffee, and attempted to eat as much food(scones+ almond butter) as I could. I wasn’t that hungry but needed to consume some calories and warm up a bit before we left.

mt rainier summit day
Ready for the summit!

 The temperature was around 25°F so it was chilly! Our crampons were outside so once we were done eating and packing all our gear we needed to go outside and get our crampons on. After the crampons were on  we had to stay outside, so we waited until the last few  minutes to go outside and put them on.

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Mt Rainier Expedition Day 3 – Hike to Camp Muir

On Day 3  we hiked to Camp Muir with all of our gear. My pack weighed  43 lbs so it was similar to the weight I used when I trained. We met at the Rainier BaseCamp, picked up our trail lunch, loaded  into the van, and we were off to Paradise to start our hike!

Hike to camp muir
Loading up the van!
We started our hike at 9:30 AM from Paradise (5,400’) and we were going to hike for around 4.5 miles up to Camp Muir —around 4 to 5 hrs depending on the pace.

Getting ready for our hike to Camp Muir
Getting ready for our hike in Paradise

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Mt Rainier Expedition Day 2 – Mountaineering School

Today we are heading to the lower slopes of Mt Rainier for our Mountaineering School!

We woke up early and went to the Whitaker Bunkhouse Café for breakfast. We  got there around 7 AM. Since  they open at 6:45 AM,  we beat the crowd.

It was around 55 °F and sunny at BaseCamp so it was comfortable and we didn’t need too many layers. We were dressed and packed for hiking.  We didn’t have to bring all of our gear but brought  some essential ones for our Mountaineering School day:

  • Backpack
  • Mountaineering boots
  • Crampons
  • Ice axe
  • Gaiters
  • Helmet
  • Trekking poles
  • Glacier glasses
  • Light/medium weight gloves
  • Upper/lower body hard shell
  • Food & water

We all met around 8:15 AM at BaseCamp.  The guides have a daily meeting so they were done around 8:30 AM  after which we immediately  went to the van to take us all to Paradise. The BaseCamp to Paradise ride was around 30 minutes.  Once we arrived we put our backpack on and started to hike for an hour and settled on  one of  Mt Rainier’s lower glaciers to start our Mountaineering School.

Mountaineering School hike
Mountaineering School hike

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Mt Rainier Expedition Food & Snacks

Before I go into detail on the remaining 3 days of our expedition  I wanted to share with you guys what we ended up buying for our Mt Rainier expedition food & snacks and detail our meals and where we ate while we were in Ashford and on Mt Rainier.

As I mentioned in a previous post RMI has a meal plan available for the expedition but unfortunately it’s not gluten free (Catie is gluten free, I try to follow it as much as I can), so we had to plan all meals & snacks.We bought some stuff in REI and Whole Foods while we were in Seattle… we bought a lot of stuff…well it was actually me that kept putting more stuff in the cart!

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Mt Rainier Expedition Day 1 – Orientation

Our Mt Rainier Expedition  is finally here!

We arrived in Seattle Sea-Tac Airport Saturday August 30th around 11 AM. The first thing we wanted to do was buy all the food & snacks we needed for the expedition and after a 5 hr flight from Charlotte and no food service we were a bit famished! The only place we knew that had a couple of snacks we needed was REI so we decided to go to the REI flagship store in downtown Seattle…this place is awesome and it also has a restaurant on the top floor so it was perfect because I was about to pass out if I didn’t eat something soon!mt rainier expeditionREI Flag Ship Store picture by sonofabike

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