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.
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.
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.
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:
- Mountaineering boots
- Ice axe
- 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.
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!
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!REI Flag Ship Store picture by sonofabike
Mt Rainier is calling!….This week we head west to Seattle to conquer (attempt) Mt Rainier!
These past two weeks I really began to decrease my training. At this point there’s not a lot of fitness I can build on. Knowing me, I would have had injured myself if I pushed it too much these last couple of weeks!
My main goal was to finalize the equipment, list out the food we need to buy when we arrive in Seattle and finalize any other open item I had to get done before we fly off into the sunset!
These past couple of weeks have been a bit slow and not that full of things (training primarily) to do so I’ve caught up on some reading and read a couple of blogs I’ve been neglecting. It’s been kinda good! And most importantly, I’ve been working really hard with my Physical Therapist to improve my IT Band issue and other aches & pains I’ve magically acquired these last few weeks!
Hello everybody! The hike is getting closer and closer so I needed to finalize the Mt Rainier equipment I am going to buy or rent, so below I detail what I ended up doing.I ended up renting a lot of the stuff! But I’ll first share with you the items I purchased.
I visited my Physical Therapist and it wasn’t as bad as I thought! My IT Band (iliotibial band) was very tight & inflamed. The IT Band is a ligament that runs down the outside of the thigh from the hip to the shin; the IT Band attaches to the knee and helps stabilize and move the joint. When the IT Band isn’t working properly, movement of the knee becomes painful. I’ve been doing a lot of prolonged and repetitive activities for the last couple of weeks so it caused my IT Band to get a bit inflamed causing my knee pain.
In Week 14 I really decreased the training as my knee was still bothering me and my Physical Therapist recommended that I reduce my workload as much as I could while she did her magic! I did two 1 hr hikes— one with weight and another with no weight. On the hike with weight, I was planning to do a longer hike but my knee started to hurt so I decided to stop the hike and rest. I tried to do the Daily Dozen 2.0 one day but while doing the squats and lunges my knee was bothering me so just did a few reps of these exercises and decided to modify it moving forward. I changed the three-quarter squats for a plank, the lunges for V ups, the deep squats for steam engine laying down and the burpees for a plank.
On week 12 of our training to hike Mt Rainier, we did a 9 hr hike so that pretty much sums up the week!
We were getting too comfortable hiking Crowders Mountain and Umstead Park so we needed to change our location. We decided to climb Mt Mitchell. For our Mt Rainier hike we will gain almost 10,000 feet in 2 days so we needed to train in a similar environment. Mt Mitchell doesn’t elevate that high but is the highest peak east of the Mississippi and the only peak close to us.
Mt Mitchell is located 127 miles northwest of Charlotte, NC and about 32 miles northeast of Asheville, NC. It’s the highest peak of the Appalachian Mountains at 6,684 ft. and it’s beautiful up there! Driving through the Blue Ridge Parkway is awesome! I really wanted to drive a bit more while we were in the area but we needed to get hiking.