The second half of climbing Rainier: the descent

Very often, people consider getting to the summit of a big mountain success.  And the adrenaline and excitement certainly feels like success!  But you’ve only really done what you set out to do when you get safely back down and home again.   And that second half of the trip – the descent – can sometimes …

Continue reading The second half of climbing Rainier: the descent

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The climb to Camp Muir

It’s cold when I wake up at 6:45 in the morning.  The September days with the cloudless blue sky may be very warm, but the national park clearly knows that it’s fall, and the nights cool off tremendously.  Knowing it’s the last chance for a couple of days, I take a shower and then dress …

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Mountaineering training on the flanks of Rainier

The night was not as restful as I would have liked, and the morning broke early as the sounds of people showering, stomping around in mountain boots and packing gear together drifted through the (rather thin) walls.  After turning over 3 times, trying to ignore the noise and the fact that I was awake, I …

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Mt Rainier: basecamp and a lost-and-found-and-forgotten climbing prep

It was very hard to say goodbye this morning.  My 14 year old son held me for minutes in a hug, my mom stayed strong as I teared up, and I virtually ran to the car to get away before I couldn't bring myself to go.  Only to see my son, standing at the front …

Continue reading Mt Rainier: basecamp and a lost-and-found-and-forgotten climbing prep