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  1. #1
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    Cascadian Volcano Raid part 9 0f 9 Mount Rainier

    5/24/09

    After being home for less then 12 hours we were back on the road heading towards Rainier. Rainier is the Highest and most Glaciated of the Cascade volcano’s while debatable it is also considered the most technical. Our plan was to pull it off in a one day push starting at around 2:30 a.m. at Paradise. Our ascent route was going to be Ingraham Direct and we would decent the Fuhrer Thumb delivering over 9000 feet of perfect fall line. We decided that a one day push would be the best option so we could minimize the amount of gear and the hassle of finding space in the over crowded Muir snowfield and shelter (Memorial Day weekend).


    After arriving at the Paradise parking lot (5’450 feet) we were surprised to find it full of cars. I packed my Golite Pursuit 52 liter pack with all the vitals
    (Rope, Harness, Ice Axe, Crampons, Water and calories) then before too long Amar, Ben and I were skinning to around 2:30 am to the light of our headlamps. The snow was firm so once we arrived at the base of panorama point we decided it would be more efficient to switch to crampons so our gear went onto our backs for the rest of the trip. We made it up to Muir as the sun started to crest over the cascades so I ran up to Muir Rocks and started snapping photos of the early morning alpenglow.

    The sun cresting over the Cowlitz Glacier

    Alpenglow on Rainier and the Gibraltar rock

    Muir was busy (we counted over 35 tents)

    The Tatoosh Range and Mt Adams

    Rainiers shadow over the low lands

    We rested at Muir for around an hour and tried to get some sleep for about 5 minutes but decided that wasn’t going to happen. The ascent path up Ingraham Direct was so much easier then when we climbed it in early April. The path going directly to the top was obvious and packed down with only a few snow bridges along the way.

    Amar heading to Ingraham flats with our Ascent path in view

    Ben hiking up with Cadaver gap in the distance

    Ben with Tahoma in the distance

    Looking down at Goat Island and Sunrise

    It was an oven on the route with no wind and that it was important to stay hydrated, so we took a few quick breaks along the way to melt water and refill on calories.

    Resting at 12’000 feet.

    Looking down from about 13,500 at the Central Washington cascades
    ( in this pic you can see The backside of Crystal Mountain, Goat Island, Tamanos Chinook pass, The Frying Pan Glacier, Mt Tahoma, The Cowlitz Chimneys Mt Aix and the Nelson range just too name a few.

    The last few steps to the summit Crater

    We made it onto the summit around 12:00 to find that someone had fallen into one of the steam caves and managed to break a few ribs. A helicopter was on its way up to evacuate the person inside the crater.


    The summit was less busy then I expected but it was around noon (way to late for climbers but perfect for skiers). After a quick skin over to the summit proper and meeting up with TGR member powders along the way we were back to the crater rim preparing for are run down the Fuhrer thumb.

    We dropped in around 1:00 to find perfect corn conditions on the upper Nisqually Glacier with no Crevasse negotiations along the way.






    At around 11,500 feet we made the traverse over to the Fuhrer finger and spotted the Thumb untracked and good to go. The thumb rode amazing with great fall line and minimal rock debris within the chute all the way to the bottom.

    Looking at the Fuhrer Thumb








    The apron of the Thumb had some semi nasty Shrunds to deal with but with a few careful turns we were ripping down the Wilson Glacier all the way down to 6’000 feet. Once at 6’000 feet we had to make a decision weather we could ride all the way down to the Nisqually Bridge or skin up 400 feet and head to Paradise. The route down to the bridge was looking to be in bad conditions with quite a few creek crossing so we decided to skin up. I wasn’t able to traverse as high as Ben and Amar (damn snowboard) so I attempted to skin up a lower moraine. It was about 100 vert and 32 degrees, not a hard skin but as I was stomping in the skin track I started hearing a hissing sound. It took a few seconds to figure out what was going on and that the whole slope had slabbed off around 8 inched deep and 200 feet wide. I was able to stay on the surface as it took me on a ride and other then being shaken up I was unijured. I was very lucky for two reasons 1. The slope only ran for 100 feet so it wasn’t able to pick up too much snow 2. I was not in an exposed area (no cliffs).
    After the ride I said screw this and boot packed up the slope to Amar and Ben. Once near Panorama point I had an uneventful ski (yes I skied on the split) down to the Paradise parking lot which was the most crowded I had ever seen it.

    Trip totals
    Ascent/ Decent 10,100 feet
    Around 12 miles total

    We are very fortunate to have these volcanos in our backyard which host year round skiing and massive amounts of vert to be had. While the Volcano’s are great skis they must be respected. They can very easily take your life in many different ways and each year people learn this the hard way. Crevasses, Rock falls, hypothermia and getting lost in white out conditions are only a few of the hazards but when conditions line up perfect nothing can beat them. If you’ve never been out and seen the Cascade volcano’s I hope these TRs have persuaded you to make your way out here at least one time in your life.

    [ame="http://www.tetongravity.com/forums/showthread.php?t=160491"]Cascadian Volcano Raid part 1 0f 9 Mt Shasta - Teton Gravity Research Forums[/ame]

    [ame="http://www.tetongravity.com/forums/showthread.php?t=160507"]Cascadian Volcano Raid part 2 0f 9 Shastina - Teton Gravity Research Forums[/ame]

    [ame="http://www.tetongravity.com/forums/showthread.php?t=160526"]Cascadian Volcano Raid part 3 0f 9 Lassen Peak - Teton Gravity Research Forums[/ame]

    [ame="http://www.tetongravity.com/forums/showthread.php?t=160541"]Cascadian Volcano Raid part 4 0f 9 Mt Mazama (Crater lake) - Teton Gravity Research Forums[/ame]

    [ame="http://www.tetongravity.com/forums/showthread.php?t=160568"]Cascadian Volcano Raid part 5 0f 9 Yamsey Mountain - Teton Gravity Research Forums[/ame]

    [ame="http://www.tetongravity.com/forums/showthread.php?t=160584"]Cascadian Volcano Raid part 6 0f 9 Mt Scott triple shot - Teton Gravity Research Forums[/ame]

    [ame="http://www.tetongravity.com/forums/showthread.php?t=160668"]Cascadian Volcano Raid part 7 0f 9 Middle Sister - Teton Gravity Research Forums[/ame]

    [ame="http://www.tetongravity.com/forums/showthread.php?t=160669"]Cascadian Volcano Raid part 8 0f 9 South Sister - Teton Gravity Research Forums[/ame]
    Last edited by Kyle Miller; 06-02-2009 at 02:31 AM.
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  2. #2
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    Jul 2008
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    Portland
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    Dude, you've fucking killed it this year! Thanks for posting all your TRs, they've been great mental vacations for me and a reminder that I need to GTFO of this prison and back to my home!
    Be careful about buying snowboard goggles for skiing. Snowboard goggles come in right eye and left eye (for goofy-footers) dominant models. This can make it hard to see correctly when skiing because you are facing straight down the hill, not sideways.

  3. #3
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    Oct 2006
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    What happened to Jefferson

    Awesome series of trips man! I'm Jealous!

  4. #4
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    Enjoyed all your reports. How did you come up with your list of 9? Why no Adams or Hood? Only curious, some awesome stuff you guys did...

  5. #5
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    Quote Originally Posted by Powow View Post
    What happened to Jefferson
    Once I get some finances= $$$$$ thats a part of round 2

    Quote Originally Posted by goldenboy View Post
    Enjoyed all your reports. How did you come up with your list of 9? Why no Adams or Hood? Only curious, some awesome stuff you guys did...
    A big part of it was Amar wanting to check out some new routes for the book and also I wanted to head as far south as possible so I didn't have to drive so far again (gas money $$ though I wish we would have got Mcloughlin). As for Adams and Hood there in our backyard and can easily be done back to back. Also Amar had to be home to make a plane flight or else we could still have been down there right now.
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  6. #6
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    Thanks for taking the time and effort to post your trip reports. I've really enjoyed reading them.

  7. #7
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    Superb.

    As ever.

    Keep it up Kyle!
    Quote Originally Posted by Downbound Train View Post
    And there will come a day when our ancestors look back...........

  8. #8
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    Quote Originally Posted by Kyle Miller View Post


    A big part of it was Amar wanting to check out some new routes for the book and also I wanted to head as far south as possible so I didn't have to drive so far again (gas money $$ though I wish we would have got Mcloughlin). As for Adams and Hood there in our backyard and can easily be done back to back. Also Amar had to be home to make a plane flight or else we could still have been down there right now.

    Gotcha. I thought maybe this was supposed to be the 9 most classic volcanoes or something, so it seemed like some obvious ones were missing. How many worthwhile volcanoes are there from Baker to Shasta, out of curiousity?

  9. #9
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    Nice vent-hole stoke.


  10. #10
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    Dude, you are KILLING IT on this trip. But I have to be honest, this is the one I have been waiting for. Rainier pictures are always awesome.

    Huge props on the trip, this has been a cool series of TRs.


  11. #11
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    Jun 2006
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    Ventura Highway in the Sunshine
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    You guys fucken' killed it. Do you have some in with the weather gods? You had great conditions and weather the whole trip. You must have some assume V02max to pull all that off. I am still recovering from Shasta, it kicked my sorry old ass, but it was fun, even if we didn't have quite the conditions you had.

    This was a great set of TR's, one of the best multi-volume TRs posted around these parts. I am looking forward to Hood and Adams when you get to them.

    I agree it is a constitutional right for Americans to be assholes...its just too bad that so many take the opportunity...
    iscariot

  12. #12
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    super sweet - love that ascent/descent
    "When restraint and courtesy are added to strength, the latter becomes irresistible."
    Mohandas Gandhi

  13. #13
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    Aug 2006
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    West Seattle
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    1 thru 8 were great, but this was just awesome. You have had a busy spring!!

  14. #14
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    Oct 2006
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    What an incredible trip you had! Great work, and what a great way to top it off!
    Our great works of human enterprise will fade away with time. The mountain will endure. ~nps

  15. #15
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    Just fantastic, Kyle. I've been reading all your TRs in this series. You are the man and my new hero.

    Curious - Is there a permit system in order to climb Rainier or if you do it in a day like you did can you bypass that? One of the reasons I've never really wanted to climb Rainier was because I didn't want to deal with the hassle of getting permits and hanging out at Muir, etc. I like the way you did it - light & fast & no fucking around.
    ...Some will fall in love with life and drink it from a fountain that is pouring like an avalanche coming down the mountain...

    "I enjoy skinny skiing, bullfights on acid..." - Lacy Underalls

    The problems we face will not be solved by the minds that created them.

  16. #16
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    I just checked out all your TR's and I have came to the conclusion that.......


  17. #17
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    Quote Originally Posted by Chainsaw_Willie View Post
    Just fantastic, Kyle. I've been reading all your TRs in this series. You are the man and my new hero.

    Curious - Is there a permit system in order to climb Rainier or if you do it in a day like you did can you bypass that? One of the reasons I've never really wanted to climb Rainier was because I didn't want to deal with the hassle of getting permits and hanging out at Muir, etc. I like the way you did it - light & fast & no fucking around.
    Sadly now you have to register at the ranger station anytime between 9a.m. and 6 p.m. which really messes things up and You have to buy the annual permit for 30$ (which they still havent mailed me).

    Right now im getting packed to hopefully snag a line that puts this to shame.
    Wish me luck im going to need it.
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  18. #18
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    Good luck!
    ...Some will fall in love with life and drink it from a fountain that is pouring like an avalanche coming down the mountain...

    "I enjoy skinny skiing, bullfights on acid..." - Lacy Underalls

    The problems we face will not be solved by the minds that created them.

  19. #19
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    Quote Originally Posted by Chainsaw_Willie View Post
    Good luck!
    +1

    thanks for all the stoke. You've done a fine job of inspiring me to get off my lazy ass this spring!

  20. #20
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    Jul 2005
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    557
    As all the others have said, thanks for all the trip reports. Great adventures and pics to boot. Good luck on the up and coming journey.

  21. #21
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    Nov 2003
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    WOW! what a great season 4 u! and, thnx for sharing it!
    still enjoying flipping thru ur reports.


    frying pan and goat island...
    brings back some nice memories in a different season (Sept) over 18 years ago.
    when not on the snow what else do i do...

    http://www.jatho-craftsman.blogspot.com/

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