Mt Rainier in Washington state is part of the Cascade mountain range.  Rainier is a large glaciated volcano with multiple route options including ski touring and mountaineering.  The Ingraham Direct route is in condition early in the season and used by local guide companies and is well marked, and even protected in places, which most climbers will not need.   We climbed in Mid May and had good snow over the entire route, although talking to locals this was unusual for the last couple of years. 

MT RAINIER (14,392 ft / 4393 m)

Getting There

Approach starts from the Rainier National park Paradise centre about 17 miles into the park. 
Use highway US706 in winter months as all other roads are closed.   You need to register and pay to climb the mountain in advance https://www.pay.gov/public/form/start/79997374.  Registration on the day is at Paradise Climbing office beside the national park centre at Paradise, where there are toilets and overnight parking. 

The Climb

Trek in from Paradise up the skyline trail (5500 ft) to Muir camp (10100 ft)  shared with day hikers and ski tourers took us 4.5 hours thru spring snow.  Muir has pit toilets,  a climbers hut with room for circa 30 , and areas for camping.  We met a great group of climbers in the hut and while basic is not a bad place to sit and view Mt St Helens, Baker & Hood which tower above the surrounding wooded hills. 

 

The climb is pretty straight forward, and remarkably for a glacial route contains no moraine hurahhh !  There is well marked route from the hut put in by the local guide company leads to the Ingraham glacier which then heads directly north up thru heavily seraced ground on moderate 45 degree slope that eventually leads to the summit crater. The actual summit being on the other (north) side of the crater.  Midnight start (12:30 out of the hut)  ensured we were on the Summit by 7am in time to return thru seracs before the sun warmed things up too much.  Basic glacier travel kit used.  The return trip to Paradise makes for a big descent (9000 ft). 

A TRIPTOMANIAC has a mental disorder that compels them to travel. Unlike a normal traveller, who will journey because they want or need to, a triptomaniac does it for the sheer fun and thrill.

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