Devo's Blog

Monday, May 26, 2014

Muir Climb May 23- 25, 2014

We encountered some weather challenges last weekend on Rainier. Our hike to Muir on Friday was cold and wet, however Saturday turned out to be a gem and we were all able to dry out and get our climbing psych back. With cold weather and high winds forecasted that night, we chose to go for the summit Saturday afternoon. Unfortunately we didn't beat the winds - a lenticular cloud descended upon us around 13,000 feet, engulfing us in a ground blizzard. I broke trail through knee-deep snow drifts both up and downhill. Fortunately once we were below the cloud cap things mellowed out and the remainder of our retreat to Ingraham Flats was uneventful. Oh well, I'll have another chance next weekend.


MUIR PEAK IN THE CLOUDS



CAMP MUIR, ADAMS AND SAINT HELENS IN THE DISTANCE



LOOKING ACROSS THE COWLITZ AT GIBRALTAR ROCK AND CATHEDRAL ROCKS

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Sunday, May 18, 2014

First Rainier climb of 2014 = success!

Unusually warm weather in May allowed us easy travel to the summit of Rainier Friday afternoon and the bad weather we expected to roll in Saturday never materialized. That all added up to a spectacular climb.

IN THE SUMMIT CRATER


Photos: 3 Day Muir May 15-17, 2014 on Flickr »

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Thursday, May 15, 2014

2014 Rainier season begins

Back in quiet little Ashford this morning preparing for my first Muir climb of the season. Major goal: get Yosemite campsite reserved for the Fall! A guide has to have some priorities...

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Saturday, September 21, 2013

Season is a wrap - Yosemite Bound

I've been remiss at updating my blog - here's where I'm at: guiding season ended for me three weeks ago and I've been catching up on some alpine rock climbing. Made some attempts to log my efforts here and here.

That said, I had a pretty full and rewarding season of walking up volcanoes. My luck on Rainier wasn't so great - only three summits vs. four for Mt. Baker. Oh well, it pays the same! The Muir route got rather interesting this year I'll say. Now I'm all packed up and ready to leave for The Valley with Tony for two weeks. Should be fun - JP and Judy are meeting us there and I'll have a number of guiding friends dropping in throughout my stay. Good times!

I leave you with a selection of photos from the second half of my season in the Cascades.
Ciao!

















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Wednesday, June 19, 2013

Rainier #4 - To the top!

Finally summited Mt. Rainier this weekend - it was bound to happen sometime! ;-) Summit conditions were nearly perfect and we had a clear view of the Olympics, which doesn't happen too often. Photos:

GUIDE CRAIG VAN HOY


GUIDE JANGBU SHERPA


JOE AND BRIAN AT CATHEDRAL GAP


HAPPY AT HIGH CAMP


THE VIEW FROM MY WINDOW AT INGRAHAM FLATS


CROSSING THE LADDER AT 13K


SUMMIT CRATER


FRED CLIMBING COLUMBIA CREST


Link: Rainier: Muir Climb June 13-15 photo set on Flickr »

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Wednesday, June 12, 2013

Rainier: Muir Climbs #2 & 3

Been busy lately - I'm leaving on my fourth Muir climb tomorrow morning. Here's a synopsis of my last two trips.


3 Day Muir May 30 - June 1:

A recent storm cycle was just ending; freezing levels shot up and blue skies abounded, but that all added up to rather unstable snow conditions on the upper mountain. Due to avalanche danger we were unable to travel to high camp at Ingraham Flats and stayed at Muir both nights.

EITAN GREEN: SUPER-GUIDE

Photo courtesy of Peter Bakelaar

DINNER TIME IN THE WEATHERPORT


SUNSET ON MUIR PEAK


EITAN ASSESSING AVY CONDITIONS AT DUNN'S ROLL


HEADING DOWN: BEAUTIFUL DAY ON THE SNOWFIELD


Link: Rainier: 3 Day Muir May 28 - June 1 photo set on Flickr »


3 Day Muir June 7-9:

By the following weekend snow conditions had settled considerably and we were back to our usual regimen. Our main challenge this time around was high winds, which we first encountered while hiking to Muir on day one. They weren't really an issue the next day, but on summit day the winds were back. Fortunately three out of our four rope teams made the summit crater despite 50 mph gusts - a strong effort. At 13,300k my team began to feel the effects of altitude and turned around. Then it was a hot descent to Paradise through endless "mashed potato" snow for us all.

HIKING INTO THE FOG ABOVE PARADISE


WINDS GUSTING TO 40+ MPH ON THE SNOWFIELD


APPROACHING HIGH CAMP AT INGRAHAM FLATS


CLIMBERS ALL OVER THE UPPER MOUNTAIN


PEBBLE CREEK IS BEGINNING TO MELT OUT


NICHOLAS DEMONSTRATING THE POST-SUMMIT LIE-BACK IN THE PARADISE PARKING LOT


Link: Rainier: 3 Day Muir June 7-9 photo set on Flickr »

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Tuesday, May 28, 2013

Rainier - 3 Day Muir #1: May 24-26, 2013

Got on the mountain for the first time this past weekend. Due to some last minute cancellations we had a smaller group than usual - just five climbers left Paradise with four guides. The initial stretch to Muir on Friday went well, though we spent much of it enveloped by clouds. We got a few glimpses of the mountain as we neared Muir however.

THE MOUNTAIN AND CAMP MUIR IN SIGHT


A lot of snow had fallen over the mountain recently. Fortunately RMI forged a solid path through the powder ahead of us and we were able to leave our snowshoes in the van.

THE GOMBU HUT ENGULFED BY SNOW


Per usual, everyone enjoyed a wonderful chicken quesadilla dinner with fresh guacamole. Yum!

COOKIN' DINNER MEXICAN STYLE


LOTS OF SNOW COVERING THE COWLITZ GLACIER!


That evening we were treated to a spectacular sunset.

CAMP MUIR IN THE ALPENGLOW


Saturday morning Eitan and I ran snow school while Matt and Mark headed out to see if they could make their way to Ingraham Flats. (No guide companies had gone up the mountain Friday due to concerns about avalanches.) Once they gave the OK, we made our way to high camp.

TEJUS AND LEE AT CATHEDRAL GAP


The upper mountain was in full glory.

HIGH CAMP AT INGRAHAM FLATS


GOOD TIMES


As the afternoon wore on, clouds moved down the mountain along with a light wind and some precipitation. Following an early dinner and summit talk, everyone hit the sack.

POSH TENT LIVING AT 11,000 FT.


At 1 a.m. the alarm went off, but it was windy and snowing and we decided to see if the weather would improve. It didn't, and after a restful (at least more than the usual) night's sleep, we packed up and navigated in a whiteout back to Muir for some coffee. Then it was on down the Muir Snowfield (more whiteout, then heavy clouds) to Paradise. At least it wasn't raining! Post-climb grub was enjoyed at the Copper Creek where I consoled myself with a slice of their famous blackberry pie (and a shake too).

View all my photos: Rainier: 3 Day Muir May 24-26, 2013 photo set on Flickr »

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