Mount Rainier Summit Log (#6289)
- Signed By: Jeff Tobin
- Date Submitted: May 26, 2004
A party of four (me, Brian Watson of Corvallis, Brian Fenicle of Harrisburg PA and Jeff Pospisil of LA) climbed the Kautz route starting on Sunday, July 29th. We spent two nights below Camp Hazard before our summit attempt. We left high camp at 1:15, and found the route to be in late season, but good condition. The most difficult part was crossing under the icefall and seracs. A combination of darkness and "frozen dirt" (the chute was covered in dirt and rocks that was embedded in water ice)made us all nervious. The next section, on the Kautz glacier, was the most rewarding part of the climb. The route was less steep than expected, and the upper pitch was protected with screws and pickets. The surface was sugar snow, but under that things were pretty solid. The crevasses above this pitch are starting to open up quite a bit, which will make down-climbing this route pretty sketchy for the rest of the season. There was one snow bridge we crossed that is probably gone by now, and the crevasse extended as far as we could see in both directions. Others are getting close to collapse. We chose to descend the DC route, which made for a very long day. The next day was almost as long (returning to high camp to retrieve our tents).
This route was very satisfying, especially considering that we were climbing up entirely untracked glacier due to recent weather and mid-week climbing. We were one of only three parties on this part of the mountain for three full days. There really weren't that many parties on the DC route either. Great weather was the icing on the cake.