Planning for Mount Rainier isn’t just about gear, food, people, and conditions; we also have to think about permits.
Summertime within Mt. Rainier National Park is truly stunning - from lowland forested trails to the massively glaciated alpine - it offers exceptional recreational opportunities. Being so close to Seattle, however, things get a little complicated if you are looking to experience the beauty by exploring the high mountain or staying overnight.
Feathered Friends is a proud partner of Global Exploration and Recovery LLC (GEaR), a team attempting to bring home three Americans who lost their lives in Greenland in a World War Two plane crash.
In the next few weeks, the Global Exploration and Recovery (GEaR) team will be on their way to Greenland. They will be opening the next chapter of an incredible mission to bring home the wreckage of a US Coast Guard plane that crashed in 1942 and became buried inside a glacier. The saga of the multiple downed planes and rescue attempts are documented in the gripping New York Times best seller, Frozen In Time by Mitchell Zuckoff.
GEaR’s part of the story began in 2012, when a team was assembled for the first reconnaissance mission to try to find the missing plane. Their efforts were soon dubbed the Duck Hunt, after the name given to the lost Coast Guard seaplane. Over the last four years new teams have gone back, and this year GEaR is equipped with state of the art technology and a talented team who want to find the rest of the plane and bring home the servicemen.
A trip report by Mark Pugliese on climbing in the Central Alaska Range.
As the plane banked my heart started racing and I thought “This is where the big stuff goes down.” We were flying into the East Fork of the Toke and the mighty West Face of Huntington dominated the window. I was seeing for the first time how truly massive this terrain was. Unfolding below us was an immense alpine playground of endless peaks, lines of ice, and crumbling glaciers. It would be a place to test ourselves and to find what we were both looking for in our climbing; a great adventure.
In late April of this year Nik Mirhashemi and I flew into the Central Alaska Range with plans of climbing some commonly ascended classics as well as hopefully establishing some new routes of our own. With a pattern of warm and unsettled weather we decided to fly into the Tokositna glacier at the base of Mt. Huntington to attempt the Harvard route as a warm up for the trip.
Thinking about climbing Mount Rainier this summer season? Here are a few lessons learned the hard way. Text and images by Claire Giordano.
Every summit bid is different, even on the same route. Each time we venture into the mountains we move out of our safe, comfortable, and controlled environments into a setting where we are surrounded by factors out of our control. From weather to snowpack to our fellow team members, the mountains strip away the conveniences and routines of everyday life and test our knowledge, resilience, and judgement. With so many unknowns, we have a much higher chance of success if we prepare for the factors that we can control.
1. Prepare your mind as well as your body.
Mount Rainier is one of the most stunning mountains in the country, rising from conifer foothills to its white snowy peak at 14,416 feet above sea level. It also has a reputation for being a bit of a sufferfest. In order to find the fun in this kind of ascent, our bodies and minds have to be up for the challenge.
“For a little while we are again able to see, as the child sees, a world of marvels.” Edward Abbey
In 1956 and 1957 Edward Abbey was the park ranger for Arches, at a time before it had achieved National Park status and when the unpaved roads were more traveled by tumbleweeds and lizards than visitors. Now, the park is visited by 1.5 million people each year.
Even with this incredible number of visitors, Arches retains its sense of awe and wonder. Of all the parks I visited, I saw more people here who were simply standing, observing, and marveling. You know you are somewhere special when a child’s expression of awe at the 290-foot expanse of Landscape Arch is mirrored on the face of the adults beside them.