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.
Part One: A Feathered Friends Tour of the Southwest
Hoodoos. Ladies with hairdos. Fairy Chimneys. Whatever you call them, the incredible rock formations of Bryce Canyon are unlike anything else in the world. The towering spires, vibrant colors, and chromatic vistas were the first stop in a road trip to celebrate the National Park Centennial.
Last month I went on a month-long road trip to explore the parks that are arguably one of “America’s best ideas” in relation to conservation and recreation. It was also the perfect opportunity to put some new Feathered Friends gear to the test in a cold and arid climate.
BD.TV Spring Film Tour @ Feathered Friends | May 12
Mark the calendar - it is time to get amped up! The BD.TV Spring film tour will be coming through Seattle on May 12th!
Back for a second year, the BD.TV tour will highlight some of the best in climbing from Black Diamond athletes.
Where: Feathered Friends
What: Black Diamond BD.TV Spring Film Tour
When: Thursday, May 12th 2016
Time: 7 PM
Bonus: Black Diamond Climbing Equipment and Apparel Raffle | Presenters | Beverages
Check out the FB Event Page
See you there!
Hummingbird Ridge - Still Waiting for a 2nd Ascent | North America's Fifty Classic Climbs, Episode 4 & 5
WITH MARK & JANELLE SMILEY
Those of you fortunate enough to have seen Mark Smiley's presentation at Feathered Friends back in September got a pretty good idea of how brutal Mt. Logan's (19,551') Hummingbird Ridge really was. Now, with the release of North America's Fifty Classic Climbs, Episode 4 & 5, everybody can see why this "classic" has only had one successful ascent... half a century ago...