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Lessons from Mt. Rainier

I keep telling the story of my (attempted) climb of Mt Rainier, and figure it is est to document some of my lessons.  The choice to go to Colorado was a good one.  Climbing Mt. Audubon with Sam and Chris was great (even if we did get stuck coming down in a thunder and lightening storm), it did give me a chance to acclimate to the higher altitude.  Climbing Pike’s Peak and other hikes with Lynne was not only fun, good training, but a great chance to spend some time with a friend.  With regard to lessons learned:

1.  I’m happy with my physical condition and training, but think it would have been better if I jogged/ran, or biked.  My legs were in better shape than most, and the swimming and stair-master was good aerobic exercise, but it would have been better with some running. 

2.  Train without drinking water.  While on stair-master, I drank during workout.  This was fine for the first couple days of the climb, but the hike from Muir to the summit is done in 1-1.5 hour stretches and your water bottle is not accessible(it would freeze).

3.  Shoes!  So everybody said if you are only going to climb one time, and not going to do this sort of thing many times more, "rent the boots".  When I say everybody, this includes the guides, the guys at REI and EMS, other people that climbed, and even my friend Chaz.  But having trained in sneakers, it is obvious it would have been better to get used to the footing and weight or wearing the boots.  Poor choice to not buy them before.

4.  Team:  After my experience, I would feel a lot more comfortable hiking with people I know, or know how they trained.  I would have gladly paid double to have the luxury of not hiking/climbing with strangers.  Yes, there is the fun and opportunity to meet new people, make contacts, and stuff like that — but I have enough people and contacts, and would have preferred to be with people I know when walking next to huge crevices. 

That’s my list.  Let me know if you want to climb.  As mentioned earlier, now climbing Mt. Rainier is on my life list of things to do!

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