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Training Day 1

Going to climb Mt. Ranier with my friend Chaz to celebrate his 55th Birthday in August.  Fact is, I should have began training a while ago.   See the notes below re the plan of attack.  I went to NYHRC yesterday, and tested my ability on the stair master thing.  So, this is the best way for me to keep track. 

Session 1 – 30 min, level 13 (1-20), with arms, finish 1.9 miles, hr 119 Felt good, jumped on again and did Session 2 – 20 min, level 17 (1-20), with arms, finish 1.35 miles, hr 122 Both sessions where "HILL" Feel good, going to swim. And finished with 100 laps.

In afternoon: Hill – level 19 – 2.21 miles 30 min. Hill – level 20 – 2.31 mi 30 min pulse rate peak 135 – 150 Plus another 100 laps

Feel pretty good – not sore – need to get a pack and see how I do with some weight. A good start… I am not as worried as I was.


Day 1: The Mountaineering Day School 7:00 – 8:00 a.m. Rainier BaseCamp facilities in Ashford open at 7:00 a.m. Climbers may register with Rainier Mountaineering, Inc., pick up rental equipment and purchase last minute items from Whittaker Mountaineering during this time. Pre-ordered trail lunches and meals may also be picked up at Whittaker Mountaineering. 8:00 a.m. Final check-in. Team assembles in preparation for the day. Please arrive dressed for hiking, packed with your Mountaineering Day School gear, and ready to go! We begin the morning with a welcome and introduction of team members and guides. Guides will offer some final packing and clothing suggestions, and answer any questions. We depart BaseCamp immediately following our initial preparation. Transportation is provided between BaseCamp and Paradise, where your training begins. The entire day is spent on the lower snow slopes of Mt. Rainier, just above Paradise between 6,000 and 6,600 feet.

Our Mountaineering Day School offers participants an overview of various techniques which help meet the challenges set forth by this magnificent mountain. It serves as a great introduction or as a refresher if you haven’t been in the hills for a while. You should find that our guides are excellent teachers relaying this information to you in an easy to understand manner. On this day you will be introduced to a number of skills, from the basic techniques of efficient mountain travel (rest-stepping and pressure breathing) through cramponing, roped travel, and ice axe arrest practices. Our first priority is the safety of our participants. Participation in the Mountaineering School within the current season is required for joining our Summit Climb. During the School you will be asked to demonstrate that your fitness will allow you to climb safely, and that you are able to perform the new climbing skills proficiently. We will continue to assess each team member throughout the course of the training and the climb. Following the day of training, the shuttle takes our group back to Rainier BaseCamp.

888.892.5462 PO Box Q, Ashford, WA 98304 Setting the standard in mountain guiding excellence since 1969 888.892.5462 PO Box Q, Ashford, WA 98304 Days 2 & 3: The Summit Climb 8:00 a.m. Check-in at Rainier BaseCamp. Team assembles in preparation for the trip to Camp Muir. Immediately following a short team preparation for today’s events, the shuttle departs for Paradise, and our Summit Climb begins.

Our Summit Climb takes place over the course of two days. On the first day we hike to Camp Muir, and on the second day we make the attempt on Mount Rainier and return to Ashford. The hike from Paradise (5,400’) to Camp Muir (10,060’) is nearly 4.5 miles, and will take us most of the day. The hike travels through the spectacular alpine zone and onto the Muir Snowfield, named after John Muir who climbed the peak in 1888. The Snowfield is climbed for some 3,000 vertical feet, opening up grand vistas of the wooded lowlands and flanking glaciers. Groups typically climb for about an hour and then break for 10 to 15 minutes. Once at Camp Muir, the climb leader will address the specifics regarding the rest of the climb, including route conditions, food, equipment, clothing recommendations, and any further questions you might have. Accommodations at Muir consist of a small mountain hut with bunks and sleeping pads. The Muir hut is locked during the climb, so items not needed for the summit bid may be left behind. Early the following morning we don ropes, crampons, helmets, and grab our ice axes. Our route begins with a rising traverse across the Cowlitz Glacier, and ascends the steepening switchbacks of Cathedral Gap. This allows us to gain the Ingraham Glacier; one of the mountain’s largest and longest glaciers. We then climb onto the steep ridge known as Disappointment Cleaver, the namesake and physical crux of the route. The remaining slopes and hours are whittled away as we zig and zag through the many crevasses of the upper mountain. It is truly a spectacular climb, and one that you are likely to remember for a while to come. As we make our ascent, we climb steadily for one to two hours at a stretch followed by a 10 to 15 minute break.

The summit of Mount Rainier is spectacular. A large crater dominates the summit, with steam rising out of the cavernous summit vents. The bare ground near the summit will be warm to the touch. We always hope to cross the quarter-mile wide crater to stand on the high point of the mountain, Columbia Crest. At 14,410 feet, Mt. Rainier is the highest point in Washington. After spending some time on top (depending on the weather), we begin the descent to Camp Muir. This takes about half the time of the ascent, and also requires significant effort. (Accidents are traditionally recognized as more likely to occur on descents. Because of this, we ask that your training specifically includes preparations for descending. This will help ensure that your ability to safely descend is not compromised.) Once back at Camp Muir, the group will take a break to pack for the final hike down to Paradise. A shuttle will then take our group down to Rainier BaseCamp. We plan on arriving back at Ashford in the late afternoon or early evening.

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