MT. RAINIER - 1964

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My second climb of Mt. Rainier took place during the first of June in 1964. I had finished my classes at the University of Puget Sound and was going to work on a cattle ranch in Montana before starting graduate school in Missoula, Montana. I had made a deal with the minister of the church I was attending that if he took me deer hunting, I would take him to the top of Mt. Rainier when school was out. It was something I would not do again if I had the chance. Climbing Rainier via the Emmons Route at the start of June was a bad idea. That year, the snow level was very low and still below the 5000-foot elevation level. I posted a sign up sheet at the university for anyone who wanted to join the party. I wound up with a large party of about 20 people. I wanted to do the same thing I had done two years before that attempt. However, due to my work schedule, I could not do it in three days and had to do it in two days. I was going to go up the weekend before the climb to carry food and fuel to Camp Schurman. The snow on the trail to Glacier Basin was still deep and very soft. No one else had gone up there yet. We had to break trail and it was hard work. We did not make it to Camp Schurman that weekend and had to stash the food and fuel along the trail.

The following weekend we started from White River Ranger Station to climb to Camp Schurman on a Saturday. Our trail from the previous weekend made it easier to progress. Also there was another party climbing that weekend and they were ahead of us. They broke trail for us most of the way. Towards the end, we switched with them and broke trail for the rest of the way. During the summit climb, one of the rope teams in my party developed cold feet due to poor boots and had to turn back. Again, when we got to the top, the weather was starting to close in, so our photos were not too good and we could not spend much time on the top sightseeing. By the time we got back to Camp Schurman, the fog at the top had cleared off, but it was too late to do us any good.

The following link is to a Relief Map of Mt. Rainier National Park with the location of Emmons Glacier.

Click here for Map of Mt. Rainier National Park.

spacer Glacier Basin spacer This is on the trail up to the Inter Glacier starting from White River Ranger Station. We follow the White River and then follow the Inter Fork up to the basin.

spacer Glacier Basin. spacer View looking up the basin twoards Steamboat Prow that is behind the trees.

spacer Inter Glacier. spacer We are now on the lower part of Inter Glacier looking up towards the mountain.

spacer Steamboat Prow. spacer This is the approach to Steamboat Prow. The trail made by the party ahead of us goes to the right around the west side of the prow.

spacer Looking down Glacier Basin. spacer This looking back down to where we had come up on Inter Glacier.

spacer Arrival at base of Steamboat Prow. spacer A view of Mt. Rainier and our summit route up the Emmons Glacier from Steamboat Prow and Camp Schurman.

spacer Ice Fall on Emmons. spacer We got up early the next morning to start our summit climb before the snow got soft. This is a photo of an ice fall with a serac on the Emmons Glacier. It would have been a good photo if my finger was not in the way.

spacer Little Tahoma. spacer Looking east towards Little Tahoma. It is an offshoot volcano that formed on the side of Mt. Rainier. Mt. Rainier was also called Mt. Tahoma by the Native Americans. This peak than became Little Tahoma.

spacer Summit Party. spacer A few of my fellow climbers in my climbing party.

spacer Elder Bob on Summit. spacer A phot of me on the summit. As you can see, I am wearing the same climbing gear and clothes I wore two years ago. Yes, it had been cleaned since then.

spacer Looking back up Emmons Glacier. spacer A view of the summit route after we came back down looking back up the Emmons Glacier.

spacer Our tracks from Steamboat Prow. spacer Another view of our climbing route. You can see the trail in the snow about in the middle of the photo.

spacer Camp Schurman Shelter. spacer This is the shelter at Camp Schurman that was built as an emergency shelter by the Tacoma Mt. Rescue Group. Since then, it has been taken over by the Park Service for use by the climbing ranger that is stationed at Camp Schurman.

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