Mt. Rainier, Fuhrer Finger
13-14 May 2011
Mt. Rainier is a massive volcanic mountain located some 50 miles southeast of Seattle, Washington. With a summit elevation of 14, 411 ft., Mt. Rainier is the tallest in the Cascade Range and in the state of Washington. On clear days, it dominates the southeastern horizon of the Seattle metropolitan area. With 26 major glaciers and 36 square miles of snowfields and glaciers, it is the most heavily glaciated peak in the lower 48 states. The minimum ante to gain the summit is more than 9000 ft. of elevation gain and more than 14 miles roundtrip, crossing heavily glaciated terrain, and with the constant threat of the notoriously unstable Pacific Northwest weather. Despite those details (or perhaps because of them), some 10,000 people will attempt to climb Mt. Rainier each year, 90% of them via the Camp Muir – Disappointment Cleaver route. (Most of the rest of the parties will attempt the Emmons Glacier route from the northeast.)
We were a little disappointed not to have summited, but were still psyched to have climbed and skied the lion’s share of the Fuhrer Finger route. It truly is a classic line on an iconic mountain.
See you in the backcountry.
Spring is the best time to climb and ski many of the classic lines in Colorado and beyond! Join us for a day of guided ski mountaineering and learn the skills to safely enjoy these majestic routes.