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May 9, 2008, Mt Rainier, Muir Snowfield

WA Cascades West Slopes South (Mt Rainier)
Posted by Amar Andalkar on 5/10/08 4:39am
Trying to get some closure on this week's events (see TR:    
Skinning up the Muir Snowfield.
Looking upward at the summit dome, my home on Monday night.

Hung out for a couple of hours and talked to various climbers, including a guided team of 7 which descended through Cathedral Gap just before 5pm. They had summited via Ingraham Direct, and the route is now well-wanded, but still has several sketchy crevasse crossings and the guides think it may not go much longer. I asked them if there were any entries in the summit register the past few days, and they said none since May 6, so apparently they were the first climbers to summit since me. I asked what they thought of that entry, and the guides remarked that it was very interesting. They realized my questions were odd, so I revealed that I had written the entry. It turns out one of the guides had taken a photo of the entry, and he offered to email it to me after he gets off the mountain. They'd already heard about the incident from other guides and climbing rangers, and wanted details, so I filled them in a bit.

Rope teams descending through Cathedral Gap,
after summiting via Ingraham Direct.
Evening light on the Mountain.

Skied down just after 6pm. The snow was remarkably good, a bit crusty up high (would have been perfect an hour earlier), but mostly nice corn, even below Pan Point and all the way down to just a couple hundred feet above the parking lot before it got mushy. It was an awesome experience to look up at the Mountain and relive the events of only a few days earlier, and to appreciate its power with a deeper degree of respect than ever before.

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Amar Andalkar
2008-05-10 11:39:06