August 28-29, 2010: Rainier – Disappointment Cleaver

After the epic three-day thrill-fest that was the Edmonds Headwall, summiting Rainier via the DC is, aptly, disappointing.  Seems like the mountain is too easy from that route.  Does it go on forever?  Yes, but not to the degree that the Liberty Glacier did.  Was it tiring?  Yes, but not in the way the 38-hour trip earlier in the month was.  Still, the climb was very cool for two reasons.  One: it was the first summit for Shayna, Jarred, and new-comer Zeb.  Both Shayna and Jarred have previous, failed attempts at the giant.  Two: descending via Paradise in the late afternoon is a very different experience from walking out the White River trail after dark.  It’s something of a hero’s welcome with all the children and tourists judging your awesomeness based on an ice axe and helmet clipped to your pack.

The route was in good shape.  After the Ingraham Flats, we grab the cleaver about half-way up.  Normally the route traverses onto the snowfields, but the current route has us on rock on the spine of the cleaver all the way up.  At the top, crevasses pushed the route all the way onto the Emmons Shoulder, so it was a flatter, longer trek than (what I’m told) is the normal way.  Some fun was my first experience with crossing crevasses on a ladder.  There were two of them!  Hurray!  One wobbled like crazy too, which was unnerving going up, but I was too tired to care on the way down and just plowed over it.  Extra bonus: we all got a nice hour-long nap on the summit.

I forgot my camera for this one, so here are some pictures of the trip courtesy of David Welles

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