Tag: Pacific Northwest

Nice end-of-season climb on Washington state’s Mt. Olympus last week.  Lead guide, Terray Sylvester, provided this report:

We made the most of challenging conditions last week on Mount Olympus’ Blue Glacier Route.

The trail to the route follows the milky Hoh River through the massive trees of the Hoh Rainforest for about 17 miles to Glacier Meadows campground, just below the foot of the Blue Glacier. It’s a uniquely beautiful approach, but since the Hoh Rainforest gets 12 to 14 feet of rain each year, it can also be a bit wet. We had rainy weather both days of our hike in, and for that, we all carried golf umbrellas. Maxfli isn’t a brand you often see on a mountaineering rack, but those umbrellas kept us dry each day until we climbed into our tents. For backcountry comfort, they were some of the most important gear we brought.

After all that rain, I was relieved to see stars in the sky when I stuck my head out of the tent at 1:30 a.m. We ate a quick breakfast of oatmeal and hot coffee, and then hiked out of camp, over the lateral moraine on the east side of the Blue Glacier and down to the glacier at about 5,000 feet of elevation. By the time the sun was up, we had crossed the lower arm of the glacier and were climbing toward the top of the Snow Dome, a plateau at about 7,000 feet. But late-season conditions were slowing our pace. Lack of snow on the lower glacier forced us to pick our way carefully across the glacier’s deep, icy furrows. Higher up, I built a series of anchors to protect the final, steep slopes near the top of the Snow Dome. Earlier in the season, those slopes would have been covered in snow and we could have simply walked up them as a rope team. But with glacier ice exposed, it was too dangerous to ascend without belaying.

By the time we approached Crystal Pass at 7,200 feet, we were running out of time to make it to the summit. We would still have to climb and descend the final 5th class rock pitch below the summit pinnacle, but we also faced a more immediate problem – a wide bergschrund that spanned the glacier below Crystal Pass. Having climbed down into and back out of the bergschrund a week earlier, I knew we could do it safely, but I also knew it would cost us quite a bit of time. Ascending higher would have pushed us into a long summit day when nightfall and fatigue might conspire to make an accident more likely. With clouds coming in, we returned to camp, taking off our packs at our tents just before dusk.

On many climbs, the most difficult choice is when to turn around. It was disappointing not to stand on the summit of Olympus on this climb, but that was the price we paid for a lesson in decision-making, and for the experience of climbing on this remote, beautiful peak in late-season conditions when the dramatic crevasses and seracs of the Blue Glacier are most visible. We also got to practice some teamwork and rope skills as we moved through the belays on the Snow Dome. All in all, it was a valuable trip to one of Washington’s most remote and beautiful peaks.

Team with golf umbrellas hiking to Mt. Olympus high camp

You don’t always see gear branded Maxfli (golf umbrella) on mountaineering trips!

Sean hikes from the Hoh River to Glacier Meadows at the base of Mount Olympus in Olympic National Park

Sean hikes from the Hoh River to Glacier Meadows at the base of Mount Olympus in Olympic National Park

Climbing the Blue Glacier route on Mount Olympus in Olympic National Park

Climbing the Blue Glacier route on Mount Olympus in Olympic National Park

Climbing the Blue Glacier route on Mount Olympus in Olympic National Park

Climbing the Blue Glacier route on Mount Olympus in Olympic National Park

Team pose while climbing the Blue Glacier route on Mount Olympus in Olympic National Park

Team pose while climbing the Blue Glacier route on Mount Olympus in Olympic National Park

Driving up through a hazy smoke lining the valley near Mount Rainier, our 2019 Climb for Conservation team launched from Paradise en route for Camp Muir (10,188 ft). After a enjoyable day learning climbing skills with Garrett Madison, including techniques for cramponing, use of the ice axe and self-arrest, rope team travel, we tucked into our sleeping bags at Camp Muir. The next morning we woke up at 7am, ate breakfast and moved up toward Ingraham Flats at 11,100 feet to set up high camp. Around 2pm we geared up and started our summit ascent, first challenge being the rock climb over the Disappointment Cleaver. While the sun came down over the mountain the temperature quickly dropped below freezing as we continued to move higher on the mountain.

As the sun was setting across the horizon we reached the summit at 4,392m / 14,411ft. Climbers quickly made their way to sign the summit book inside a large metal box before roping up again and making our descent. The wind picked up to 25mph or so and all climbers were ready to move toward our warm tents and dinner back on the Ingraham flats.

To view our Washington programs for summer 2019, please click HERE.

.

Please enjoy a few of our top photos from this climb! 🙂

.

.

.

.

Photo by David Kernan

.

Photo by David Kernan

.

Photo by Jason Korb

.

.

.

Photo by Christiane

.

Photo by Christiane

.

Photo by Christiane

.

Photo by Christiane

.

0
Invalid slider id. Master Slider ID must be a valid number.

Our four-day Mt. Rainier is one of our signature summer climbs. Our team will be led by two of our highly experienced guides and is a group of only four climbers. The trip includes an introduction to mountaineering and the summit climb.

Mt. Rainier is located in the Cascade Mountain Range of United States state of Washington and has an elevation of 4392 m / 14,411 ft. As the sun rises and we make our way up this active stratovolcano, you will see beautiful views of the Pacific Northwest!

Your professionalism and incredible service you provide your clients on Mount Rainier is greatly appreciated. This park and the public are fortunate to have guides and companies like yours with such great integrity serving on the Mountain.

— CUA Coordinator, Mount Rainier National Park

Day 1: Orientation and Equipment Check. Your guides will provide a program orientation and conduct a personal check of each climber’s equipment. There will be ample time for Q&A, packing and gear fitting suggestions, and directions for the next morning’s met up in Paradise. Exact location and time of the orientation and equipment check will be confirmed by email/phone just prior to the trip start.

Day 2: The group meets at the Paradise parking area (1646m/5,400ft) in Mount Rainier National Park. After our check-in with the National Park Service climbing rangers, we begin the hike to Camp Muir (3105m/10,188ft). The group sleeps at Camp Muir in tents. A great source of information about the hike to Camp Muir can be found on the Washington Trails Association website: https://www.wta.org/go-hiking/hikes/camp-muir

Day 3: We will conduct a climbing skills review which includes crampon techniques, ice axe use, self-arrest techniques, and rope-team travel. After the skills review, the group will ascend to the Ingraham Flats camp (3383m/11,100ft) to sleep in tents

Day 4: Summit Day: We begin before dawn and climb the Disappointment Cleaver route to the summit (4392m/14,411ft), the fourth highest-point in the Lower 48 states and the highest-point in the state of Washington, sign the summit logbook, and then descend to our camp at Ingraham Flats to sleep

Day 5: We descend from camp to the Paradise parking area, conclude our program, and exit Mount Rainier National Park

Day 6: Contingency day for weather or other delays

2020 Departure:
 July 26-30, 2020-SOLD OUT! Please inquire about 2021 dates.

Cost: $2,950 per person
Deposit: $2000 to secure entire 4 member team climb

Balance Due: 90 days prior to climb date

Costs Include:
• Mount Rainier National Park reservation and permit fees
• Two highly-experienced Madison Mountaineering guides
• Personal equipment check and guidance on gear fitting and optimized packing
• Breakfast and dinner while on the mountain – if you have specific dietary needs, please let us know and we will be happy to accommodate
• All shared group equipment, such as tents, stoves, climbing ropes and hardware, first aid, etc.

Not Included:
• Transportation to the orientation and equipment check location or the Paradise parking area trailhead
• National Park Service climbing recovery fee
• Mount Rainier National Park entrance fee ($30/vehicle)
• Medical and evacuation insurance (please see below for options)
• Accommodations prior to and following the climb
• Any expenses incurred by early departure from the program
• Personal items and equipment

• Ice Axe: A short ice axe no longer than 60 cm.
• Crampons: General mountaineering crampons
• Trekking Poles: Adjustable poles for the trek to base camp
• Climbing harness: An alpine climbing harness
• Carabineers: 4 locking and 2 non-locking
• Belay / Rappel device: For rappelling or belaying climbers
• Helmet: Must fit over a thick hat
• Light hiking boots or trekking shoes: For the trek to base camp
• Mountaineering Boots: A double plastic or insulated synthetic boot
• Socks: Minimum 3 pair thick mountaineering socks and 3 pair liner socks
• Short Underwear: 1 pair of synthetic short underwear
• Long Underwear: 1-2 pair lightweight long underwear pants and shirts. 1 pair of heavy expedition weight long underwear
• Soft Shell Jacket: A hooded jacket
• Soft Shell pants: For trekking and climbing
• Insulated Jacket: Primaloft or Down
• Hard Shell Jacket: To be worn in wet conditions
• Hard Shell Pants: To be worn in wet conditions, these pants should have full side zippers
• Headlamp: Bring extra batteries
• Warm Hat: A warm fleece or wool hat
• Balaclava: to cover your face and neck on windy days
• Gaitors
• Sun hat: A baseball style sun camp
• Buff: 1-2 of these to wear around your neck & face to block the wind, UV rays, dust
• Glacier Glasses: wrap-around style sunglasses with dark lenses
• Goggles: With dark lenses.
• Soft Shell Gloves: 1 pair
• Shell gloves with insulated liner: 1 pair
• Expedition Backpack: A 65+ liter internal frame backpack
• Sleeping Bag: Rated to at least 20 degrees. Down is preferable over synthetic
• Compression stuff sacks: for reducing volume for your sleeping bag and down jacket
• Self Inflating pad: A full-length air mattress
• Closed Cell foam pad: Full length is best
• Headlamp: Bring a spare set of batteries
• Cup: 16oz. minimum
• Bowl: ½ liter minimum capacity
• Spoon: Plastic (lexan)
• Sunscreen: 2 tubes, SPF 40 or stronger
• Lipscreen: 2 sticks, SPF 30 or stronger
• Water bottles: 2 bottles with 1 liter capacity each
• Water Purification System: Tablets or Steripen
• Water Bottle Parkas: To keep your water from freezing
• Pee Bottle: 1 liter capacity minimum
• Pee Funnel: For Women
• Knife: Optional
• Toiletry Bag: Toothpaste, Toothbrush, baby wipes, etc.
• Hand Sanitizer: 1 small bottle
• Trash Compactor bags (4): To line stuff sacks and separate gear
• Camera: lightweight with extra batteries
• Travel Clothes: For days in Seattle.
• Small duffel bag: to store items in the hotel
• Small Personal First Aid Kit: Athletic tape, band-aids, Ibuprofen, Moleskin, blister care products, personal medications, cough drops
• Medications:
  ‣ Acetazolamide (Diamox) for altitude illness
  ‣ Antibiotics such as Ciprofloxin or Azithromycin for gastrointestinal or respiratory illness
  ‣ Ibuprofen for muscle soreness
  ‣ Pepto Bismol for loose stool
  ‣ Excedrin for headaches
  ‣ Anti-nausea medications
• Climbing Snacks:
  ‣ Electrolyte Replacement Drink Mix: Bring a supply for 4 days such as Nuun
  ‣ Energy Gel: Single serving gel packs such as GU, Clifshot, Powergel, etc.)
  ‣ Energy Bars: Power bar, Cliff bar, etc.
  ‣ Candy Bars: Snickers, Mars, Twix, Milky Way, etc.
  ‣ Hard Candy: 1 cup
  ‣ Crackers: 1 box

Madison Mountaineering is recognized for well thought out strategy in high altitude climbing expeditions, as well as high-quality service throughout. Because we have two decades of experience in the planning and coordination of mountaineering expeditions, our reputation is excellent. We strive to make each expedition the best possible experience for our climbers and focus on our 3 primary goals of success in reaching the summit, returning safely, and having fun!

Our guides are some of the best and most experienced in the industry, having a strong grasp of technical climbing, expedition, and high altitude experience, along with strong interpersonal skills. Our teams are small and equipped with the best support available to ensure the highest chance of success. We are renowned for our comfortable base camps, high-quality food, first-rate communications, and medical support services, all of which are overseen by a professional member of our team.

Most of our climbers have either climbed with us before, been referred by a friend who has climbed with us, or met one of our teams while attempting another peak and decided to join us for their next expedition. We work hard to facilitate safe, successful, and enjoyable expeditions for all of our climbers. Our track record and past climber testimonials prove we are not only experts in our field, but we also love what we do!

More Climbs

Successful Mount Rainier summit at (14,411 ft) this week with Climb for Conservation! Our team climbed the Disappointment Cleaver route and gained 9,000 ft and covered 18 miles. Thank you to our rockstar team who joined the Climb for Wildlife Conservation cause!

For future Climb for Conservation adventures please contact Ginna Kelly 🙂

.

.

.

.

.

.

.

.

.

.

.

Mount Rainier summit

.

.

It was going to be hot, super hot on Mount Shuksan. We decided it would be prudent to get an early start so we left camp at 1:45am walking under a moonless sky across the Sulphide Glacier. Smoke from wildfires to the north turned the sunrise into an hours long epic, we arrived at the summit pyramid just as the sun crested the horizon. The summit was cast in shadow and we hurried down before we cooked. It was a beautiful day in the mountains.

Guide Sid Pattison

.

Mount Shuksan

.

 

.

Mount Shuksan

.

Photo credit: Melissa Arnot

Mount Shuksan

.

Mount Shuksan

We had a successful Mount Rainier climb, Washington’s highest peak and largest volcano at 14,411′.  Our team elected to push for the summit in the afternoon, rather than do the traditional midnight start, so we ended up reaching the summit around sunset, it was a beautiful view from the top, and we had it all to ourselves.  Below are some photos from our climb, enjoy!

To view some of our other Washington programs please click HERE.

.

Mount Rainier climb

.

Mount Rainier climb

.

Mount Rainier climb

.

Mount Rainier climb

.

Mount Rainier climb

.

Mount Rainier climb

.

Mount Rainier climb

 

Our climbers had a wonderful late July Mount Baker trip! Guides Sid Pattison and JR Storms safely brought the team to the summit and down safely. Please enjoy a recap below by climber, Don Storms.

On the first day we all took our time hiking up to the hogs back area, standard bivy. We spent that afternoon enjoying views, re-hydrating and preparing to possibly climb in the morning. We had a hand wavy forecast so our strategy was to be ready to go on the morning of day two. If we didn’t have climbable weather, we would try again the morning of day three. As it turned out, we had bad weather on day two. We spent the day waiting for a suitable weather window. Sid an I got up at midnight on day three, woke up all of the climbers at 1am and started our summit push at 2 am. We were able to take advantage of a small weather window that allowed us to make it the the summit of Mount Baker in six hours. All of the climbers were able to summit. Six hours after summiting, we were back at our high camp and the weather window had closed on us. We spent the remainder of the day packing up and hiking back to the car in light rain. All of the climbers were in good spirit and happy we were able to thread the small weather window and climb safely. All thing said and done, we had a very productive safe and enjoyable trip despite the poor weather window. – Don Storms

.

July Mount Baker

.

July Mount Baker

.

July Mount Baker

.

July Mount Baker

 

.

July Mount Baker

 

Things couldn’t have gone better for the first 2017 Baker climb! With a very good forecast of clear sky, warm days and freezing temps overnight we were happy. We walked in our first day and set up camp and had great views of Mt. Baker from the Hogback camp. With plenty of running water nearby and dry tent sites we were happy campers. We did some training on campsite selection, how to keep a clean and tidy camp and went over some knots all while gazing up at the mountain and our intended climbing route. After dinner we went to sleep in preparation for a fun day of training higher up on the mountain. We rose in the morning to more beautiful weather and great snow conditions, soft around camp and firmer up high for good cramponing. We spent the day going over efficient walking and climbing techniques, rope handling and management, self and team arrest as well as some fun facts about glaciology, navigation and weather. Still being early in the afternoon we decided to take a walk up higher on the mountain and see our entire climbing route as well as take in the beauty of Mt. Baker along with the impressive Black Buttes. We put all of our newly acquired skills to use in roping up and climbing up steep terrain to the Black Buttes camp at around 8000ft. We made a hasty descent back to camp with plenty of time to play a couple rounds of Mountain Bocce ball with rocks and discuss the plan for our climb early the following morning. With a planned climbing time of around 2:30am we cooked an early dinner and tried our bast to sleep with the sun in the sky, never and easy task!

As planned, we woke up around 2am, had a quick breakfast and prepared for our summit bid. The morning was moonless and beautiful as we slowly began our ascent, each of us finding our rhythm in our breaths, focusing on the beams of our headlamps. Around 5am the sun began to rise allowing us to trade our headlamps for sunglasses and sunscreen and see how far we’d come. Only a few other climbing parties were climbing and it was a treat to feel a bit of solitude on the mountain. At around 7am we climbed to the top of the Pumice Ridge and traversed out onto the Roman Wall, the final steep headwall before the plateau of the summit. We hustled our way up the 1000ft headwall and it gradually eased off giving way to the lunar like summit plateau. With not a breathe of wind we strolled across the plateau to the small bump called Grant Peak that is the true summit. With all the up over with, all we had left was the down, we celebrated cautiously knowing we had to come back all the way we’d climbed up and knew the warming temps were going to make for mushy snow. After summit photos, hugs and some water and food we headed back down. The descent went as smoothly as the climb and with only 2 short food and water breaks we found ourselves happy and tired back at our tents where we relaxed and drank more water with our cheese, salami, crackers and apples. That night we slept like baby giraffes as they would say on Mt. Kilimanjaro! The next day we leisurely packed up our things and started our final stretch, back down the trail to our cars where we could truly celebrate a successful trip. As we changed out of our climbing clothes and into the clothes of flatlanders we drove home feeling tired but accomplished in a well executed climb. It was great.

Sid Pattison

Instagram @sid_pattison

.

Mountain bocce at our camp

2017 Baker climb

.

Skier hiking up

2017 Baker climb

.

Final steps up the Roman Wall

2017 Baker climb

.

Summit!

2017 Baker climb

This past week our climbers had an action packed two day climb of Mount Rainier in Washington State. Starting at an elevation of 5,400 feet at Paradise our team, led by Garrett Madison, made the three hour ascent with gear to Camp Muir (10,188). Camp Muir is a high altitude refuge for all climbers and provides a staging point between the Muir Snowfield and the Cowlitz Glacier.

After setting up camp and eating a delicious dinner, our climbing team prepared for the long night of climbing ahead. After waking up at 11pm to a full moon, we gathered our gear and roped up before heading off toward the summit. As the hours passed we worked our way across three ladder crossings over large crevasse’s. Nearing the summit we were pleasantly warmed up by the sun breaking over the distant horizon with a spectacular red and orange sky.

All members of our team successfully made it to the summit and had a wonderful time on the mountain. We look forward to returning to Mount Rainier again in 2017!

.

FullSizeRender 4

.

FullSizeRender 7

.

IMG_4056

.

FullSizeRender 3

.

IMG_4013

Madison Mountaineering guide Sid Pattison and climber Patrick had a memorable PNW adventure last week exploring Mount Shuksan and Mount Baker. This month we have another exciting Mt. Baker expedition planned (July 24-27), if interested please contact andrew@madisonmountaineering.com. Mount Baker is the most heavily glaciated peak in the lower 48 contiguous United States!
.
Expedition report and photos by Sid!
The gear is drying, clothes are being washed and the sun is shining, a far cry from Mt. Baker 24 hours ago. While the weather was wet, spirits were high as we made lemonade over the last 3 days. We got high on the mountain and worked on crevasse rescue, self arrest and navigation skills waiting for momentary breaks in the weather to catch a glimpse.
Humor and comroderie are key in these situations. Patrick and I smiled, laughed and generally had a great time. As we walked out, we detoured to the Coleman glacier overlook and were treated great parting views of the breathtaking glacier. Never a bad day out here!
.
B1
.
Patrick enjoying the beautiful views here on the slopes of Baker
B2
.
Sid – Left (Guide), Patrick – Right (Climber)
B4
Translate »