The snow remaining on Disappointment Cleaver continues to melt and snow bridges on the upper mountain continue to sag and slowly collapse into the bigger crevasses up high. Generally, though, the route remains in typical mid-July condition.
|Another busy July morning above Disappointment Cleaver|
The major changes to the route have occurred on The Cleaver and above. On the lower half of The Cleaver, climbers can expect to travel on rock. Halfway up, two options exist. Climbers can either stay on the spine (ridge crest), or travel a little climber's left onto the shoulder. The shoulder is a mix of snow and rock, while the spine is all rock. Climbers will find wands on both paths up the cleaver.
|The route above Ingraham Flatts (Green), the spine of the cleaver (Red), and the shoulder of the cleaver (Blue)|
Above The Cleaver, the route heads through a heavily crevassed section of glacier. At 12,800' a hand line has been placed along a steeper section of the route. While it may not be of much use on the ascent, the hand line may provide greater security for teams descending this section.
|The hand line at 12,800 feet|
At 13,000 feet climbers will encounter a large crevasse bridged by two different ladders. The ladder to climber's left has been in place for a couple weeks. It is anchored with pickets and has a hand line to aid in crossing it.
To climber's right, a new ladder was placed by guides recently. This ladder is oriented vertically and climbs the steep uphill wall of the crevasse. The vertical ladder has a hand line near the top to aid in negotiating the top of the crevasse wall. The hand line extends to the right above the ladder for 30 feet and is anchored with a few pickets. This line allows climbing teams to perform running belays to protect a fall while traveling up or down this ladder.
|The ladder to climber's right at 13,000 feet.|
Both ladders are viable options for negotiating this crevasse. Naturally, climbers stack up at these ladder crossings because they take extra time to negotiate. Always check the stability of ladders on the upper mountain and use the anchors for a belay, or running belay if your team wants to up your level of security. Ladders can add fall potential and consequence to crevasse crossings, so they should be negotiated carefully.
|The DC route on 7/16/2019|
Above 13,000 feet the route continues up before traversing to the Emmons shoulder. At 13,700 feet, the route traverses back to the south before continuing up to the crater rim.
|Snow showers at Camp Muir Monday morning 7/15|
Showery weather will continue this week. Winds ramp up on Wednesday to 40-55 mph on the summit as a large low pressure system moves closer to Mt. Rainier from the NW. Winds will continue to be severe on the upper mountain Thursday as the low stalls out north of Mt. Rainier before exiting the area Friday night. Expect wet, windy conditions with little visibility on the mountain through Friday. Sunny and warm weather is forecast for Saturday and Sunday. Check the Mt. Rainier Recreational Forecast for updates.