Tuesday, May 30, 2006

Aerial Mount Rainier, Climbing Route Images

Moving the bear aside... This picture tells a long story. Here is Mount Rainier on May 30, 2006. I was able to capture a few climbing route images during a flight.

A series of recent storms dumped a lot of snow on the mountain. In some places, there were reports of 3 feet. There are rumors that more is expected later this week too. Winter is not over...

Today, however, climbers contended with blue bird skies and light breezes (and quite a bit of postholing.) The tracks indicated that a few made the summit too! Here, two climbers took on the arduous task of breaking trail up the Emmons Glacier... It didn't appear as if anyone else was on the route either. These climbers are at roughly 11,400 feet, exiting the top of the corridor to the left.

Parties were having a hard time making it to Camp Schurman until Sunday, so it's good to see a team getting up the route. This may mark the first successful ascent of the route in 2006.

And here is a nice image of the Ingraham Direct and Disappointment Cleaver routes. The green line traced the visible climbing route up the Disappointment Cleaver. Notice how directly it climbs the spin of the cleaver... Nice...

More images later, this week. All images by Mike Gauthier

Monday, May 29, 2006

Ursa Americanus at Ingraham Flats

On Saturday, we heard about a black bear near Cathedral Rocks... Today, the person who photographed that bear wrote.

More about the climbing bear from David Gutzman of UT.

"We were approaching Ingraham Flats when we heard some rock fall... we looked and saw what we thought was a large, odd shaped rock tumble down a hundred feet onto the glacier. To our surprise the rock got up , shook itself, took one look at us and took off..."
David shot a few images and shared them. Wildlife high on Rainier isn't entirely unheard of, but it's certainly a rare treat to encounter something like a bear at 11,100 feet.

David continued, "[The bear] ran full speed uphill (through deep snow) across the... Ingraham and looked like it was heading towards the Emmons Glacier, all the time glancing our way."

On the climbing front, the weather finally cleared some today... but more snow is forecasted for the week. Let's see if this snow will settle.



Thursday, May 18, 2006

Photos... and the heat wave

We had some aviation training today and along the way, I was able to snap a few images.

Here is a north side picture of Liberty and Ptarmigan Ridges. It has been a really hot week on the mountain, and the snow is melting quite rapidly...

I'll post more photos later today (when I can get some time to process them.)
Photo by Mike Gauthier

Tuesday, May 16, 2006

Updated Route Conditions for Mount Rainier

Lots of climbing reports. Here's a scary image of Rainier's north face... A serac falls off the Liberty Cap Glacier down the Liberty Wall.

It was a very warm this weekend. Thankfully, most climbers had a great time and there were no accidents... Reports to follow soon (i.e. TONIGHT.)

Image by David Gottlieb