Wednesday, August 14, 2013

Crater Explorations

Late July brought a climbing team to Mount Rainier that was looking to do something a little bit different. Their mission was to explore the summit crater and it's ice caves, with the Kautz Glacier as their route of access. By the looks of their pictures it looks like they succeeded, big is the only way to look at them. 

No significant in-depth exploration or research of the crater caves has been done since Willian Lokey in 1971 and 1972. William Lokey will be presenting about "Project Crater" and his crater explorations at the Paradise Inn Saturday, August 17th starting at 9:00 PM! This event is free however Park Admission is still required.

From Xavier:
"The climb went great. We spent 24th on the summit which was probably the hardest part of the whole climb. You know... altitude."

 "The caves are amazing. We didn't get much time in them as everybody was feeling a bit altitude sick + cold and tired but I got some good shots nonetheless. See below. I would love to spend more time up there and document the phenomenon more thoroughly."

"Ice caves in crater, wicked!"

The summit craters and steam vents have provided mystery and refuge to climbers since the early days of climbing Rainier. For more information check out Dee Molenaar's classic The Challenge of Rainier.