About 2 years ago my two best friends and I decided we wanted to try to climb Mt Rainier. I honestly don't know to this day who's idea it was, or how it materialized into a serious idea but it did. So here i've been for almost two years planning this trip to climb rainier. All winter and Spring this last six months I've been training too - mostly with 40 pounds of weight on a stair climber. Well all the planning and training paid off because this July me and my two buddies made it the top. It was exhausting to say the least and I think the trip down was almost harder than going up. The journey starts in Paradise visitors center at 5200 feet and takes you 5000 vertical feet of snowy climbing up to Camp Muir. We spend roughly 2 days at Camp Muir acclimitizing to the almost 10,000 vertical feet and then went for the summit leaving at 1am. I was really nervous about the dangers ahead (seracs, ice fall, rock fall, crevasses, steep grades, other parties accidents, etc etc) but we took off. My nerves immediately went away during the first part of the climb because it was so beautiful. The moon lit most of the the mountain and the steady stream of headlamps lighting the path ahead was encouraging to beautiful too. Before I knew it we had crossed countless crevasses and we were at the top. Overall, I really enjoyed the challenge and motivation that this whole journey involved but I still have mix emotions about the dangers....I came across the quote by Chris Bonington in his book "Annapurna" that I think really makes sense though... "When asked why I wanted to climb the south face of Annapurna, I am tempted to repeat Mallory's famous answer, 'Because it is there.' This is both inadequate yet all-embracing. We climb for so many reasons: the joy of movement and muscular control up a steep face of rock or ice; the satisfaction of exploring new ground, even up a small rock face on the flanks of a hillside; and, perhaps even more important, of exploring one's own reactions to new, at times exacting, experience. There is the sheer beauty and grandeur of the mountains, the sooting balm of solitude. And through it all, is the undercurrent of danger: for this is what climbing is all about - staking ones life on one's judgement, playing the calculated risk. This doesn't mean going blindly into danger, or seeking hazard for its own sake. The climber gains his satisfaction from going into a potentially dangerous situation but then, through his own skill and experience, renders it safe."
Just before we started our hike and the glory summit shot. (I'm really not that chunky :) thats the 60 mile an hour summit wind pumping up my jacket:))