Rainier/Cascades Blog Cybercasts

7/25 8-Day Intermediate Course: Fun Times on Blue’s Buttress

AAI Guide Victor McNeil just checked in from the 7/25 8-Day Intermediate Course where the course has been taking WA Pass by storm. The whole team successfully climbed Blue’s Buttress (5.6) on Poster Peak yesterday. They are going to climb another few days WA Pass before heading to Boston Basin on Wednesday.

7/20 10-Day Course: Summited Baker!

AAI Guide David Gottlieb just checked in from the Squak Glacier after a successful summit attempt. The students on the course put their new skills to work and climbed to the top of Komo Kulshan today. Right now they are taking it easy and are looking forward to heading to Glacier Peak next.

7/24 3-Day Muir: Headed Up!

7/24 3-day muir:  headed up!

7/22 3-Day Muir Climb – Summit Success!

AAI Guide Lakpa Rita Sherpa just checked in from high camp on Mount Rainier after a very successful summit bid.  100% of guides and clients that attempted the summit this morning, made it to the top.  Nice work!

7/19 6-Day Course: 100% Summit Success!

AAI Guide Don Wargowsky just checked in after a very successful attempt.  The whole team summited the mighty Mount Baker, which clocks in at an impressive 10,781′.  From the summit, you can see all the way to the Puget Sound while enjoying enviable views of the Mount Shuksan and the other peaks in the North Cascades.  Today the team is going to tackle crevasse rescue.

7/16 8-Day Course: 100% Summit Success

AAI Guide Stephen Williams just checked in from Camp Schurman after a very successful summit attempt.  100% of climbers and guides reached the summit of Rainier via the Emmons this morning.   Nice!

7/20 3-Day Muir Climb: Socially Distant Dinner with a View

7/20 3-day muir climb: socially distant dinner with a view

Rainier is Looking Good!

Director of Field Operations, Jonathon Spitzer headed up to Rainier earlier this week to scope out the route.  Overall the upper mountain is in excellent condition for this time of year. At this time there are not adjuncts (ladders, etc.)  in place on the upper mountain. From Muir, there is a climber friendly traverse across the Cowlitz and both sides of Cathedral Gap are snow free now. From Ingraham Flats, the route ascends uphill 400′ and crosses high crack out towards the cleaver. Access to the Cleaver at this time is straightforward and in good condition. From the top of the Cleaver, the route makes several switch backs above the Cleaver to gain the 13,000′ zone. From 13,400′, the route traverses climber’s left towards Columbia crest.

7/16 3-day muir: all good

7/14 Alpine Rock: Scales Liberty Bell & SEWS

AAI Guide Victor McNeil just checked in from the 7/14 Alpine Rock Course.  They are having an awesome time sampling some of the choicest alpine climbing in Washington.  Half of the group climbed Liberty Bell via the ultra-classic Beckey Route 5.7 while the rest climbed South Early Winter Spire via the super fun SW Rib 5.8.  The wavy handcrack on pitch 2 is definitely something to write home about!

7/14 3-Day Muir Climb Summit Success!

Our very first 3-day Muir climb of the season stood on the summit of Rainier early this morning!   The team is safe, sound, and headed off the mountain for celebratory cold libations and burgers.


  • Women’s-Specific Climbing Tips

    It’s Not Awkward, It’s Reality As adults, we’ve got our bathroom & “private part” habits down. We know how to keep ourselves comfortable, clean, and efficient. But what happens when we step into the backcountry for the day? For several nights? For a month-long expedition? For those heading into the backcountry with a female anatomy, […]

  • Gear Review: Fozzils Bowls

    By Mike Hawkins It has been a long day – one of the most demanding climbing days you have ever experienced. Your legs are wrecked. Your back is sore and you have small bruises on your hips from your hipbelt. You have sunscreen caked into every nook and cranny, but even that didn’t keep you […]

  • Gear Review: The North Face Phantom 50 pack

    By Mike Hawkins “Man, this is a really great pack…” I said it over and over for months until my wife had finally had enough of it. She had to get one for herself.  While 50 liters is a little small for most multi-day mountaineering and winter ski tours, the small size is plenty versatile […]

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