During 4 beautiful days last week, the Peak Mountain Guides 2010 Mt. Rainier Team made a strong attempt of the Emmons Glacier Route. Despite not making it to the summit, Brian, John, Gideon, and Matt learned a great deal about mountaineering and teamwork while experiencing the magnificence of Mt. Rainier. The weather and snow conditions were absolutely perfect for the duration of the trip, making for great views and terrific photo opportunities. A few photos are attached below. The good weather and snow conditions also allowed everyone to get ample practice with mountaineering skills like kicking steps in snow, ice axe self belay, ice axe self arrest, plunge stepping and glissading for descending, rope set-up with prusiks, glacier rope-team travel, alpine camping, Leave No Trace principles for an alpine environment, and other associated skills. A few participants came to the program with little previous mountaineering experience so the educational components of the trip really helped them understand and learn the important fundamentals.
The team made two camps during the ascent, the first in Glacier Basin and the second at Camp Schurman. On the summit attempt from Camp Schurman the team climbed about 1000′ onto The Corridor, a large passageway on the Emmons Glacier, before turning around due to fatigue and reports of high wind above. It was a very good effort by everyone! As famously stated by the reputable mountaineer Ed Viesturs, “the summit is optional, getting down is mandatory”. Following this good advice, the group made a safe descent back to Camp Schurman and down to the car at the trailhead below.