Thursday, June 30, 2011

Rainier Journals

I know that you all are wondering about my Rainier trip!  The road-trip has been amazing and I've gotten to see and visit many good friends and family. (I even baked a pie!)  I'll upload some pics from the road trip but I wanted to get something up about Rainier.  The following are my journals from a few of the days... they've been edited a little but for the most part they are word for word!  (Good luck it could be scary!)

Saturday June 24,

As I pull into Portland I can feel the mountain pull me closer and closer.  I can't see it yet but I know it's CLOSE and just looking in it's direction sends my nerves popping and my heart racing.  I'm going to be proud of myself if I get up this thing.

We all have our figurative mountains to climb (and hopefully summit.) I literally climb mountains and I can't say for certain that climbing them helps with my "mountains" but I do go through an intense mental and spiritual cleansing throughout the climb and I can only hope that it is this process that helps me better myself.
I'd be lying if I said I'm not nervous, this is my first big mountain. 

June 27, 2011

Second night at Camp Muir, the weather is NOT looking like it's going to cooperate for us to summit.  This trip has at been at best a beautiful disaster.  In no particular order some things I learned to take (and leave behind) 

1. An ultra, super, amazing absorbing pack towel.  Terri put the freeze dried food under the sleeping bag to keep it warm.  Good idea, but we got to the tent before she did, got in, and realized we'd sat on the food.  Fortunately we figured it out without too much damage but not before both Casey and I had used our hanky.

2. Knitting is a socked in mountaineer Mel's best friend.  Next time I will remember to take a picture of the pattern I want to use before I leave.  I restarted twice and couldn't remember the herringbone pattern I wanted to use to make a hat.  I spent an picking out the wool for this hat so apparently everything about this hat takes forever.

3. As much as you don't want to, it's important to get out and run around.

4. Every trip needs a captain or a leader.  This fact is obvious but as girls we don't want to step on each others toes.  Logistically wise though, leaders are a must. 

The trip yesterday was long and steep.  I was unprepared for the PACK.  At about 7500 feet I tool the rope from Terri and it was a killer.  I was soooo much later getting to Muir than what I wanted to be (later I found out that Terri had hauled up Rainier beer for us...the rope and slowness well worth it.)  I've been doing my best to keep everything dry but its a huge CHORE (this is why I wasn't super excited about going out everyday) Everything takes longer on snow. EVERYTHING, but in a lot of ways I like it.  For whatever reason I really like tending to melting snow.

I've had a lot of emotions on this trip (the entire trip) *DIGRESS* Terri just pointed out that everyone in the bunk house tonight is from Colorado and it's funny.  It's a couple couples which takes me back to my emotions statement.  This trip has makes me miss my family.  I love them so very much, almost to the point of tears miss them.  My mom is flying into Seattle on the 30th  to drive back with me and I'm so excited to see her and take a road trip with my mommy.  Being in Idaho with Brandon and his parents definitely made me miss mine.  I don't get home like I should and I'm actually kind of looking forward to harvest.  I have made a tradition of bringing Grandpa Harms's socks along with me on these trips and after he died I remember all I wanted to do was go hang out skiing at the top of a mountain because he said he was, "going to the top of the mountain" when he referred to dying.  I climb for many reasons but I always think about Grandpa Harms. 

This summit does scare me.  The rangers act like it's nothing and I know as soon as I get on the trail my mind will be out to task but sitting waiting for the weather to clear up when it was supposed to be clear and beautiful.  I should note that the weather up here is crazy.  I was NOT excited about the blue bird day we came in on as I had a feeling it was "too" nice outside.  The winds out now are 50ish mph and I can hear and feel that. (glad we're in the bunk)  All the teams that tried to summit turned back today except two teams that made the summit in whiteout conditions.  Tonight's brave souls are in for worse weather (I later heard that no one summited that day) Our best bet is tomorrow night but then we have to hike all the way out which I'm NOT looking forward to unless I can get some serious glissading in on my snow shovel AKA the sled.

Holy crap the wind is really blowing.  Fort the arm chair mountaineers like me I've read about this.  I didn't know what it was really like.  Ok I'm tired (of writing) I"m not looking to going out for my final bathroom break.  My feet are finally warm and dry and comfy plus the outhouse makes me gag.

June 28, 2011

It's looking like we are not going to get up this mountain.  The barometer has not changed for two days.  I think we are going to try tonight knowing we probably won't summit.  I know this is part of mountaineering but it's so fustrating.  I've spent so much money, sacraficed so much, trained so hard. 

Today was a better day although the hopes of summiting are diminishing.  We met the ranger, Ben who invited us to go look at the rock slide, which  apparently was seismicly the largest in this area, ever.  We roped up and traveled through some crevasses which was great then went on to the rock fall.  When we got back he invited us for beer and wine and we shared snacks in the ranger hut. 

This group from Seattle moved into the bunk and they are to say the least, invasive.  They used our bag of snow and the guy uses the word epic all the time which drives me crazy.  Sidenote:  I hope my cats are ok. I absolutely love them.

6:58 pm

We're waking up at 11 to leave by 12.  I"m nervous and hoping we can summit but not exactly expecting to.  The sun came out.  I took some photos.  There are some wild clouds below us right now.

I can't wait for this road trip with my mom.  I'm pretty excited.  I'm going to give her the biggest hug ever.

11:00 pm

It's go time!  A guy just came in and said there's no cloud in the sky.

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