Mount Rainier: My 2012 Summer Goal

Facing Mount Rainier
My 2012 summer goal is to stand on the summit of Mount Rainier. I have dreamt of this climb for a long time and after many years of training, education and gear buying I feel that the time is right to make an attempt. My climbing team and I want to make this even more epic by attempting the summit without the aid of a guide. 
Mount Rainier is a volcanic 14,417 foot peak located 54 miles south of Seattle, Washington. It is home to 26 glaciers which makes it the most glaciated peak in the lower 48 states.  Reaching the summit requires 9,000 feet of vertical climbing that includes glaciers, snowfields, crevasses and many other mountaineering challenges. The mountain is also prone to unpredictable weather so anyone who climbs it needs to be ready for anything. About 13,000 climbers attempt Rainier each year with a 50% success rate. In my opinion, Rainier is a phenomenal gateway mountain to the world of mountaineering.
As high as I climbed in 2010
I visited the Mount Rainier National Park in 2010. Although I made no attempt for the summit during that trip I did get a close up view of the awesomeness of this peak.
Many first timers climb Rainier with the aid of a guide which greatly increases their chance of success. There is absolutely no shame in climbing with a guide but I am seeking a greater challenge. I will be climbing as part of an unguided 4 man crew who has spent years training for this climb. Without a guide we will be responsible for glacial travel, route finding and any other challenge that comes our way. Even if we don’t succeed, this will be the ascent of a lifetime. 
My crew and I have spent years perfecting our gear, skills and fitness in the ideal cold weather training ground that is the White Mountains. We have also worked with a guide to provide the proper education before we head out west. There are no guarantees in the world of mountaineering but we have done our best to position our ascent for success. 

What are your summer 2012 goals?

6 thoughts on “Mount Rainier: My 2012 Summer Goal

  1. Mark Truman

    Lofty goal Grant (pun completely intended). Best of luck to you and your crew in attaining it! You definitely have had some great winter prep in the Whites and I'm sure it will pay off. Our goals this summer are a bit more restrained. Hoping to get the final 12 peaks for our NH48. A little cooperation from the weather gods and another couple of thousand miles driving back and forth is about all we need. Enjoy the rest of the spring and summer here as you prep for your adventure!


  2. Grant


    Nice pun! Thanks for the well wishes. I feel my crew has definitely put in the effort that Rainier deserves, we will soon see if it is enough! Best of luck in finishing your 48! Standing on the 48th peak is an amazing experience, at least it was for me! Have you picked a peak that you want to finish on?

  3. OPW5000

    Best of luck with your goal of Rainier. Looking forward to reading about your success.
    I suppose if I put some goals down here it might help me to accomplish them…
    I hope to visit all the major mountain ranges of the Northeast (Adirondacks, Greens, Whites, Berkshires, Blue Mtns of Maine) and do some hiking in all of these areas.
    Of course I will continue to chip away at my NH48, but most of all, I plan to enjoy myself.

  4. Grant

    Thanks Owen! Writing down goals does seem to help make them happen, thats why I made this post 🙂 Your goals should take you to some pretty amazing parts of New England! I also think its cool that you want to make time for peaks other than the 48. I know during my 48 quest I regret that I ignored all the awesome hiking outside of NH.


  5. squeakytrees

    Sounds awesome! I visited Rainier as a kid & was blown away by it, absolutely gorgeous. My goals this year are just to knock off a few more 4000ers in the Whites (haven't made my list of which ones yet). Good luck w/ your prep for the big trip! 😀


  6. pbazanchuk

    Best of luck on your trip.
    Terry and I had plans for Rainier on an XC road trip in '78. Weather and time kept us off the mountain. Haven't been back since but took to referring to it as Mt. “Rain”-ier.
    This year I'm hoping to climb more and run less (or maybe run to the climbs); finally leave the Pioneer Valley behind for the MWV.

    Be safe. Climb smart. Push but don't cross your limits.


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