During dinner, as the sun set, a tremendous sight; the outline of the summit shone onto the distant reaches of the horizon seemingly hundreds of miles away!
Monday, January 7, 2008
Sunday, January 6, 2008
I know I don't look enthused, but its all love on the inside. I slept 1 hour the night before summit day. I didn't eat enough (my fault), drink enough(I'm an idiot) or sleep. I didn't sleep for an entirely different reason. One that invloves a nightmare from my first Mt Rainier attempt a few years earlier. BUT we summitted and it felt AWESOME!!!
Hiking further into the fog that blanketed the base of Mt Rainier gave no indication of a 14,000 ft peak looming just out of view. Lush green growth reminds you of the rich temperate rain forest below diverting your attention from the glacier sliding ever-so-slowly downhill towards you.
This is a picture looking towards the glacier we would ascend through multiple switchbacks to reach the summit. My tent sits in the foreground. Strong, but normal, winds whipped at the tent wall most of the night and occasionally you could hear the glacier creak and moan as it inched down the mountain.
Our makeshift kitchen at high camp the evening before our successful summit. The campsite is at about 11,000 feet leaving just over 3,400 feet remaining. Melting snow for water and cooking is an essential part of mountaineering since it is such a readily available source. In the background Gary digs a snowcave of sorts to sleep in that night.
This is the view from just below the summit looking East. Hikers cross the summit crater in the background, which covers the still active Mt Rainier volcano below. It has not erupted since the first half of the 19th century and has not experienced a large eruption for more than 1,000 years.
Ambrose Bittner, standing next to Jwalant, is another founding member of 3 Summits and has traveled internationally to Asia and throughout Nepal and Tibet's mountains giving technical support crucial to the safe success of reaching all three summits. Ambrose is also the founder and president of Red Lantern Journeys who is a proud sponsor of the 3 Summits for Nepal's children.
Jwalant Gurung, a founder and key figure in the planning and successful completion of the inaugural year of the 3 Summits Benefit climbing series, continues to raise awareness and funding for his home country of Nepal, one peak at a time. Seen here standing on the summit of Mt Rainier in '06, you can see Mt. Adams over Jwalant's shoulder.