Monday, January 7, 2008

Mt Rainier's shadow

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!

The General

Never leave a man behind

Sunday, January 6, 2008

Post Summit

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!!!

Eastern View

Looking East from below the summit before we signed the summit log book that remains atop the crater rim.

After Summit

A little rest after returning from the summit. What a view for lunch.



Hotel AM

A self portrait in front of the hotel, waiting for Jwalant to arrive, sometime around 5:30am. I was beat from a trans-am flight the night before, and dinner from a bag. But, I was still psyched to see good friends and Mt. Rainier again. God I love travelling!

Team gettin' Ready

From the left, Taekashi, Jwalant, and Gary all waiting for the word to head out.

Packing it up

Putting the finishing touches on divying up the gear and workin' in some well needed sunblock. The light reflecting off the glacier can be very intense and easily burn you're skin if your not careful.


Departing the asphalt jungle on the last stretch of city livin', with dreams of mountains, friends, and Nepal filling my thoughts with every step.

wild flowers

Some of the summer foliage that surrounds the trail leading to and from Paradise point at the beginning of the Muir Snowfield.

Mt Rainier from the Muir Snowfield

Our first view of the summit since we left the parking lot. The true summit is on the left side of what you can see in this picture. Sometimes it feels just as far away as it appears. But one step at a time...


During the trek up the Muir Snowfiled, a look back to South, of dayhikers with their poles, groups resting, and good old Mt Adams in the background.( I think)


Abi Devan steadily muscling out of the mist and into brilliant sunlight during a perfect day out on the glacier.

Muir Snowfield

Gary and Jwalant making the "stairmaster" of the Muir Snowfield a reality. Repetitious step-kicking leads you up from a treeline elevation of ~6,000 ft to Camp Muir at ~10,000 ft. Make sure you eat your Wheaties!

Gearing up

Gearing up at Camp Muir. To reach Camp Muir, a harness and rope is not essential because of a lack of crevasses. Just above Camp Muir, there is a chance of rock and snow slides, crevasses and some exposed trails. Saftey first.


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.


A tribute to John Muir; The John Muir Hut at Camp Muir.

Lunch Break

Gary's picture-perfect way to enjoy the lunch break.

My feet at Camp Muir

A self portrait from our lunch rest stop at Camp Muir around 10,000 feet looking towards Mt. Adams on an amazing bluebird day! You can't beat weather like this!


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.


A refection of the days sunset. This picture gives you a glimpse of the true beauty and tranquility that you can find on Mt Rainier. A sunset from the other side of the mountain shines across the horizon.

High Camp

A view Southeast from our high camp. Once the sun fell behind the ridge above us, you could feel the temperature plummet as the minutes passed. He hurried to set up camp and start more important things.... like dinner!


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.

Crater moon view

A view West from the center of the summit crater with the moon still in plain view in the early hours of the day. In order to summit in good conditions, most hikers set their alarms for no later than 3 or 4 am on summit day.

Crater's Summit

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.


Takeshi Shirakawa stands beside Jwalant on the summit of Mt Rainier in '06! Takeshi was another member of the inaugural team for 3 Summits.

Ambrose Bittner

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

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.

Abi Devan

Abi Devan is another board member of 3 Summits and was also a participant in '06. Abi Devan's high spirits and morale were a welcome contribution to the success of the team.