Mount Rainier is the tallest volcano and most heavily glaciated peak in the contiguous United States. It has been the focus of mountaineering and ski mountaineering activities in the Northwest for much of this century, and is a popular training ground for those planning future Alaskan or Himalayan climbing expeditions. Most of the over 10000 people annually who attempt the climb do so on the Disappointment Cleaver (DC) route, which ascends over 9000 vertical feet from the visitor center at Paradise via the Muir Snowfield and Ingraham Glacier to the summit. Despite the fact that DC is a relatively simple and non-technical route, only about half those who attempt it reach the summit, with others being turned back by mainly exhaustion or bad weather.
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|Starting Elevation:||5400 ft (1650 m)||Weather Conditions:||Cloudy, then clear; moderate winds|
|Summit Elevation:||14411 ft (4392 m)||Temperature:||25 - 70 F (-5 - 20 C)|
|Roundtrip Distance:||19 miles (30 km)||Visibility:||Over 100 miles (160 km)|
This was a Mountaineers Basic Climb, with a party of nine led by Andy Dunning, with myself and Samara Hoag serving as Intermediate Rope Leaders, along with six Basic Course students.