1961 Photos of the Ascent of Cassin Ridge

http://www.flickr.com/photos/aaclibrary/3798757956
http://www.flickr.com/photos/aaclibrary/3798757956

The American Alpine Club just published a set of pictures from Richard Cassin’s ascent of Mount McKinley. His route, to become known as Cassin Ridge, was the most technical route climbed on the mountain at that time.

Seeing the equipment they used 50 years ago makes me appreciate Gore-Tex and synthetic fabrics.

Climbing Mount Whitney via the Mountaineer’s Route

Mt. Whitney, at 14,495 feet is the highest peak in the lower 48 states. It is also the most sought after peak in North America. During the summer months it is normal to find several hundred hikers ascending the peak on any given day via the Mt. Whitney Trail.

In the spring, Mt. Whitney is a different mountain. It becomes a climber’s challenge. Our route of ascent was the Mountaineer’s Route on the east side of the mountain. What is a third class loose rock gully in the summer becomes a snow climb on terrain up to 45°.

Jeff and I had George Dunn guide us up the mountain. Unfortunately, after making it up the gully the conditions prevented us from making the last few hundred feet to the summit.

Camp One, by Lower Boy Scout Lake:

Our kitchen at Camp One:

The view from Camp One:

Camp Two, by the East Face of Mount Whitney:

The view from Camp Two with Lone Pine in the background:

Jeff climbing up the gully:

Me, George and Jeff just below the summit:

We climbed up there:

To just about there:

The Climb of Mount Rainier

Mount Rainier is the highest mountain in the northwest United States, towering in the backdrop of Seattle and Tacoma. I decided to climb it. Well, actually Jeff decided to climb it and convinced me to also climb it.

After dislocating my elbow in the months leading up to the climb and losing my luggage and climbing gear just before the climb, I finally made it to the mountain.

The climb starts at Paradise (5,400 feet). We hiked with our gear up to Camp Muir (10,600 feet) which about 4.5 miles and takes most of the day. We set up our tents just below Camp Muir.

The second day was glacier training, self-rescue and mountaineering training on Cowlitz Glacier.

Then at midnight, we wake early to head up to Cathedral Gap to our first rest stop.

The view from Paradise Lodge

Jeff and Connie resting on the Muir Snowfield

Ed resting on the Muir Snowfield

After hiking up the snowfields, we set up camp: Rainier: Camp Muir.

Ed learning to ice climb

Other climbing teams passing behind our camp at Muir

The view from our tent

A climbing team coming up from Cathedral Gap to the first rest stop

Another climbing team coming into the first rest stop on the Ingraham Glacier

Coming out on top of the Ingraham Glacier

Ed at the second rest stop, with Mount Adams in the background

Phil pulling one of guys out of a steam vent at the summit

In the summit crater (I am the pumpkin on the left.)

Thanks to the Guides at RMI


and our head guide: Phil Ershler