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2015 Backcountry Trip Reports => May 2015 Backcountry Trip Reports => Topic started by: fjordasm on 05/31/15, 01:23 PM



Title: May 30, 2015, Mt Rainier, Kautz shreddin
Post by: fjordasm on 05/31/15, 01:23 PM
May 29: Started hiking from paradise at 4 PM, crossed Nisqually glacier to Wilson glacier. Set up camp at a 8,500 ft moraine below Castle rock. There was one lousy section up to camp- a steep and rocky 500 ft chute up to the Wilson benches. Other than that, we could skin the entire route to our camp.

May 30: 4:30 AM start. The Fuhrer finger was super sun cupped and choppy, but made for good climbing with crampons. There was also some rock scrambling above the Wilson headwall. Due to some burly crevasses we traversed over towards the top of Kautz Glacier along a climbers track towards Success point instead of the traditional ridge route (that bypasses the false summit? not quite sure.)

Got to 14,400 ft at 11 AM, it was super cold and windy at top, started descending at around noon. We passed four other Czech skiers on the way up and two climbers. The four skiers had camped below the finger, and although they came up the Fuhrer route with us decided to go down the DC route, and needed someone to grab their gear. The two climbers had come up the Kautz glacier, and said it was passable. So, we changed our plans and weaved our way through a maze of Kautz crevasses and the 100 ft Kautz icefall. By sheer dumb luck we found a fixed rope to get back on to the Wilson glacier, where there were perhaps the best slopes for tele skiing.

Overall i would say we hit the conditions just right- It was warm and sunny descending, soft from 7,000 to 13,000 ft. We didn't set off any wet slides but easily could have with some heavy sticky stuff below 7,000. Looking across at the DC route, I counted 120 climbers- although the route was super taxing, Jack and I were stoked we could avoid the absurd crowds.

Jack and I grabbed the 4 Czechs skiers' sleeping gear and our own gear and sent it down to Glacier vista, where we met up to exchange with some of the Czech dudes- (beer for gear?), who told us that the DC skiing was shit.

Jack and I likely could have done it in a day, but it was definitely worth camping out in order to take a rest and hit the good snow conditions in the morning. Pretty crazy route for my first 14er, and first experience with gnarly crevasses, icefalls, and high elevation skiing. A far cry from our local Central OR cascade cones..


Title: Re: May 30, 2015, Mt Rainier, Kautz shreddin
Post by: Zap on 05/31/15, 07:53 PM
Nice trip report.  ;)


Title: Re: May 30, 2015, Mt Rainier, Kautz shreddin
Post by: NickM on 05/31/15, 09:19 PM
Nice work, glad it went, and thanks for grabbing some stuff.  You did miss out on skiing this shizzle, though:


Title: Re: May 30, 2015, Mt Rainier, Kautz shreddin
Post by: kamtron on 06/01/15, 10:01 AM
Nice work, any pictures of the crux section of the Kautz?


Title: Re: May 30, 2015, Mt Rainier, Kautz shreddin
Post by: fjordasm on 06/01/15, 05:23 PM
Unfortunately i didn't take many pictures going down, but here is one that shows the kautz icefall. our descent was far left of the 100 foot icefall


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