I will be climbing Mt Rainier in about 5 weeks. What tips/tricks about climbing a mountain do you have? What would you do differently if you had the chance? How do you stay in the right mindset during the climb? What do you wished you had packed and/or left behind?
@AM12588 Congrats on your upcoming climb. Mt Rainier is a formidable and beautiful mountain! I climbed it in 2008 and 2011(with attempts in 2005, 2009, 2010) before moving out of Washington. It is, and will forever be, one of my favorite mountains. I have tried with with a guide service and climbed it as the leader of my group. Whatever your chosen style you are in for a real treat!
Here are my top tips for climbing Mount Rainier (in no particular order):
That's what I can think of now. Please let me know if you have any other questions. Here is a summit photo for motivation! Best of luck!
@AM12588 I agree with all the things John said above. My biggest problem that I seem to have each time is not packing the right food. I definitely pack enough but dont do a variety so I get really sick of it really fast on the mountain.
Another thing I've found helpful is to use a smaller nalgene to clip to the waistband belt of your pack. That way you dont have to take your pack off each time you want to stop for water.
I hiked up this past weekend to Muir and stayed the night. Altitude got the best of me for the first two hours or so, got sick a handful of times...but after that, I was good for the next 9hrs (bad on my part, I didn't eat or drink much else-just slept...that'll change for my actual climb-hopefully without the sickness).
The one part I really struggled with, was being cold while sleeping! I had a 0 degree bag, plus a sleeping bag liner (since I know I run cold and have a hard time heating up). I also was wearing my wool socks, fleece pants, and upper gear (inc. wool tank, wick t-shirt, capilene long sleeve, atom jacket, beannie, buff, and glove liners). I would have thought I did overkill and would've been too hot, but I kept waking up shivering! Any thoughts?!? The feet were the coldest...maybe my wool socks werent allowing for circulation? I'm miffed!
@AM12588 congrats on making it to Camp Muir!
Here's the good news: we can solve your sleeping problem and get you warmed up. It may take some experimenting on your part to get it dialed but we can get there! First, a couple of questions:
Forgive me if this is information you already know, but I'm going to digress a bit into sleeping bag theory and application:)...
It may seem like a no brainer but it is worth remember that a sleeping bag doesn't produce heat, it merely insulates what is inside. So if you are cold when you get in your bag, it will not warm you up. It will merely slow or prevent the escape of any warmth you are producing which, in turn, will eventually warm you up. But if you're a person who runs cold and doesn't produce a lot of heat it can make for a long fitful night's sleep. The idea is that you want what's inside the sleeping bag (you) to produce enough heat to keep it warm and the sleeping bag to prevent that warmth from going anywhere. If you start out in a sleeping bag at the right temperature and find yourself losing that heat over the course of the night you either have a sleeping bag that isn't rated cold enough (as 0 degrees you should be totally fine!) or your body isn't producing enough heat (or any) to stay warm enough.
Here are my tips to keeping warm in a sleeping bag:
It is also important to remember that alititude exacerbates all of these issues so you want to make sure you are eating well, resting, and, most importantly, staying hydrated. I hope this guides you in the right direction. You may find some other useful tips in the REI Expert Advice artcle here. Please let me know if there is anything else I can help with or if you have any other questions. Best of luck on your upcoming climb!