Damon Cortesi's blog

Musings of an entrepreneur.

Two Days and Counting

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For those of you keeping track at home, I’ll be attempting my summit of Mt. Rainer this week. Here’s what it’s looking like.

  • Saturday, Day 1: The Climbing School. On this day, you will be introduced to a number of skills, from the basic techniques of efficient mountain travel (rest-stepping and pressure breathing) through cramponing, roped travel, and ice axe arrest practices.
  • Sunday/Monday, Days 2 & 3: The Summit Climb Beginning at 9:25am, the summit climb begins. It takes place over the course of two days. On the first day we hike to the hut at Camp Muir (10,060’), and on the second day we make the ascent of Mount Rainier (14,410’). The hike from Paradise to Camp Muir is nearly 4.5 miles and takes most of the day. The hike travels through alpine meadows and onto the Muir Snowfield, named after John Muir who climbed the peak in 1888. The Snowfield is climbed for some 3,000 vertical feet. Accomodations at Muir consist of a small mountain hut with bunks and sleeping pads. Early the following morning we don ropes, crampons, helmets, and grab our ice axes. Our route beings with a rising traverse across the Cowlitz Glacier, and ascends the steepening switchbacks of Cathedral Gap. This allows us to gain the Ingraham Glacier; one of the mountain’s largest and longest glacers. We then climb onto the steep ridge known as Disappointment Cleaver, the namesake and physical crux of our route. The remaining slopes and hours are whittled away as we zig and zag through the many crevasses of the upper mountain.

Thanks to all who have donated - I finally reached my goal yesterday and will be making a nice ~$5000 donation, with the help of Microsoft, to the Washington National Parks.

Climb on!