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Rainier: Tentless at Camp Muir or Sherman
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Michael Richey
(beaverboymike) - M

Locale: Southern Utah
Rainier: Tentless at Camp Muir or Sherman on 02/22/2012 14:07:53 MST Print View

I've got an upcoming trip to Mt. Rainier planned for July and we're trying to dial in on some of our gear choices. I'm trying to decide if it would be wise/possible to bring a bivy and dig a doghouse (from Mike C.'s "Backcountry ski book") in the snow and sleep with a bivy. FYI, I've camped at Camp Muir with a heavy expedition tent. We'll be there for one night and don't want to carry a heavy TNF mountain tent or use my ShangriLa 5. What is your suggestion? (given fairly good, non-stormy "normal" Mt. Rainier July weather)
1. Expedition tent
2. ShangriLa 5
3. snow trench with either snowblocks at an angle (like a house roof) or tarp stretched over the majority of the trench.

Richard Fischel
(RICKO) - F
take the shangri la on 02/22/2012 19:36:42 MST Print View

If you get stuck at muir for a day or two a bivy will suck. I've taken a bivy to muir to use as an option if there was no room in the bunkhouse. Luckily, i didn't need to use it. These days i find a bd lighthouse a better option when conpared to a bivy.

Michael Richey
(beaverboymike) - M

Locale: Southern Utah
Shelterless on Rainier on 02/22/2012 22:51:44 MST Print View

Richard,
Thank you for your response. With the early alpine start that is common in climbing Mt. Rainier, I'm hesitant to carry much shelter weight when I'm only going to be sleeping from 8-11pm. A short nap...

Richard Fischel
(RICKO) - F
Re: Shelterless on Rainier on 02/23/2012 04:42:47 MST Print View

Mike -What's the weight of the shangrila devided by 2 compared to your bivy gear. What's the time/energy factor of having to dig in worth. Why waiting until 8:00 to go to sleep. What's your plan if weather or physical condition has you spending a full day at muir before your summit attempt. Unless you are coming from altitude, a day acclimatizing at 10k' is not a bad idea. Ask your question at cascadeclimbers.com in the newbies or rainier section and see what people say.

Art ...
(asandh) - F
Re: Rainier: Tentless at Camp Muir or Sherman on 02/23/2012 08:05:15 MST Print View

carrying an extra 2-3 lbs of tent for 3-5 hours ...
v.s.
not carrying extra 2-3 lbs and lots of extra work at Muir ...

no brainer for me.
I would be taking the tent.
but I like to be prepared for things.

ShangriLa ? not familiar with it but sounds like a fair weather item.
I have been at Muir when it was so windy our tent was practically ripped away from us ... and that was in July. You just never know.

but I've only been there twice, so I'm not a Rainier expert.

Edited by asandh on 02/23/2012 08:37:30 MST.

Jim W.
(jimqpublic) - MLife

Locale: So-Cal
Bivy good for wind bad for rain on 02/23/2012 11:15:34 MST Print View

In wind I sleep better in a bivy than a tent because I'm not worried. You only need about 8" of windbreak if that, just to keep the wind pressure from compressing the bag.

Snow is no problem while sleeping.

Wind driven rain, holing up for a storm, etc. a bivy would really suck.

Michael Richey
(beaverboymike) - M

Locale: Southern Utah
Shelterless on Rainier on 02/23/2012 19:54:56 MST Print View

Richard,
Our plan is to do a two day trip up of Rainier. Either the Disappointment Cleaver route (with camp at Muir) or the Emmon's Glacier route (with a night at Camp Sherman). Good suggestion to check out cascadeclimbers.com The Shangri-La 5 set-up is similar to many other "cooking/kitchen" tents that are floor-less pyramid shelters. I've used it multiple times in the snow with a descent amount of winds. The tent performs pretty good, but not excellent in high winds and snow conditions. The weight between my bivy set-up and the tent is fairly similar, maybe 5 ounces per person more in the tent set-up. The major difference is the additional hour or so in digging the trench for the doghouse set-up.
The difference in weight between the 9-10 lb expedition tent and the pyramid tent (20oz per person) or bivy (16 or so ounces) is significant. If it's really windy i won't sleep well in the pyramid tent. If it's really stormy and we're stuck in camp, I won't do well in bivy set-up.

@ Jim-have you been up on Rainier before? Or other tallish mtn's in either a bivy or snow shelter?

Jim W.
(jimqpublic) - MLife

Locale: So-Cal
Re: Shelterless on Rainier on 02/23/2012 21:23:39 MST Print View

My experience with bivys is all in the Sierra or bike touring. Probably about 50 nights total mostly summer. In winter I've had some rather significant wind. One trip about a foot of snow.

I sleep great in a bivy. It's everything else where a bivy sucks.

ROBERT TANGEN
(RobertM2S) - M

Locale: Lake Tahoe
Rainier, tentless on 02/25/2012 15:24:35 MST Print View

I haven't tried this myself, but some 3-climber teams take something like a Black Diamond Firstlight tent, one person sleeps inside, two sleep outside, then if conditions get bad, the outsiders cram inside. I know the following climb is not very relevant, but Steve House and Vince Anderson have a picture of a Firstlight perched on a narrow snow ledge during their award-winning climb of the Rupal Face of Nanga Parbat.