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Rainier Gear List - WITH PHOTOS!
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James Couch

Locale: Cascade Mountains
Re: Pack space on 04/10/2014 23:24:44 MDT Print View

You are almost there! A compression bag will definitely help with the bag situation. You do not need the vestibule, it is nice to have, but not a necessity by any means.

Consider leaving the shovel behind, again nice to have but not necessary. if you do bring it, I would carry it on the outside of the pack. I pretty much only carry a shovel on Rainier in the winter and early spring, more for Avy conditions than anything else.

With the shovel gone and a compression sack you should have room for your food.

A 30 degree down bag would give you a lot of room in the pack. If you don't sleep to cold it should be adequate for June. If it gets cold, just sleep in your clothes. That is my standard procedure for Rainier, usually a 32-40 degree bag and I sleep in my clothes. Saves time getting going in the morning.

You will want a real rain jacket on Rainier in June, if the weather gets bad the Houdini isn't going to cut it. You will want a full on hard-shell jacket. Even just to protect from the wind on the summit day.

kristen buckland
(buckie06) - F

Locale: Colorado
Pack on 04/11/2014 09:08:35 MDT Print View

Thanks Jim,
I'll shop around for a compression sack for my current 15degree bag. Ditch the vestibule, get a thin 1/8 CCF pad, and will swap out the MHW Ghost jacket with a rain jacket.

The shovel is more for digging a tent platform and camp area. One shovel for the both of us should be ok, or do you think this is not needed?

Getting a lighter 30degree bag is an option. However I do sleep cold (you men have it easy!) I've used the 15degree for my colorado summer backpacks and have been comfortable in it, but typically sleep in just a t-shirt and long johns. So I'm not sure how much usage I'd get out of the 30degree after this trip.

What kind of temperatures at night can we expect at the end of june? Also, what about daytime temperatures?

Also, after Rainier we plan to make a summit attempt of Mt Hood, would this same gear setup work for Hood?

Thanks everyone! I'm getting excited!

James Couch

Locale: Cascade Mountains
Re: Pack on 04/11/2014 10:03:26 MDT Print View

Average low temps at camp will typically reach freezing (30-32 degrees) but can be warmer, or more importantly colder. If you sleep cold I would say with your existing bag, whichever one packs smaller.

The camp areas are relativly flat and by June many tent platforms will already be dug. If you need to did a platform it is easy to do with your ice axe and boots, but a shovel is somewhat quicker. In Over 20 trips on Rainier I have only carried a shovel a few times outside winter, it really is not needed. If you do take a shovel, one is enough.

Everything you have will do fine for Hood. Most people do Hood in a single day without an overnight camp, but there are great camps at Illumination Rock, well worth spending the night for the experience alone.

Jeff Jeff
(TwoFortyJeff) - F
Re: Rainier Gear List - WITH PHOTOS! on 04/11/2014 22:38:56 MDT Print View

Overnight lows in the 20s seem pretty common up high, even in the summer. However, you'll be getting up around midnight or so, far from the coldest part of the night. A bag that is comfy down to freezing will be fine if you sleep in your clothes. Even better with two people in a small 4 season tent. Just make sure you have a lot of insulation below you.

What is your schedule like? The vestibule will be nice if you have to wait out a storm or if you have a layover day.

I practically live in my Houdini for spring-fall (actually, winter too) but I would not be going up rainier without some sort of waterproof jacket. The houdini isn't even close. You probably won't need it, but it would be very bad if you did need one and you didn't have one.

The PNW has surprisingly stable weather in the summer. There is little rain. I have a Rab Pulse for trips where I really don't think I will need a rain jacket (Latok Alpine and Drillium). I use a Rab eVent jacket if there is any real chance of needing to wear it. The Patagonia Alpine Houdini would probably also work. It's a waterproof shell much like the Houdini.

I would definitely take a shovel for a tent platform.

kristen buckland
(buckie06) - F

Locale: Colorado
revised List on 06/09/2014 20:00:19 MDT Print View

Ok everyone, I'm two weeks away and here's my updated list:

Edit: here's the list

Gear my partner is carrying:
FAK - 1.9oz
Bibler Tent - 94.7oz

Edited by buckie06 on 06/12/2014 12:01:20 MDT.

Ito Jakuchu
(jakuchu) - MLife

Locale: Japan
reply on 06/10/2014 05:54:21 MDT Print View

I would probably leave the snow shovel, but definitely bring a spare pair of gloves.
Have fun.

Gordon Gray
(GordonG) - F

Locale: Front Range, CO
canine on 06/11/2014 21:20:11 MDT Print View

Nice pics. You forgot the dogs weight.

kristen buckland
(buckie06) - F

Locale: Colorado
Dog on 06/12/2014 09:51:39 MDT Print View

The dog is 30 pounds of muscle! She's going to be my porter and pull all my gear on a sled. So my base weight will be Zero! I wonder if she could arrest a fall......?

Believe me, I really want to ditch the snow shovel as well. My partner is being a stickler about it though.

I tossed in another pair of liner gloves, or do you mean I need an extra pair of the insulated gloves? And looking at the temperatures I'm going to bring my over gloves (6.9oz) as well. Thoughts?

I can't decide on the hiking poles, bring both? Bring one? None?

Richard Fischel
if you hike with poles bring them on the trip, they are worth their weight. on 06/15/2014 21:55:23 MDT Print View

also, how's your moisture management with the nepals? have you worn them in the snow for four days without being able to bring them in someplace warm to dry them out? i'd rethink my water bottle options and have at least two 1 liter nalgenes. with the nalgenes you can make hot water bottles to sleep with or to warm-up your boots, which is something you can't do with the gatorade bottle or the platypus. a warm nalgene in your sleepign bag can be the diffrence between a good night's sleep and not sleeping at all. have you practiced pouring (hot) water from your pot into your platypus? into the gatorage bottle? on a warm/hot june day, you can almost never have too much water. plenty of folks get baked and dehydrated without even realizing it. and don’t forget sunscreen on the underside of your nose. i once did a job on my face that had me peeling so bad i was scaring kids.

also give thought to a pee bottle and devices that help with the mechanics. some climbers dehydrate because they lower fluid intake because they don't want to have to pee, which is a really bad idea. it's especially bad if you elect not to drink before bed time. just something to think about.

is it just the two of you or just the two of you as a rope team and your climbing with a bigger group? if it's just the two of you and you'll have no other crevasse rescue experience other than the one day of practice i'm guessing your ability to rescue each other will be limited. practicing being able to self-arrest and stopping your rope-mate's fall may be the best time spent along with being able to transfer the load of the climbing rope from you to another anchor (picket). what's the weight difference between the two of you. also, even if it's only the two of you, trying to travel/staying in the proximity with other groups is always a good idea, as is each of you having an easily accessible whistle i.e. one you can get to with one hand while lying on your stomach.

while you and your climbing partner are responsible for your own safety, and you shouldn’t be setting out with the idea that you’ll get help from anybody, unless it's a truly awful day, there's almost always another couple of groups on the popular routes along with climbing rangers. most folks that end up punching through a snow bridge on rainier scramble out on their own or get pulled out by the brute strength approach of a couple of rope teams pulling as opposed to an elaborate pulley set-up. it doesn't hurt to have practiced with prussics and to have them already on the rope and tucked/clipped into your harness. also, don’t feel shy to ask the climbing rangers or the paid guides questions, but also realize that the paid guides have a different risk calculus than you do. they are for the most part willing to help you out if they can. folk’ getting hurt on the mountain is bad for business. also, as on the interweb, be careful from whom you seek advice as they may know even less than you do.

good luck and have fun -

p.s. - here's what i get in a 40l pack for temp's in the 0* f range for 4 days-

sory, you will have to cut and paste the link.

Edited by RICKO on 06/15/2014 22:25:59 MDT.

Ito Jakuchu
(jakuchu) - MLife

Locale: Japan
Re: Dog on 06/16/2014 07:54:49 MDT Print View

"I tossed in another pair of liner gloves, or do you mean I need an extra pair of the insulated gloves? And looking at the temperatures I'm going to bring my over gloves (6.9oz) as well. Thoughts? "

Yeah it depends what you already have.
If I go in the snow for a long trek I really want an extra thick fleece/synth glove. My gloves I can layer though.
I have:
-pair, or two of thin liners.
-one pair of fleece gloves and a synth pair (synth slightly warmer but they serve the same purpose).
-waterproof shell glove.

If not so cold I just wear the thin liners with the shells, if colder than I add the fleece inside. If they wet out I have another insulating pair to layer. Since hands are so important for, well anything, I like to make sure I can move my fingers by taking a backup.
If I didn't have separate shells I would still bring backups of whatever you do carry. The separate shell system just keeps it slightly lighter/cheaper.

You know yourself best of course, but I can highly recommend it.

Edited by jakuchu on 06/16/2014 07:58:36 MDT.

Ito Jakuchu
(jakuchu) - MLife

Locale: Japan
Re: Dog on 06/16/2014 08:15:27 MDT Print View

"I can't decide on the hiking poles, bring both? Bring one? None?"

Depends how steep, sorry, don't know your terrain or route.
If you can hike well there with snow baskets and rubber tips off it is worth it I think. Most important is preventing a fall, trekking poles can be quite good at that as they can be comfortable to walk with, and it can be easier to go down a slope too. Sometimes easier than with a shorter (than your poles) ice axe.
But, of course you have no way to self arrest if you do slip.

Is the majority quite steep or has significant consequences if you slip?

kristen buckland
(buckie06) - F

Locale: Colorado
Water on 06/16/2014 13:01:40 MDT Print View

I should have been more clear, this trip is a graduation climb for the Colorado Mountain Club's high altitude class. I'll be on a four person roped team, we have 11 people total going in our group. We have been practicing rope travel, crevasse, anchors, etc since December.

I always bring my boots inside my tent at night, they're usually cold, but I haven't found a better solution. I can try taking out the foot insoles and keeping those in my sleeping bag.

Good comments on the water, I'll probably switch out the gatorade bottle for a nalgene that can handle hot water. I believe the platypus can hold hot water though? I'll switch out mine with a wide mouth platyus, that'll make it easier to pour water.

I've never been a fan of the pee bottle just because it is hard/inconvenient for women to use, even with those funnel things.

I think with two liners, insulated ski gloves, and my waterproof over-mitts I'll be ok? Usually I hike with the liners and the overmitts and my hands stay warm. The Ski gloves are basically for around camp and if it gets really cold.

For the trekking poles, right now I'm leaning towards one pole and the axe. Here's a graph I found from RMI about the route, we are not doing that middle camp at the Inter glacier.Emmons Route

Also, I loaded my pack yesterday, everything including food and water can fit in my 45L pack!!! I'm still shocked!

Thoughts on bringing one parachute style tent anchor? All the other stakes are the curved snow stakes.

Thanks everyone for the continued help! Only four days to go!

Ito Jakuchu
(jakuchu) - MLife

Locale: Japan
Re: Water on 06/19/2014 18:28:02 MDT Print View

I think with a course like that and you will have more experience than me, and will do more technical things than I have in the snow.
I personally just like extra insulating gloves but I get cold hands real quick if I sweated in my gloves and like the extra insurance. You will know. Or otherwise I would talk to your team mates.
Take care and have fun!

Edited by jakuchu on 06/19/2014 19:13:06 MDT.

Bob Gross
(--B.G.--) - F

Locale: Silicon Valley
Re: Water on 06/19/2014 18:34:06 MDT Print View

"I've never been a fan of the pee bottle just because it is hard/inconvenient for women to use, even with those funnel things."

How about using the cook pot?


kristen buckland
(buckie06) - F

Locale: Colorado
pee pot on 06/19/2014 22:02:20 MDT Print View

Bob, I can't tell if you're serious or joking? using the cook pot, really?

Bob Gross
(--B.G.--) - F

Locale: Silicon Valley
Re: pee pot on 06/19/2014 22:34:57 MDT Print View

An old story, but true:

We were climbing Aconcagua, and there were two old guys along to go up the bottom half, and they were sharing a tent. Sometimes a person does not have a great deal of urine capacity, especially at night, so each of the two brought his own water bottle plus another water bottle with a big capital "P" on the lid.

On the first night, one guy could not find his P bottle, so he used the other guy's. The other guy found out and got mad.

On the second night, the same guy could not find his P bottle, and he couldn't find the other guy's (because it had been hidden), so he used the cook pot. The other guy found out the next morning (oh, what a surprise that must have been!) and threw the first guy out of the tent. They both quit the expedition right after that.

I would think that if you did a good job of rinsing the cook pot, it would be OK. Urine isn't very nice, but it is relatively sterile. Having your own dedicated container would be best, like a large plastic bowl.

Kids, don't do this at home! This is only for trained professionals.


Richard Fischel
my bottle of choice is a 1 liter nalgene flexible wide mouth canteen on 06/20/2014 09:29:48 MDT Print View

first and most importantly, i won't confuse it with any of the water bottles that might be floating around inside my sleeping bag and second the bottle being flexible helps with the inevitable gymnastics that accompany the task. as much a using a bottle may be a pain, getting out of a toasty warm sleeping bag in the middle of the night is worse. living in a high camp tent is not for the shy or claustrophobic. luckily for most, the sense of smell is deadened by altitude and cold.

Valerie E
(Wildtowner) - M

Locale: Grand Canyon State
Pee Bottle made for Women on 06/20/2014 10:33:35 MDT Print View

Believe it or not, they actually make special urinal bottles for women... I had one when I was adventure racing, and they work very well (insider tip: hold it very firmly against your body when using!).

Google "women's urine bottle", and you will find many options. I got mine in an ordinary drugstore, in the medical equipment section.

kristen buckland
(buckie06) - F

Locale: Colorado
thanks on 06/20/2014 22:06:08 MDT Print View

Thanks everyone for the comments. Seems like we are going to have great weather, I fly out in the morning!

Thanks again!