How to get your butt kicked?….climb Mt Rainer!
Well we did it guys…..at around 5.30am on Wednesday 25th June we made it!
We are now MOUNTAINEERS!… But it really was one of the hardest things we have ever done. The mountain did not care about us at all…..it made it as hard as possible.
Ed Viesturs and Peter Whittaker were better than we expected – true hard men and excellent guides. To summit we needed to apply specialised pressure breathing, rest stepping techniques, adjust to walking in full climbing boots and ice crampons, traverse 45+degree slopes where one slip literally means death, cross 300 feet deep crevasses and climbing in the dead of night to avoid softer snow (we departed high camp at midnight), past glacier ice falls- one of which contained 11 dead climbers still buried, all the climbing above 10,500 feet was in rope teams with avalanche transceivers to spread the risk of falls, over 100 switch back climbs on the upper reaches to negotiate, 30 hours of almost continuous climbing and a nine mile route down taking 12 hours which had very difficult shin deep snow with a 60 pound pack…
Seriously I thought this was going to be a difficult ‘hike’ but it was a real mountain with a very real challenge and to be perfectly honest it kicked our butts from one end to the other and it’s now a lot easier to understand why only 40% of people make the summit.
But not the Everest Rockstars! We had a 100% success rate. We can now stare down a mountain with a glint in our eye and call ourselves MOUNTAINEERS.
I apologize for the lack of photos on this post but there was very little to no chance to take photos on the climb itself as it was just to dangerous to pull a camera out while climbing and just about every time we did we would trip or go off-balance so as a result very few climbing photos……however we were thrilled to hear that on our climb Ed & Pete had arranged for a professional mountain photographer to tail us and document the climb from start to finish, we won’t see these photos for a week or so but as soon as we receive them I’ll have them up for everyone to see, what a great bonus and a big thanks to the guys and to John the photographer for the awesome surprise.
We want to take the chance to thank Ed & Pete for a fantastic-slash-agonizing climb and the great team of guys that made up our team that we met for the first time only a few days ago but are now new friends.
A massive thanks to our gorgeous wife’s and families and to everyone’s support…..we cannot thank you all enough.
Cheers and looking forward to sharing the photos with you and seeing you all soon….Mike & Dave