Liberty Ridge on Rainier Car to Car

Sunrise on Liberty Ridge

My first climb up Liberty Ridge on June 1, 2013 was in tough conditions.  We wallowed in waist-deep snow to above Thumb Rock, had no signs of prior climbers or boot packs, climbed a ton of low-angle ice on the upper slopes, had two pitches of technical ice climbing to gain Liberty Cap, were hit by 100mph winds on the summit and on our way down the Emmons, did an unplanned night at Camp Shurman, and were generally shellacked.

This trip was way different.  The snow was nice and firm and there was a boot pack up most of the route.  We used 1 screw and 1 picket to protect the only technical step and otherwise cruised up the route with little fanfare.

Finishing the technical step

Dale talked me into the idea on Friday evening over dinner.  By 9:30pm, we'd left the house for White River Campground.  We left the car at 12:30am.

  • 3h - On the top of St. Elmo's Pass
  • 4h 45m - Dropped down onto the Carbon Glacier from Curtis Ridge
  • 6h 45m - Started up the ridge
  • 8h 20m - Thumb Rock
  • 14h 20m - On the top of Liberty Cap and beginning a nap
  • 15h 20m - Started down
  • 15h 40m - Met the Emmons Route
  • 15h 45m - Ran into and assisted a party of 3 with a skier who had fallen into a crevasse unroped at 12,900ft
  • 16h 20m - Arrived at Camp Shurman and called SAR for the party
  • 17h - Started down the Interglacier
  • 19h - Made it to the car