Since then, for some reason, Rainier has kept coming to mind. Over the year, we've had multiple discussions about the running standard of 4:40 which we thought could be bettered on skis. It certainly became my biggest goal for the spring. Two weeks before we were planning on leaving I was trolling the Internet and came across this Cold Thistle writeup. Wow. Eric, Nick and Stano had beaten us to the punch and did so in impressive fashion. They came from sea level, carried a rope and avy gear, and crushed the running record going 4:19. We were jealous.
|About to start|
While on route the positive vibes from other parties was quite encouraging. Coming into Muir roughly 10 people were out watching and shouting to go faster! Each of the other parties we passed also shouted encouragement and allowed us to pass without any delay. It's funny how strangers yelling at you can be motivating.
|Andy traversing toward the Cleaver|
Above the Cleaver conditions remained good with a mix of consolidated powder and frozen patches which made for reasonably efficient travel. Thanks to the guides and rangers for all the "trail" work. The route was well marked and they had placed a ladder across one of the crevasses that was opening. Apparently most people walk upright across the ladder but when I came to it, crawling on hand and knees seemed more appropriate. I'm sure to two guys in tights crawling looked like fools. Once we were about 100 feet below the crater rim we climbed into a cloud and would have had a hard time finding the true summit if it weren't for Noah who was up there yelling at us to come over to the little bump he was on.
|Andy about to enter the clouds|
This will go faster. 3:30?
It'll be interesting to see what shakes out as the faster method of travel, running or skiing. I suspect running will be considerably faster on the up but it's hard to say if it will make up for the advantage skis have on the down.
Which route is the fastest? The Gibraltar Chute seems more direct. The Ingraham Direct is also shorter but was too broken up this year. Seems like drafting off the masses is probably the best bet speed wise.
Andy's thoughts can be found here.
Camp Muir: 1:22
Camp Muir: 3:46
|Done and tired|
5 powergels mixed in 16oz gatorade
16 oz Red Bull
SCARPA Alien 1.0
Ski Trab World Cup Skis
Ski Trab TR Race Bindings
Outdoor Research Helium 2 jacket
Ski Trab Dragon Race Suit
Julbo Dust glasses
CAMP race pack
CAMP ALP 90 Harness
Dynafit ski crampons
CAMP 290 race crampons