Mt. Baker & Mt. Rainier

Seattle, Washington

August 11, 2013

Dear Family & Friends:

I am here in Seattle with my friend, Stuart Smith, and his niece, Noelle.  We will be climbing Mt. Baker and Mt. Rainier.

Stuart is an accomplished mountaineer who has completed the “Grand Slam” of mountaineering–climbing the highest mountain on every continent and trekking to the North and South Poles.

Mt. Rainier is a world-class mountain, which is heavily glaciated and covered with crevasses.  The weather can be very unpredictable and dangerous.  Mt. Rainier is the first alpine mountain I climbed back in 2001.  I recall the wind on the approach to the summit was so fierce it was almost impossible to stand up.

Here is our climbing schedule:

August 11–ascend Mt. Baker to high camp

August 12–summit Mt. Baker via the Easton Glacier Route.  Descend to high camp or the trailhead

August 13–descend Mt. Baker, if needed, and travel to the Tacoma area

August 14–travel from Tacoma to Paradise and ascend Mt. Rainier to Camp Muir

August 15–move from Camp Muir to Ingraham Flats

August 16–summit Mt. Rainier and descend to Ingraham Flats or to the trailhead at Paradise

August 17–descend from Ingraham Flats to the trailhead at Paradise, if needed, and return to the Tacoma area

August 18—return home

I will be posting some reports and photos during the trip and will post a full video/photo movie when I return.


mt rainier trip





6 thoughts on “Mt. Baker & Mt. Rainier

  1. Hi Bill,

    I was fortunate to represent Thorlo and they were a sponser of the Rainier Mountain Guides. I trekked with the legends, Peter and especially his father. I did the mountaineering course twice and both times we tried to summit we got hammered by a windy snowstorm. Now this was in June when weather is very unpredictable. Have fun, I just got back from a 50 mile xcountry trek on the Sierra High Route. Not the Sierra high trail………. WE have NO SNOW ZERO! Dry as I have ever seen it in 35 years of trekking! Went into my favorite basin in all of the Sierras!!! Bear Lakes Basin! Saw 3 people in 3 days!!

    I Love Paradise ……..Such a cool Mountain VIBE!!!!

  2. Hi Bill…best of luck on Baker and Rainier…Ryan, his wife Anne and my older son Shawn (his first big climb) just summited Rainier as I think Ryan told you so…some crevasse work, but a good trip for them. I made it to Camp Muir with fractured tooth which “really” got painful at night and had to come down with Phil Ershler. I like your schedule and stopping at the flats on the way down is a super idea…rest and come down to Paradise in the early morning. Say hi to Stuart for me…I was on Elbrus with him…super Baylor man and he was very helpful in my pull to the North Pole…he is amazing and has been all over the place….around Manaslu recently, etc. Enjoy stops at RMI and IMG is Ashford….Cottage bakery in Eatonville is very nice…Phil lives just off the road overlooking Clear Lake….he’s on Elbrus now.
    “One day at a time,”


  3. Bill..good luck! (im Bruce Varty’s son) and Lisa was telling me all about you when she was up a few weeks ago! I climbed Rainier June 22 following the same route. Weather was predicting to be bad Sunday so we camped at Anvil Rock Friday and pushed to the summit Saturday morning. I would love to hear more about your climbing.. Ive got the bug now!

    Good safe!

  4. Have a safe climb Uncle Bill! I wish we would have known you were in WA, as we would have tried to get over to see you. If you’re ever up here again, let me know, as we would love to see you!

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