Why climb Mt. Rainier? There are other more accessible, and lower height peaks that could be attempted? So why a mountain that on average has 2 deaths per year, one of the largest amounts of snowfalls, and many glaciers? I first got the idea from reading “No Shortcuts to the Top”, by Ed Viesturs. A candid memoir, it recounts his quest to climb all 14 8,000 meter peaks, without the use of supplemental oxygen. One thing that is appealing is setting a goal, and doing whatever it takes, rearranging your life to work toward this goal. Of course there are always setbacks and obstacles, but what is key is how respond to them, and our next steps: do we back down, walk away, or pick ourselves up and try again.
Ed guided for RMI Expeditions for many years, and still does on occasion. Because of the stories he told in his memoir of Mt. Rainier and the surrounding areas, I decided this would be my first attempt, and choose to go through RMI.
This presents many challenges physically, mentally, and spiritually that I fear and look forward to. Will I know the person on the other side, the descends from the peak? Will I let the fear grow too much, and get in the way? Will Mt Rainier allow me to summit, and a moment to reflect on the life I brought to the top, and how much will I be abel to with me back home? WIll this one climb be enough to satisfy the hunger for adventure, and the allure of the bug mountains stretching forever across the sky? Like Alaska that I think about every day, will the mountains take over each day?