Category: Mount Rainier

Hiking through a white-out on Mount Rainier

A good friend is leaving Seattle this week after a six-year run here. He’s finished his PhD and is moving to Virginia for a fancy post-doc gig. As a last hurrah, a few of us ventured up the Muir Snowfield, a permanent slash of snow running up a few thousand feet from Paradise to Camp Muir, halfway up Mount Rainier.… Read more →

The more epic, the better

When I’m perusing potential hikes, I try to find the grandest, most epic places possible. But I don’t want to have to work too hard to get there. That’s been my M.O. this year, post-Rainier summit climb. Last year, I sweated my butt off getting to the tops of every mountain in the vicinity while I trained. And now I’m… Read more →

Sunshine in February

Every now and then, the sun comes out in winter. And that means I try to get to the nearest vantage point to look at the snow-covered Cascades or Olympics. Today I ventured out beyond my usual spots to Discovery Park. It’s a weird space because it’s part decommissioned military base, part sewage treatment plant, and part awesome park, with… Read more →

Taking advantage of the Indian summer

This late in the year it’s always a surprise when the sun actually makes an appearance. With great weather reports and promises of clear skies, I set out to hike Tolmie Peak Lookout, one of the few trails in Mount Rainier National Park that are within about two¬† hours of home and unhiked by yours truly. I was pretty sure… Read more →

Going up the mountain, Part 3

I remember the exact moment I knew I was going to make it. I sat on my pack, slowly chewing a Butterfinger and trying to hold on to my water bottle. If I dropped it, it would careen thousands of feet down the mountain. I dug my crampons into the ice, fighting against the gravity that pulled on my pack… Read more →

Going up the mountain, Part 1

I sprang up and kicked off my sleeping bag as soon as the guides turned on the lights–in part because I was thrilled we’d be heading for the 14,411-foot summit of Mount Rainier, and in part because I’d spent a restless six hours trying to sleep next to 16 men crammed into a bunkhouse that grew hotter and smellier the… Read more →