Mt Rainier: Ingraham Glacier and Disappointment Cleaver Route
Pierce County, Washington
Uploaded by Bivy Team


23 :48 hrs
6.8 mi
8940 ft

This route to the summit of Rainier is the most straightforward and perhaps the least technically challenging. As such, it is by far the most popular, with crowding becoming a problem during the summer to the point that the actual route you take may be influenced by the number of parties using this route. This is also the most common route that the guided ascents use. Most parties use the first day to hike, climb, or even ski from Paradise to Camp Muir. Despite the hordes of people that make it this far, there are crevasses on the Muir Snowfield in late season. Use the compass bearings and GPS coordinates provided by the ranger station for route finding in foggy weather. Fom Camp Muir, the route traverses the Cowlitz Glacier to Higher Cathedral Gap, where it crosses onto the Ingraham Glacier. Ingraham Flats on the glacier is another common place to camp. Next, traverse across the glacier to Disappointment Cleaver, which often involves circumventing crevasses. Mind the moat that can form between the cleaver and the glacier. The ascent of the cleaver is the steepest section (35°), and the guide companies often fix ropes here. In the early season, the direct route up the Ingraham Glacier (avoiding the cleaver) is recommended. There are several variations possible from the top of the cleaver, but the most common route heads right onto the Emmons Glacier then swings left and up, avoiding crevasses. The route ends at the east rim of the summit crater, but the true summit, Columbia Crest, is located across the crater on its northwest edge. Although the large majority of the route does not involve technical climbing, every party should have climbing gear, ice tools and screws, glacier gear, and wands for navigation. Additionally, each person should have at least an ice ax and crampons. Contact the National Park Service for more information on climbing permits. II AI1.

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