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Crevasse rescue denali and rainier training on Mount Rainier with Mountain Madness

Times they are a changing- winter to spring means glacier climbing school

The moun­tains are begin­ning their spring­time tran­si­tion. This is MM guide Stephen Heath’s favorite time of year, when you can start the day on skis and end climb­ing at the crag. Its also the time when the sum­mits become more acces­si­ble and the skills train­ing and instruc­tion begins for sum­mer climbs.

With full packs and food for sev­er­al days Stpe­hen along with three guests head­ed up the slopes of Mount Rainier, intent to learn crevasse res­cue and solid­fy their skils to climb the moun­tain on their own, with­out guides. They joined us on our Mount Rainier Prep Course to help them reach that goal.

As the pow­der days of the incred­i­ble Cas­cades win­ter we had this year come to an end, the moun­tains become a bit more hos­pitable for climbers to get back to the glac­i­ers and high peaks. If you want to train on the real deal, there’s no place bet­ter than the Cas­cades. Over three days Stephen and his team enjoyed some great weath­er, gained some new skills, and kept their plan alive to get back on the moun­tain lat­er in the sum­mer when the win­ter’s snows have melt­ed away. (All pho­tos by Stephen Heath)

crevasse rescue train mount rainer
moving to camp on Mount Rainier for glacier training
Stephen Heath 8

While the land­scape in April this year is still cov­ered in a win­ter won­der­land, soon the sun will come out and the snows start to melt, the rivers will rage, and the access to the high peaks will get bet­ter each day. For ear­ly sea­son train­ing lots of options exist for get­ting some instruc­tion in before the glo­ry days of sum­mer arrive. For short­er trips the Intro­duc­tion to Moun­taineer­ing on Ruth Moun­tain is among the most spec­tac­u­lar and only a two day course cov­er­ing the fun­da­men­tals. Or a longer course with a focus on get­ting you out on your own, like the Alpine Lead­er­ship Course. Lots of options!

Stephen Heath 3
crevasse rescue training on mounta rainier and glacier travel instruction with Mountain Madness
crevasse rescue training on mounta rainier and glacier travel instruction with Mountain Madness

We hope that social dis­tanc­ing soon becomes once again the idea of get­ting out in the moun­tains to enjoy some peace and qui­et, learn some skills, and gain some sum­mits, not stay­ing away from our friends and fam­i­ly due to covid. So whether you’re look­ing to the future to climb Aconcagua, Mount Bak­er, or mix it up on the Fish­er Chim­neys on Mount Shuk­san, the time is here to start the prepa­ra­tion. We hope to see you soon.

winter camping on Mount Rainier with Mountain Madness
Stephen Heath 13