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May 6: Made It to Washington State for Mt. Rainier's Liberty Ridge

Update From An Email:

From Bishop, CA, we got the van "fixed"... but 15 miles out of town, we got pulled over by an A-hole cop. Van was smoking galore... burning off all the oil that had spat onto the engine. The van oozed smoke, murder, drugs, and everything else that could make cops want to pull it over. Told him we were heading to Reno, NV... he just told us to "get the hell out of his county." Like it's really "his!" He seemed like one of those dudes who was pushed around as a kid... and now is an "authority" figure. Oh well. Have your county, man.

5 miles later, again... got pulled over by another cop! As he walked up, he had his hand on his gun... "How many people in the van?" Ummm, just two? "You sure?" I wanted to say, ...we're just dirt bags, not killers. He looked inside to make sure we didn't have any dead bodies or kidnapped people. He told us, also, to get the hell out of his county. We left his county.. without any bodies.

Drove north on US395 ..a must drive road! Absolutely beautiful! Made it to Reno where we tried to find a casino with a buffet. All were closing up cuz it was 10pm. What's up with that? Vegas' buffets are 24 hrs! We drove by a place that advertised "Girls on Spring Break"... hmm... that'd be nice to see. Nay, probably too much $$. Oh well... this was a climbing trip... We ended up eating in some restaurant in a casino... that was above Chippendales. Next to us at the restaurant were 5 old ladies with lays(?) around them... they had just come from Chippendales and were ecstatic. Loud, boisterous, and ..."excited?". Back on the road again till 2am where we slept on the side of a road.

Up at 6 am and off towards the Oregon border. Made it ALLLLLLLLLLLLL the way through OR. Road through east OR is absolutely beautiful beautiful beatiful BEAUTIFUL BEAUTIFUL. Get the idea? Made it to Bend, OR then onward to Salem, OR.. then Portland, OR. Started to rain. And guess what? Wipers kaput! Van started to smoke a little. Pulled over... and guess what? Hood release lever broke! br>
Dude at the gas station was proud to help us, "OK, let's do this the easy way," he said as he put his jacket on and got this leatherman knife. He was the Wiper King! Onward we went after visiting his kingdom.

Just north of Portland, OR... van's smoking freaked us ...and tooo many cops on the highway. So we went off on smaller roads. Got to Whittaker Mountainerring, Inc (now in conjunction with RMI) around 8pm. AWESOMEEEEE!! The van made it! Made it! Made it!!

We are hanging out at the mountaineering shop determining what to do at the moment. Mt. Rainier's Liberty Ridge is on our thoughts.

On the road through eastern Oregon, we pulled over for a break. Here I am bouldering, "climbing the van."

Made it to Ashford, WA, which is next to Mt. Rainier. We parked in the parking lot of Whittaker Mountaineering Inc for the night. Here I am trying to decide which "John" to use. Neither was labeled "Women" or "Men." Hmmm... two johns diverge... I hope to chose the one less taken.

After we got our climbing permits for Mt. Rainier's Liberty Ridge, we drove to the campsite at the trailhead -- Ipsut Creek Trailhead and Campsite. Elevation 2300 ft. Mt. Rainier's summit is 14,410 ft.

Early next morning (May 1, Monday) we hiked in around 5am.

Here I am happy to endure the next couple of days of hard work. 5 days, 9+ hr days of climbing 12,100 ft to the top carrying a 50lb pack. Yeah! (note: English sarcasm was used here.)

A peak of the route. Yelp, that'd be her and her fine line.

Steve ascending to Thumb Rock, which is at 10,800 ft. One slip and ...well, you can imagine...

A different angle of Steve ascending to Thumb Rock. You see, one slip and... well... Circled is the Carbon Glacier. I think it's the biggest glacier in North America. We hiked on it following it to the base of Liberty Ridge.

Next morning on Thumb Rock. Well, I figured that I can always try to be a "Climbing Elvis" and work in Vegas. Here I am with my Mango Mountain Man suit.

Ascending above Thumb Rock. Behind Steve is the Willis Wall. Not much you can do except keep going up.

Finally at the summit! Yeah! This is a photo of Steve. My lithium batteries died out in the cold (that says something about how cold it was!)... so no photos of me. Oh well.




  • 3/16: Camping on Flatiron, AZ

  • 4: Ice Climbing in Ouray, Colorado
  • 18: Winter in the Sierras

  • 5: Rock Climbing Flatiron
  • 11: Colorado Snow Trip

  • 3: Humphrey's Peak, AZ
  • 18: Joshua Tree Trip

  • 1: Road Tripping to Alaska
  • 6: Mt. Rainier, Washington
  • 11: To Talkeetna, Alaska
  • 28: Climbing Denali's Upper West Rib

  • 15: Washing Dishes After Denali

  • 19: 4th July Trip to the Sierras

  • No Update. Didn't do much.

  • 5: Hiked Lone Pine Peak (Sierras)

  • 27: Rock Climbing in Moab

  • 30: Thanksgiving at J-Tree

  • 8: Christi's Birthday
  • 17: Rock Climbing in Sedona, AZ