Monday June 8, 2009
How cold is cold in June? I'll find out in a few days on top of Mt. Rainier. Lee said the forecast is not looking good; 15 degrees with snow showers.
Keep in mind Rainier has more glaciers than any other peak in the lower 48 states. More than 35 square miles of snowfields, which is one reason why it's so cold in June and most of the year.
My son and I are packing up, nervously going over the check-list to make sure we haven't forgotten anything. Actually, he's pretty calm, I'm the "Nervous Nelly." It's always in the final few days before leaving that I begin to worry. Did we train enough? Do we have all the right gear? Will my legs hold up? Will my boots give me blisters? Will we make it to the top.
In the end, it's the mountain that controls our destiny. In 2007 more than 9 thousand people tried to climb Rainier. More than half went on their own, the rest went with guided groups. The number of successful summits: 5787, a little more than half.
That's not a great success rate, and it indicates this mountain has a mind of it's own. My guess is that weather keeps more people from reaching the top than anything else. I'll learn if that's true from our guides when we get there. Bottom line, keep fingers crossed and say a prayer that it all works out. And know that even if we don't make it to the top, we will enjoy the adventure.
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