Mount Rainier – King of the Cascades

If this past season of climbing could be seen as a progressive dinner then Mount Rainier certainly would have been the main course.  Over the past two years we developed our crevasse rescue skills, accumulated the necessary equipment, built out a rope team and climbed peaks such as Mount Baker and Glacier Peak in preparation.  This accretive process falls in line with our climbing ethos which avoids the use of guiding services to escort us into the mountains.  There are a number of reasons for this with the most pressing being that there is incredible value and satisfaction in taking the incremental and sometimes tedious steps toward a goal or an accomplishment.  “Paying to play” so to speak robs the course of transformation and removes the depth from the experience.  Yvon Chouinard, founder of Patagonia echoes these thoughts in his own style when speaking about mountaineering stating, “The whole purpose of climbing…is to effect some sort of spiritual and physical gain. But if you compromise the process you’re an a****** when you start out and an a****** when you get back.”  Surrounded by a society that tends to thrive on instant gratification this ethos stands as a rejection of that trend and a path we will continue to follow to greater and greater heights.

~CWB

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