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CalvinW
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CalvinW
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PostSat Dec 31, 2022 4:45 pm 
Hi there, I am a pretty intermediate mountaineer in Washington State, I'm planning on doing Mt. Rainier this summer as well as glacier peak, bonanza peak, mt. stuart, and many others. I am wondering if I need specific training for Mt. Rainier as I am not sure how much more difficult it is than from what I normally do. I do many day trips and usually go minimum 15 miles with about 5000 feet elevation gain. The most I have done is 28 miles with 7500 elevation gain in one day, and I have used crampons several times. I am not super experienced with using ropes but I'm going with people who are. I usually summit at least a mountain per week, but that usually slows in the winter due to weather conditions. Using this information, would I generally be prepared for climbing Rainier?

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Joseph
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PostSat Dec 31, 2022 5:14 pm 
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Carbonj
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PostSat Dec 31, 2022 7:08 pm 
You're good ,it's great to sleep high the day before summit day, then you will crush it!

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Seattle_Wayne
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PostSun Jan 01, 2023 7:42 am 
Read the book, "Training for the new Alpinism". It helped me understand training for big mountain climbs.

Vesper Peak

hbb, joker
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Riverside Laker
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PostSun Jan 01, 2023 10:31 am 
Rainier is definitely tougher due to altitude and more weight due to extra equipment, but your weekly trips are great training.

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zimmertr
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PostSun Jan 01, 2023 10:32 am 
CalvinW wrote:
28 miles with 7500 elevation gain in one day
You probably already know but ~7,000' of gain in ~5 miles is way more difficult, especially on technical terrain and at elevation. From what I've read about the various guiding services, someone in much worse shape with significantly less experience could climb Rainier in good conditions. It's really about mental fortitude and luck. I say go for it! I dunno if I'm ready for Rainier but I'm definitely interested in Glacier, Stuart, and a couple dozen other "easy" Bulgers. Send me a PM if you're looking for a partner! Here's a list I put together: https://www.peakbagger.com/List.aspx?lid=-945766&cid=25279

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Malachai Constant
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PostSun Jan 01, 2023 11:09 am 
You really cannot train for altitude sickness prevention but you can acclimate before your trip. Unfortunately Rainier makes it difficult to acclimate like you can on a thru hike. If you slept at 5000 on day before climbing to 10,000 it might help. The usual advice is to climb high and sleep low. Before going to the high Sierra or Rockies we coned a few nights camping at, 2000, 5000, and 8000 before going above 10,000. AMS is somewhat unpredictable and seems little related to strength. For some Diamox is useful if taken before the climb. It sounds as you will have little problem with strength.

"You do not laugh when you look at the mountains, or when you look at the sea." Lafcadio Hearn
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Randito
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PostSun Jan 01, 2023 11:13 am 
I highly recommend climbing Mt Adams as part of your preparation. Other than Rainier it is the only place in the state where you can get above 12,000 ft elevation. When I climbed Rainier some guy with a mallet started pounding the inside of my head above eye level of Little Tahoma about 12,000 feet. The throbbing didn't subside until I dropped below that level on the descent. Aerobic and lower leg strength training helps a ton, but how your body responds to altitude is highly variable. Using a breathing trainer to expand lung capacity it probably worthwhile. I also think allowing a day to hang out at high camp (Muir or Sherman) will significantly reduce the odds of severe altitude sickness above high camp. But that's a bit challenging to arrange weather wise. I think one recipe for a good experience is foregoing climbing on a specific day, but rather to assemble a team of people and commit to climbing during the most favorable weather window during a two week period. Four day out weather forecasts are now reasonably accurate. Going during good weather makes for a vastly more enjoyable experience.

Carbonj, zimmertr
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thunderhead
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PostSun Jan 01, 2023 11:39 am 
As others have said your bodies response to altitude is not known, but your base level of cardio is fine. I was in less good shape when i first went up rainier.

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hbb
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hbb
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PostMon Jan 02, 2023 2:47 pm 
Yes, of course. Why wouldn't you want to increase your aerobic capacity and muscular endurance in preparation for a difficult endurance event?

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dave allyn
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dave allyn
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PostMon Jan 02, 2023 3:01 pm 
Your physical conditioning should be fine. You need more practice with crampons if you've only used them a few times. Learn proper rope techniques. If your partners go in a crevasse who is going to get them out? Practice self arrest and z pulleys. You don't want to be totally dependent on your partners. Guides typically spend a day or 2 practicing with clients before summit day.

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Bernardo
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Bernardo
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PostTue Jan 03, 2023 8:58 pm 
Train. Then train more.

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CalvinW
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CalvinW
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PostTue Jan 03, 2023 10:28 pm 
hbb wrote:
Why wouldn't you want to increase your aerobic capacity and muscular endurance in preparation for a difficult endurance event?
Not saying I'm going to just entirely stop doing things, but I put a lot of time into mountaineering as it is, so I was asking if I would need more preparation in which case I would need to find ways to make more time for preparing.

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peter707
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PostWed Jan 04, 2023 6:31 pm 
The answer would really depend on a) What route? How many days? DC route or Emmons-Winthrop route are the main two routes that probably make sense for your description of crampons / technical nature of routes. 1-day would require training more but IMO you are in good shape for 2-3 days, assuming you and your crew are on the same page about desired speed. It's more of a hydration / food sort of thing and working away 1000' up per hour on hard pack snow gets there eventually. 500' up per hour is fine for 13000-14400. 5-6 hours up from Muir to the summit is perfectly adequate assuming you eat snacks / electrolytes etc. The minimum bar for the guided trips is usually paradise to Muir in 4-5.5 hours. But it's good to leave some extra in the tank, since you might have to problem solve a bit unguided. b) how prone to altitude sickness you are Many people enjoy 3-day summits more than 2-day summits. especially if they drove in from sea level the day of the start. If you want to see if you get AMS easily I would agree with doing Mt. Adams, since it's faster to bail from. glissade from pikers and ur down in an hour. Doing Adams-in-a-day is a good simulation of summit day on Rainier. It's a bit more vert but a bit thicker air, with less / no crevasses. For me I drove to Adams and arrived at midnight. Slept for 5 hours then went to summit, at the 1k vert/hour pace. I got a headache that intensified at the top so I did not hang out up there. I do not understand but it's different from person to person, and to a lesser extent on different days for the same individual. Rainier (guided 2-day) was much the same - headache from 12,000 to top, went away at 11,000. I do not think I'll do Rainier in a day ever given those data points.

SpookyKite89
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hbb
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hbb
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PostThu Jan 05, 2023 12:02 pm 
CalvinW wrote:
hbb wrote:
Why wouldn't you want to increase your aerobic capacity and muscular endurance in preparation for a difficult endurance event?
Not saying I'm going to just entirely stop doing things, but I put a lot of time into mountaineering as it is, so I was asking if I would need more preparation in which case I would need to find ways to make more time for preparing.
The book Seattle_Wayne recommended is an excellent resource, and could be really helpful in evaluating your approach to training for Rainier.

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