Rainier: Liberty Ridge

Recalling an incident on Mount Baker, I did not want to leave without knowing the inexperienced party was all right. After a one hour wait, I descended solo down the route about 200 vertical feet to spot them. All was fine, they were just slow. Finally, everyone was on the summit (that's me standing) and appeared to be fit for a safe descent down the “easy” Emmons Glacier route in the excellent weather. After having spent 2 hours on the summit, we took off down the Emmons Glacier, descending the first 4,000 feet in just over an hour. We arrived at the car in 3 hours and 45 minutes from the summit, including a 15 minute stop to chat with the ranger at Camp Schurman. It always seems one's energy level increases on the descent and speed increases accordingly, and this is especially true after a successful climb on a marvelous day.