Ptarmigan Ridge, Mount Rainier

Two possible reasons that Carson was happy to have me along (other than the fact that he is such a nice guy) were that I had a more reliable car and he was climbing with a novice by the name of Dan, who had just finished the beginner course with a climb up Mount Baker, so he appreciated the chance to have another experienced hand along.

We left Seattle at 9PM, woke up the ranger at midnight (he was not happy) to register for the climb, and started hiking at 12:30AM. This early in the season approaches are snowed in, so we had to go via the White River Campground. Even the White River Campground road was snowed in, adding 2 miles and 400 feet vertical to our travel. By sunrise we were at Saint Elmo Pass, where we took a short rest. It started to rain, so we napped with our sleeping bags inside our cagoules for about 3 hours.