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Wednesday, April 20, 2011

"Cascade Glacier School and Climb of Mt. Rainier"

by LAM's own: Dave Dogruel

The Cascade Glacier School is offered at no charge every year by SummitClimb to bring people together to learn, practice and enjoy glacier and snow travel techniques and attempt a climb of one of the classic Cascade volcanoes.  It is also a great introduction to the treks and climbs led by Himalayan expedition leader Dan Mazur and his great staff.

Mt. Rainier from our camp on the Nisqually Glacier.

Our hardy group of two dozen folks spent five days on the mountain acclimatizing and training in safe snow and glacier travel, ice axe arrests, rope work on steep snow and ice, crevasse rescue and camping on the snow.  After a start for the summit late at night, almost everyone successfully reached the top of Mt. Rainier on a beautiful summer day.  I will discuss the training and techniques we practiced and our climb of the Disappointment Cleaver route from Camp Muir.

Part of our team on the summit of Mt. Rainier giving thanks
for a successful climb with Sherpa prayer flags in the breeze

While we had rain in New Mexico that summer, Seattle was dry and perfect for outdoor fun, so before and after the glacier school I spent some time with friends from a 2008 trek in Nepal by enjoying good food, company and even some kayaking on Puget Sound.

Puget Sound by kayak at sunset.

More about Dave: Dave is a valued member of the Los Alamos Mountaineers.  Over the years he has served the club very well indeed as President, Vice-President, Climbing School Director, Climbing School Instructor (for years), and Program Chair.  He has been our A/V Potentate (audio and video man for club presentations) since 2003.

Dave has lived in northern New Mexico all of his life.  He learned to rock climb from friends while attending college at New Mexico Tech, and learned to climb better after taking the LAM Climbing School in 1988.  Lately, he has been bitten by the trail running bug and has completed half-marathon off-road races and is working his way up to marathon distance.

Dave semi-retired from doing scientific research at Los Alamos National Laboratory, and currently works at REI in Santa Fe as a sales specialist.

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