Rainier and Hood in one trip?

  • Creator
  • #61617

    My impression is that most of the people in this group have much higher aspirations than I. However, I’m 75 and have never had a formal training program although I was still playing volleyball with the kids until the pandemic started and I swim 3 days/week and usually “waddle” up a steep street here with about 35 pounds several days/week. I call it Trancas Mountain and manage it without supplemental oxygen to reach its 1000 elevation summit. I walk the dog at least 3 miles/day at a little over 3 mph.

    So, I live not at sea level (can’t afford it) but at about 50 feet.

    My real desire is to finally make it to the summit of Rainier. I’ll be lead by a former RMI guide without about 50 summits of Rainier and his extremely – freak of nature – 75 year old dad. We’re planning on 3 days with an overnight at Muir and another on the Ingraham. We might even build in a stop on the way down at Muir.

    By then I’ll have finished this course and either done round 2 also or taken probably the 16 week course – all dependent upon court calendar and omicron.

    My question after all this verbosity concerns possibly driving from LA to Hood and using Hood as a guided “training” hike before driving the rest of the way to Rainier. IF I do this I’d like suggestions as to whether that is a feasible plan and as to how long between attempts is wisest. Thanks.

  • Participant
    bill on #61683

    I think it depends (of course). How much time will you have between Hood and Rainier? How quickly will you recover from a 5000′ climb? Conditions are really variable. During the prime season, there are a lot of people on the hill, the going is slow, and rockfall is an issue. Climbing Hood can be hard or really hard and it is a technical climb not a hike.

    As an aside, as I am just on this side of 64, I’d love to hear more about your Rainier plan. My end goal is to climb Rainier and Hood but not this year, as I am focusing on basic training and summit hikes like South Sister.

    MalibuBill on #61745

    It does depend. Going slow in my case on Hood would be good – I’m a multi-speed model – slow, slower, slowest, collapsed. The good thing about Hood is I’ll do it with a guide or guides and I’ll probably take the “tractor assist” the night before to the Silcox Hut, resulting in “only” about 3300 feet of gain. Still non-trivial for someone with my skill set.

    As for Rainier my plan is to try to hit a weather/snow conditions window. I’ll be doing a private trip with a former RMI guide and his super fit dad. Guide has about 50 ascents, dad 3 maybe 4. They live in the area and if I decide to attempt Hood first I’ll drive and if not I’ll probably fly – from LAX. If I have the time I’d prefer to drive as I can easily couch surf all the way to the Canadian border and then my wife can come along and bind up my wounds.

    The plan is to hike to Muir and spend a night, climb to the Ingraham Glacier and spend a night, go to the summit and, depending, either stay at Muir again or go all the way out. The biggest negative is the extra weight. It’s a work in progress – we’re probably aiming at early June.

    MarkPostle on #61746

    Malibu Bill, My initial take on it is that a Hood climb en route is very unlikely to help you on Rainier if that’s the desired purpose. These sort of warmup climbs that close to the goal will are more likely to wear you out than anything and have little acclimatization effect as you’re not up high long enough. I have had the best luck with folks who have a primary goal and keep their eye on the prize instead of muddying the waters. If anything you might attempt Hood on the way home if it is a lesser goal. That said if they are both big goals then of course its possible, I would take at least 5 days off in between.

    MalibuBill on #61754

    Thanks Mark. Hood is not for a warm-up but another objective. I’m a state highpointer who should have done the harder ones 40 years ago. My wife and I conquered mighty Britton Hill, FL (el. 345 ft), that state’s highpoint, without supplemental oxygen nor even crampons a few years back.

    Hood on the way home is a pretty good thought. I especially appreciate the 5 day “break” advice – definitely what I’m looking for. I hope I can make it a week.

    I live at about 80 feet ($10,000,000 away from 0 feet). My NW buds are all close to sea level also so acclimatization is definitely a problem. I’ll just have to do my best with the time allotted- definitely a problem for all humans.

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