Mountains are always changing. With all the hot, dry weather Mount Rainier has experienced in recent months, the DC route has reached a turning point.
Let’s face it – yes, you can still climb Mount Rainier on a desperate route, but this is not as easy as it was last week.
So what has changed? As of 8/14/14, the rating guide services (RMI, AAI, IMG) have decided not to support the current route from Ingraham Flats to the top of Desperation Cleaver. It is the guidance service, not the NPS, that creates and maintains the DC path, including ladders, fixed guards, excavators, and so on. This is done for their customers and the climbing people benefit from following it. As a result, the first ladder in the path (just above Ingraham Apartment) across the “High Crack” has been removed. However, there is a bypass on top of High Crack that still provides access to Cleaver. This route is a little faster, icy and relatively difficult.
Possible route to bypass “High-Crack”
Once in the knife, the parties must negotiate about the area of the recent rock fall and scree. This is an area very prone to frequent rock falls and that is why the guide services have chosen to reroute. The danger here is significant for large groups that move slowly, but may be acceptable for smaller teams that are agile when grasping on rock. Avoid waiting for other parties in the fall area and move as soon as possible.
New rockfall and current access path on Eraser of Despair.
The path to the top of Cleaver is the same as the previous posts with the other ladder –
At an altitude of 13,200 feet
Today 8/16, a large group of guides are preparing to re-route the route by completing the TBD. By creating a new path, we try to provide updates. Happy mountaineering!