International Man of Mystery...

My photo
I grew up in the Boston area and lived there until my junior year in high school when I attended the Mountain School, a semester program run by Milton Academy in Vershire, VT. I then attended Colby College in Waterville, ME. During my time at Colby I studied anthropology, spent a semester in Northeast India, and became fluent in Nepali. Before I became a guide I earned my black belt in kenpo karate and taught karate for 6 years. I began guiding in college on the rocky coast of ME with Acadia Mountain Guides and on ice at the International Mountain Climbing School in NH. After graduating I took to the highway and drove from ME to WA for the big mountains and glaciers. I spend my winters in lovely Ouray, CO guiding in the famous ice park. I am currently working towards becoming a certified guide through the American Mountain Guides Association. I live, work and play in the hills and on the rocks. On the rocks both literally and, well, with ice.

Tuesday, July 13, 2010

Gentle Mountain Breeze

I have been to the summit of Mount Rainier many times. Watching the sunrise is enchanting, the view is endless. The other cascade volcanos jut out of the landscape in every direction. Wrapped in glaciers they loom over the Cascades. On my last Disappointment Clever climb on Mount Rainier I only enjoyed this view briefly before dropping out of the wind into the crater.

The protection of the crater rim brought the winds down to a reasonable 30 or so mph. My co-guide Willie Benegas brought a small ananometer to measure the wind speed. Cresting the crater rim the wind topped out at a blustery 74 mph. To pull myself over the crater rim I had to get into a full back/ on all fours position with my ice axe stabbed into the firm snow to lurch forward and drop into the crater. I continued to pull Brian, Dave, and Matt into the crater with me. Out of the gale we high fived and back slapped congratulations for their first Rainier summits.

I have been around enough to know that people have endure much worse on Rainier. For our team this was the worst conditions any of us had summited Rainier. In fact, we were lucky since the warm ambient temperature made it possible to summit despite the wind.

As we descended back to the top of the Dissapointment Clever, we looked back and saw an incredible lenticular cloud whipping the summit. The winds could easily have been 100mph. As Willie and I had expected the weather had deteriorated. Had we arrived to the crater only minutes after we left we may not have summited at all. Willie and my plan to sneak through the small weather window worked. Phillipe the climbing ranger called it a gentle mountain breeze.

1 comment:

  1. Thanks, Eitan, for a great trip and some killer photos. Gentle breeze my ass.