This past Sunday I had the pleasure of taking David, Charlene, and Sam out to Cathedral Ledge for a Winter Climbing 101 Course. David had attempted Mount Rainier last year and was returning for another attempt this August, so this course was intended to help hone the skills needed for such an objective.
We started the day with some self-arrest practice on the auto-road. An icy sled path that came down through the woods provided a great little spot to gain some momentum. We then worked on our crampon technique employing different styles to different grades and difficulties, all with an emphasis on conserving energy. As the day progressed we got a bit more technical with our ice axes as we took a climb up the North End Slab. After some lunch we rappelled the North End Pillars, learned and practiced a hand-rap rappel, then looked at some basic glacier roping up options, with a look at short-roping & short pitching to finish out the day.
I wish David the best on his next Rainier climb, it’s obvious to see he has the climbing bug, and hope to see Sam back her for some focused waterfall ice climbing, as she showed a keen interest in doing more of that by the end of the day!
See you in the mountains,