Rainier Day 2

Today we started out by packing up camp and setting out in whiteout conditions. Visibility was poor, but could have been worse. Our guides began navigating via compass to make sure we were progressing in the correct direction. There were several steep sections, in one of which I had a scary fall. I don’t think you could even consider it a fall technically, but it scared me terribly! We were roped in to climb this particular section, at maybe 45-50 degrees, and one of my feet plunged through the base ice. This isn’t abnormal at all, in fact it’s happened several times prior to this incident. What made this particularly scary was that my left foot plunged through up to the hip, and fell through in such a way that resulted in my left knee being directly under my right leg. I tried to free myself but it was like quicksand, I was more stuck and imminently falling backwards down the hill. Thankfully, Phil was directly behind me and our guide, Lee, rushed over right away to help me free myself. A whole lot of worry over nothing, but it certainly got my adrenaline flowing! (Which was definitely helpful for the rest of today’s climb.
We’ve made camp at ‘the castle’ around 9200ft, meaning we are going to have a fairly long summit day today. After weigh the options, our next viable campsite would have been between 10-11000ft, and with the weather conditions the way they are, we would have been exposed. Without good sleep tonight the summit may be beyond reach, we decided to sleep low and push a bit harder tomorrow.
Camp has been alternating between batches of sun and dense fog/snow. We’ll see what conditions are like tomorrow. We will leave in the early morning (still dark) if the weather and visibility are good, but if conditions are still poor we’ll have to wait until it clears up so that we can ascend, perhaps not until daybreak. Hopefully we start strong tomorrow! My stomach is a bit on edge tonight.. It may be the altitude or nerves, who knows. As long as it falls in line tomorrow, I’ll be good to go!

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