Mt. Rainier Memorial

Mt. Rainier from valley 7 miles outside Eatonville, WA

It’s finally happening, in just 2 short days I’ll be learning cravasse rescue on Mt. Rainier with the RMI guide company.
This is also the first time I’ll be creating a memorial for my brother, Mickey. I still have to spray paint some rocks green, so people can know which cairn is for him.

Join me! If you’d like to dedicate a message to Mickey or a loved one to be added to Mickey’s memorial, contact me straight away. I’m not sure how it’ll look – maybe just cards or notes in a ziplock. But, I’ll find a way to include your message & document it by photo. I’ll post the photos when the climb is done. Feel free to pass this on to all you know!

Sunday is a “classroom” day here in Ashford, WA. It’ll give me an opportunity to consult with the guides on setting up the memorial, logistics, rocks to carry, etc.
I’ll do my best to film everything, and hand other people the camera to film me. Organizing which cameras to bring is another task set for these next days. Hopefully the guides can advise, since my pack is a bit small & the Nikon D5100 is heavy.
Ashford, WA is extremely small. I don’t know what I was thinking. Somehow I pictured a similar thing to Everest or K2, where there are towns along the path, beginning with Kathmandu, that are loaded with gear shops, backpacker hostels, etc. Ashford is a post office, general store, and the RMI complex of restaurant, cafe, bunkhouse, & gear shop. RMI really has the market on this climb.
Thankfully, the cafe has internet, and they don’t care that I’m sitting here all day. Eatonville is about 45 min away, with a small local grocer, and an even smaller co-op. The co-op has the most expensive Larabar’s I’ve seen yet, and “bulk” items pre-bagged in zip-locks. Ick.
It’s about an hour back to the strip-mall city off of WA state Hwy 512. It might be worth a shlepp back there if it means I can stock up on what I’ll need for food on this trip. I’m a bit low, although I have a few dehydrated “meals in a pouch”.
I’ll be camping at Lake Alder, hopefully for free. Time will be spent organizing gear, mentally preparing myself, swimming, biking & running to stay fit, practicing with my pack on (remember shoulder injury?), reviewing my copy of “Freedom of the Hills”, and editing like a mad fool all my current film content.
Today my buddy Cameron in Anacortes left with his mates for the Southern Picket range for a 6 day climb. Before parting ways yesterday, I told him about the Nords in Beaver Creek, and my brother’s connection with them. I explained the “Nord-ho!” call of the wild. He said he’d yell it from the top of his peaks. I said I would yell it from the top of Rainier.
Mickey lives on…

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