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Good idea/bad idea? Hood & Rainier in a week

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Ana Lindsey · · Unknown Hometown · Joined Feb 2017 · Points: 0

My team ( two experienced climbers and two newbs) is permitted to climb Rainier at the end of June. This will be my first mountaineering ascent, having only done sport climbing before. There is now talk of flying out early and doing Hood as a preparation climb. We're on the East coast and barely saw a snowflake over the winter, so no chance to practicing moving in approximate conditions. If we did Hood, we would have three rest days, then do Rainier in a 2-3 day climb via DC. On one hand, getting experience on Hood is a great idea. On the other, I'm concerned I'll be way too gassed for Rainier. We've been training all winter and spring - steps and trails with 50 lb packs, running, endless gym leg days - but since this is my first trip, I have no real gauge for determining if I'm fit enough for both mountains in such a short time frame. Thoughts and advice on whether or not this is a reasonable itinerary for a new climber? Good idea? Horribly terribly bad idea? 

Jason Halladay · · Los Alamos, NM · Joined Oct 2005 · Points: 11,814

I like it. With the training regime you've had, I'd say you're plenty fit for that itinerary considering you'll have a few rest days in between and be taking your time on Rainier. I presume you'll be taking the standard south side on Hood. It's a relatively short day so you'll have that afternoon/evening to begin your recovery plus the extra 2-3 days recovery before Rainier. The Hood climb will serve as a solid acclimatization climb. It's also a good opportunity to dial in your equipment and guage how you do as a team before Rainier. 

Old lady H · · Boise, ID · Joined Aug 2015 · Points: 290

How much do you trust the experienced climbers? If they truly are experienced, they should be able to answer this. If they can't, or blow it off, you might be climbing with the wrong people. They are the ones who will be making a lot of safety calls that you can't make (especially if altitude gets to you).

This is the boat all of us are in at some point, as we up our climbing game, myself included.

Hope it goes well, and you have a blast!

Best, Helen

C Brooks · · Fresno, CA · Joined Feb 2015 · Points: 551

Why not do Rainier first? Its the harder of the 2, and the more interesting. If you feel good after resting, hope on Hood, if not, go sport climbing. 

Jerimiah We · · Unknown Hometown · Joined Dec 2016 · Points: 0

Without knowing the intensity and duration of your workouts it's hard to say. If mt. Hood is harder than anything you've done up to this point you may not fully recover in time for Rainier. 

James Maltman · · Unknown Hometown · Joined Jul 2016 · Points: 10

I did Hood with a decent amount less physical training than you've had, and I was fully recovered after 3 days, so I'd say go for it. 

Kedron Silsbee · · Munich · Joined Aug 2013 · Points: 0

I think doing Hood before would increase your chances of doing Rainier successfully, as you'll gain some acclimatization and familiarity with rope systems for glacier travel.  I would also think that if you're in good enough shape to do Rainier, then you're in good enough shape to recover more or less fully from Mt. Hood in 3 days, so I wouldn't worry about fatigue making it harder.  Have you been to altitude before?  I know I would not do well going above 14,000 feet in 48 hours without acclimatization...some people are obviously hardier in that respect.

C Brooks · · Fresno, CA · Joined Feb 2015 · Points: 551

If they rested for 3 days at sea level, the aclimitization would be mostly lost. 

Allen Sanderson · · Oootah · Joined Jul 2007 · Points: 1,145

A few years ago a friend who at the time was in his early 60s and me in my late 40s did Rainier (Furher Finger), Adams (Pinnacle Headwall), and Hood (North Face Gully) in a week and in that order. After Rainier we took a couple of days off, the same after Adams, a couple of days off. We figured we did something like 23k of up that week. 

You are better off doing the higher peaks first as you will gain some acclimation which can be used on the lower peaks. 

diepj · · PDX · Joined Apr 2014 · Points: 0

You won't gain any rope practice on Mt Hood. If you wanted to test fitness it could work for that, but so could a day climb to Muir. Or St Helens (permits permitting). 

I think the #1 thing you should do is drill crevasse rescue. Even if you climb hood you should plan this for a rest day in between. And self arrest practice for the newbs and anyone who hasn't done it in a while. 

AndyMac · · Center, CO · Joined Mar 2008 · Points: 601

depending on fitness you can do Hood in 6-8hrs car to car via the south side.  I don't see how that would make you over do it with 3 days rest in between. my vote is good idea

nkane · · Unknown Hometown · Joined Jun 2013 · Points: 90

I agree with the people saying go for it.

Two more things to consider:

1. Hood is an awesome mountain with a great view and its own unique history and features! Why not get more climbing in if you can swing it?

2. The weather in the northwest in late June is not always 100% awesome, so giving yourself more time might maximize your chances of getting a good window on Rainier. You don't want to be up there in iffy weather.

Guideline #1: Don't be a jerk.

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