Sunday, June 21, 2009

Super Angie...Mt. Rainier

Yesterday we arrived in Seattle and met my parents at the airport. The kids ran through security to hug Pop (my dad). Gaga (my mom) was there too, of course.
They brought both cars so we could all fit and off we went in the general direction of Mt. Rainier. We stopped for lunch in Puyallup and then my parents took the kids to Northwest Trek for a fun time with the animals. Rick and I drove down to Ashford )stopping in Elbe for YUMMY blackberry ice cream. In Ashford, we made the traditional stop at the Whiteker mountaineering store. Oh man...we could have spent thousands of dollars in there--new puffys, Scarpa boots, Mammut and Marmot brands, First Ascent, RMI logo shirts. much COOL stuff. Its really fun to go to a store like this that caters exclusively to people climbing big moutains. I really wanted to try on some Scarpa Phantom 6000 boots (I have the Phantom Lite) but I refrained. Sad. I did however pick up some birthday gifts for Rick.
Then we drove down to IMG headquaters. This will be Rick's third trip with IMG (Kautz route on Rainier last year and ice climbing in Ouray a few years ago). He already knows his one guide, Jeff and was happy to be re-united. They invited me to stay for the info meeting which was really fun. I have never met any of his past guides or the other climbers, so this was cool.
(Jeff is in Orange, Claudio is in red)
(Rick listening to the info and gear meeting) Jeff has a great sense of humor and joked about the mountain blowing up, people dropping gear, not taking avalance beacons and hoping its not a mistake...Everyone was in a great mood as he went over all the gear he is taking.

Then it was time for the climbers to get all their gear out, to be sorted and looked at. :Liberty Ridge is an interesting route (and the hardest guided route on the mountain). The route is straight up climbing and because of this, the weight of your pack needs to be kept at extreme minium. Because Jeff knows Rick and has climbed with him before, he allowed Rick to take these boots, instead of the heavier ones. And because I stuck around for this meeting, I was able to load up all his extra gear.
I simply adore Anne. She arrived wearing short shorts and UGG boots--totally stylin hiker chic! LOVED IT! She has three kids (same ages as ours) and is passionate about climbing. She also thinks I'm a "rock jock" which was flattering. I'm glad her and Claudio are going with Rick on this. Looks like a great group!
Rick's stuff before he packed it in his pack.
A big THUMBS UP from Rick--all his gear looks good to go. It was time to say goodbye and be on my way to Issaquah to meet my parents. I got a big hug from Anne and everyone promised to take care of my sweetie. I forgot to tell them all that Rick's 50th birthday is on summit day. I hope he has a great birthday on the mountain.

On the way home, I stoped again in Elbe to get more ice cream (I bad of me!!) and take a picture of this darling little historic church. Then on my way to Issaquah, thankful the whole time that the freeways in Utah are not as congested and have way more lanes then here in WA.
I got a call from Rick at night, but since you only have cell reception in certain spots on Ashford (like standing on your right leg, at the Whiteker store, closing one eye and holding your breath) we didn't get to talk. So we texted instead and said our goodbyes. I'm really excited for Rick to make this climb. Liberty Ridge is a very technical climb and I know he is up for it.
Yea! Its fun to be back "home".
--Super Angie


Otter Mum's Den said...

Ice cream twice, now that's totally sinful:) I am sure Rick will have a good time on his birthday. I love the way you support him and he supports you. You guys are such a good match!

Anderegg & Co. said...

Good luck, Rick!

jenn said...

I would have totally stopped for ice-cream twice- especially Washington Blackberry!! Even me, the non-hiker/climber, LOVES Mt. Rainier. What a great way to celebrate a birthday- on the summit of a beautiful mountain! Enjoy Rick!

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