Ed, Guy, Sherpa, Carol, Jay, Yvonne, Marco, Arm, Dani,
Terri, Bruce and Seema
Day One, RMI Private Training Course
Our group contracted Rainier Mountaineering, Inc. to provide a Private
One Day Climbing School to cover glacier travel, rope handling skills
and basics in crevasse rescue. The day started at RMI as we piled into a
bus that shuttled us to Paradise. We met our instructors, Brent Okita
and Ben Kurdt. Somehow our group lucked out with having Brent as our
lead instructor who is RMI’s most experienced guide with 22 years of
guiding including Everest, Mount Vinson to name just two and over 300
Rainier ascents on his resume. Our bus driver was Joe Horiskey one of
RMI owners and a veritable legend in the mountaineering world. We felt
Arriving at Paradise for training.
We left Paradise and hiked up to Panorama Point at 6,900 foot
elevation where we spent the remainder of the day. The weather was quite
warm and sunny as we stood on the remains of the glacier. The class
started by reviewing the basics of rope handling and practicing glacier
travel in rope teams. The later part of the day, we practiced setting up
anchor systems and Z-Pulley rescue systems for use in crevasse rescue.
Throughout the day, Brent would add commentaries on the
Disappointment Cleaver route and how our training class and experience
can be best used for a successful and safe summit bid. Of course he
would sprinkle in a comment “if you were using RMI….” which became a
running joke all day. I believe that by the end of this day, Brent and
Ben found that we were well intentioned and prepared for our summit bid.
In return, I know our entire group found that RMI has earned our respect
and admiration for their professionalism. They are a top notch
|Practicing Self-Arrest and Rescue systems.
Upon returning to the RMI Basecamp, we cleaned up and had a couple of
beers with Brent and Ben which allowed us an opportunity to discuss our
current trip plans and possible trips in the future. I for one will look
at RMI for a possible Denali trip in 2006 or 2007. That evening, we went
to Alexander’s Country Inn for an over-priced and not-so-good dinner.
They refused to work with us to accommodate our vegan team member and
two of our members left to find a friendlier place to have dinner. Well
I guess we can’t have everything perfect. Our guide, Ben, joined us for
dinner and drinks that evening. Throughout our trip, we ran into Ben
almost everyday which helped us to keep current on conditions.
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