American Alpine Jounrna and Accidents in North American Climbing

North America, United States, Washington, Cascade Mountains, Mount Rainier, Liberty Wall

  • Climbs And Expeditions
  • Climb Year:
  • Publication Year: 1969

Mount Rainier, Liberty Wall. On June 30 Roger Oborn, Don Jones and I completed the first ascent of Liberty Wall, so named because it is a large cirque wall between Liberty Ridge and Ptarmigan Ridge, and below the Liberty Cap Glacier on Liberty Cap itself. On the 29th we left our car at Mowich Lake and hiked through Spray Park to the Russell Glacier, where we spent the night at about 8300 feet on a ramp between the Carbon Glacier and the Russell Glacier. After a late start at three a.m. we headed for the large schrund at the west head of the Carbon Glacier. Towering and overhanging above the cirque wall was the Liberty Cap Glacier ice wall. We ascended straight up the middle (between Liberty Ridge and Ptarmigan Ridge). First we crossed the large schrund and then cramponed up hard snow and ice toward the rock bands. Most of the way on the route we 12-pointed up a long continuous rib, always hoping this would be above most of any ice and rock falling from above. On the rock bands there was mixed rock and ice for several short leads, followed by more 12-pointing up ice and hard snow covered by six inches of new snow, until we got to a chute through the ice cliff and up onto Liberty Cap Glacier at about 12,000 feet. There we could relax a little away from most falling objects from above and soon joined into the Ptarmigan Ridge route to Liberty Cap and the summit. For years I had looked at the possibilities of this route, and as had been hoped we found it to be an enjoyable and challenging route, safest in June with more snow and colder conditions.

Paul Myhre, unattached

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