I climbed Mt Rainier over the 4th of July with my husband.
Left camp about 11:30pm and climbed through the dark. First section is fairly straight forward across a couple of glaciers and up some rocky terrain but even with the warm temps the snow had firmed up and rock/ice fall was minimal. The Disappointment Cleaver was a very long stretch of about 90 minutes of rock up up up a ridge. It was nice to not be able to see the top while it was dark cause it was a grind and a lot longer than I was expeceting. There was the MOST incredible moon rise around 3:30/4am - this little sliver of a dark red/orange moon popped out from the horizon as we were getting to about 13k feet and the sunrise was right behind it. SO beautiful and special. Couldn't get any pics cause the terrain was getting more technical but kinda how the mountains are supposed to be ya know? SUPER present, make memories in your heart, and realize so few people ever get that perspective. When we rolled into high camp break at 13,500' Matt decided to call his climb. He was having some spooks with the exposure and wanted to get down before he could fully see all of it and was very very sleep deprived and felt like his footing wasn't where it needed to be and didn't want to be a risk to himself or the rest of us on our rope. He headed down with a guide as I left with the team for the final 900 vertical feet push to the summit. Was a weird moment to be separated but we trusted each other to make the best decision for ourselves and neither of us had any regrets. I'm so lucky to have a partner who knows I like climbing a lot more than he does and still wanted to come along, that we had the space to encourage each other to achieve different successes (a summit and him making it one section longer than his comfort zone was geared for), and to see him waiting/cheering for me when I came back down to camp hours later. I topped out on top of the lower 48 about 5:30am. SO TIRED, but such a cool crater on top of Rainier where you can hang out of the wind, take in the views out on the rim of the crater, and refuel/rest/rehydrate. Weather was so beautiful - low wind, sunny skies. My legs actually felt really solid coming down, also. Lots of quad work to keep that weight forward and let your crampons grab the mountain. I felt strong and all those WTF am I doing/this is fucking scary/this is new/this is higher than I've ever been will I be able to breath?? moments on the way up seemed to melt away by the time I got back to Camp Muir. I imagine it's like child birth...if we remembered how acutely terrified or scared or overwhelmed or painful moments were, we wouldn't do amazing things again and again. Or maybe we would cause it's not the end result itself but the process of overcoming those moments that matter and shape us and keep us craving more. Or maybe it's delusion from sleep deprevation and hypoxic effects on the brain...either way...some rad shit and proud feelings :)