This is the view we became most familiar with during our time at Ingraham Flats camp. The hike up was mostly low visibility and it stayed that way.
After dinner we went into our tents at about 5:30pm expecting to leave at some point between 12-2a for a summit push if the weather held.
It didn’t hold. Around 6pm wind started picking up, then the snow came. Between the drifting because of ~50mph winds and at least a foot of fresh snowfall there was no window we could safely make a summit push. We spent about 12 hours in and out of sleep in our tents. Snow completely filled our vestibules throughout the night threatening to collapse the tent on us. Between us pushing and shifting snow from the inside and our awesome guides digging out the camp that didn’t happen. But it made for a heck of an evening. After 12 hours with your gear drying with you and in your sleeping bag (after two days of work prior), the smell gets... unique.
It was an awesome experience because that’s what happens up there. Rainier creates its own weather and things aren’t always sunshine and beautiful views. Our guides took the brunt of the work the entire trip, which was great because that’s part of why you’re with them, but it also had me reconciling that fact in my head. Comparing the experience to what it’d be like if we were up there alone. A lot to ponder on that front, but for our first time doing this I sure as hell am glad we had them there.
That night we learned firsthand the mountain deals the cards and chooses what you get. It’s humbling.