Rainier hike con’t: Upon arriving at Ingraham Flats the second day, we settled into our tents that had been dug into the snow by the alpine guides. We had an early dinner around 4:00 (veggie burger for me) & were briefed about summit day. We retired to our tent, which had a front row seat to Little Tahoma Peak that juts out of Rainier. My tent mate (my new Colorado friend, Nicole) & I couldn’t sleep, so we shared stories about hiking, guys, & life. I finally fell asleep around 7:00 & slept soundly until 10:00 pm. Nicole & I started getting our gear ready because the guides would be rounding everyone up sometime between 11:00 p.m & 1:00 a.m to get ready for our summit push. More on the actual summit push and descent later. But I want to take a moment to acknowledge our 4 incredible female guides at @alpineascents: Carrie (lead), Robin, Ari, & Emily. The skill, patience, hard work, friendliness, and professionalism of each of them can’t be overstated. Alpine Ascents is one of 3 professional guide groups for Rainier. These guides take turns maintaining and creating the trails on Rainier, & they share the gombu at Camp Muir & the tent sites at Ingraham Flats. Ingraham is one of 25 glaciers on Rainier. The National Park Service describes glaciers as masses of ice that are heavy enough to actually flow like thick fluid. So glaciers are constantly moving down the mountain, sliding against the rock, breaking off chunks, & forming deep cracks called crevasses. Each day we could hear the glacier moving & rocks & ice crashing. This movement means the guide groups are repeatedly fixing the trail through the glacier. Rockfall will destroy the trail or the trail will break up entirely as the glacier moves. Tent sites are re-established every few days as the glacier gradually slides downhill. These responsibilities of re-establishing & maintaining the trails & basecamp are shared by the guide groups. A task they endure countless times throughout the season. Additionally, they haul all the tents & cooking gear up there. They don’t get paid enough, whatever it is. Without them, this trip wouldn’t have been possible.