Mt Rainier guide services have had a long standing relationship with JanSport, originally based in Seattle. Every year, JanSport convenes a group of outdoor industry professionals for a chance to network and climb Mt Rainier.
In the first image, the group had gathered on a rocky ridge below camp on a beautiful evening after dinner, doing what they do best; talking mountains and the outdoor industry. The expanse of the Cascades provided a nice backdrop. The guides eventually had to tell them to get some sleep!
The next morning (second image) dawned with the colors one hopes for up high in the mountains. Thick haze of summer air and forest fires from the east filled the valleys, and brought the ridges out in stark relief. Mt Stuart’s massive granite structure poked up above the rest. The quite still of this time of day often brings reflection to the mind.
The third image is a riff on the celebratory summit photograph. With minimal snows during the 2014-2015 winter season, snow levels on the mountain were unimaginably low. All manner of the mountain environment and climbing experience was different as a result. For the JanSport group, the chance to see the USGS summit marker on Rainier’s high point was bittersweet. In nine years of climbing the mountain, I had never seen it. Celebrating the summit, we all paused for a moment in silence and considered what that meant and what lay ahead.