So there we were in Seattle. For couple of days, we waited out the storm by hanging around just outside of Mt. Rainier National Park. After following the local weather broadcasts, we learned that the only clearing in the storm was to be Thursday morning. So we decided to brace the storm and hike up to Camp Muir on Wednesday (in the storm) so that we could go for the summit on Thursday.
On Wednesday we met up with our climbing partner, Harry Chistensen, a fellow Mountaintech who responded to our search for a third person for our rope team. He was local and experienced, but better yet, a solid man of God who completed our little team magnificently. We then drove up to Paradise (trail head), and went into the ranger station to acquire permits. The rangers inside were already swapping stories about experiences they had already had in the storm. When we told them we were planning to head up the mountain, they seemed impressed. With excited but also nervous energy, they gleefully ensured us that we were in for it.
Walking out of the ranger station, I felt like I was taking a big step into a big, black pit. What was next? Blizzards are not for hiking, right? Storms are not for going above timberline, right? And then began hiking, through slushy snow… in the fog… and then drizzle… and then rain… and then there was wind. And then the wind blew harder… and then the rain froze… and then we hurt.