Sunshine and heat in July cause some of the park's fauna to start venturing higher onto the volcano. Goats and their tracks can be seen right around high camps near 10,000 feet. Foxes and mice venture even higher. Rosy finches swoop in and around and can be seen near 13,000 feet. And of course the year-round residents, and our favorites - ravens, are also out and soaring above the mountain. With all of these creatures up high - make sure to secure your food scene. Keep a tight camp and don't leave food out or unattended. Crafty foxes have ruined more than one summit bid after snatching a climbing team's food bag and trotting off to their den. It can make for a hungry hike down the hill.
As the days get shorter into August, and the weather turns a touch cooler, be prepared for the mountain's first "winter storm" to arrive... but until then, come on up and enjoy prime-time on the mountain.
Posted on Thursday, July 23, 2015
The exact number of ladders is continually changing. In addition to ladders there are a few short (~5-10') sections where steps have been chopped and hand lines installed.
Stay alert of who and what is above and below you. Early climbing starts are advised to avoid climbing during the temperature peak of the day. Remember to shorten your rope interval when going through Cathedral Gap and on the Cleaver to minimize human triggered rock fall.
The objective hazards of rock and ice fall are still very prominent. Areas of particular concern are the traverse below the Ingraham ice fall at the bottom of the DC and the traverse from the top of the DC to Camp Comfort/across the Ingraham.
The weather is starting to cool bringing with it some scattered showers and variable visibility. Check the weather and get a good forecast before you head out. As a result of the cooling temperatures the snow and ice has firmed considerably, creating potential for long slides in the event of a fall that is not arrested.
If you are planning on climbing the Kautz (or anywhere) please be a responsible patron and steward of the mountain and clean up after your team, or else.
Stay smart and climb on!
Posted on Thursday, July 16, 2015