I made it! Rainier was incredible. Unfortunately, as I suspected, my physical conditioning was pretty borderline, so I was dragging on the way down, but I did make both the summit and the trip down under my own power. What an incredible mountain.
I plan to post a lot more on this; more details are forthcoming. In the meantime, suffice it to say that I am burnt to a crisp – I applied sunscreen every hour, even on top of my head and in my ears, yet burnt all over – sore, wind-blasted, and a bit snowburnt, too. All that, and I’m a happy camper.
Oh, yes: I have photos, and more on the way. Unfortunately, I wasn’t able to take pictures of some of the most amazing things I saw, since they were in dangerous places or were things we saw in the dark (the climb started at 1:15 AM, with a wakeup call just after midnight). I figured taking a shot of a crevasse while trying to jump over its mouth and trying to capture the steepness of a slope while hiking it at 2 AM were not good survival strategies. I also have one little video clip that will be available, once I get a chance to shrink it.