Together with a group of Mountaineers, I climbed Pinnacle Peak and The Castle in the Tatoosh range south of Mount Rainier. This was our second attempt, after getting so close to Pinnacle Peak in June.
The summer trail was a lot easier than the winter approach, although it was probably a bit longer to get to Pinnacle Peak. We scrambled up on the southwestern side, and there was only a short section that was a bit difficult. Downclimbing for the most part was easy too.
The Castle, which we hadn’t even looked at in June, was a lot of fun. We approached from the south and scrambled over a ridge. From there, we could get to the East face. It was an easy climb with, I believe, two pieces of protection. Most of us prusiked up on a handline. After that, an easy rappel down the same way.
We returned a slightly different way, that was parallel to the winter route and rejoined the main trail close to the road.
One of the most exciting parts of the vista were the clouds. We saw a very strange cloud with multiple lenticular formations, and watched as a lenticular cloud developed and slowly engulfed most of Mount Rainier.