In the summer of 2003 I drove out to Washington state with a friend to climb Mt. Ranier, the third highest mountain in the lower 48 states after Mt. Whitney (first) and Mt. Shasta (second). The difficulty and danger of an attempt on Ranier lays in the fact that it is a volcanic cone situated very near to the coast and is subjected to unpredictable and extreme weather patterns that often shroud it in high winds and blizzards. Add to that, even when the weather is fair it is still perpetually glacier covered and crevasse ridden on all sides. Deaths on Ranier, while not especially common, do occur. We were very fortunate to have had a few days of good weather for our summit bid and our climb was successful. You can click on any image to enlarge it to full screen.