12 miles of hiking • 7000' elevation gain • 1 night

We were going for the summit via the well defined DC route. Slept for a couple hours at Camp Muir, then started heading up at midnight. Just as we were finishing the rock scramble on the cleaver, a bunch of teams came down together. They informed us that there was a collapse several hundred feet above, and the route was not passable. A ladder had fallen into a long crevasse, and an end runaround onto the Emmons Glacier was the only option. It was the first time climbing Rainier for all of us, so we decided we weren't prepared to do anything fancy, and turned around. It was humbling enough to move over the Cowlitz and Ingraham Glaciers, and get up close views into so many massive crevasses!

On approach day, I struggled with back pain from a new pack overloaded and not fitting properly. I was fatigued and somewhat nauseous on summit day. I think next time I will add in an extra day to acclimate and rest beforehand, but I don't see how you could rest much at Camp Muir.