There was a time about ten years ago that I thought seriously about climbing it. It was in 1999 when Everest was in the news a lot after the discovery of the body of George Mallory, the first man to make or attempt to make the summit of Everest. No one knows if he did or not, and he disappeared back in 1924 near the summit. His body was found by a Seattle mountain climbing legend Eric Simonson in 1999. That was also the year I decided to try to attempt Rainier. I trained all summer -- hiking about West Seattle wearing a backpack with 50 pounds of weight. Tony and I tried to climb the highest peak in Utah that year as well as a training exercise and failed miserably, which kind of put a damper on the whole Rainier thing. Hell if we couldn't make it up a dry, non-snow covered 13,000 foot mountain, there is no way we could tackle a glacier covered 14,000 one -- especially one that is used to train Everest teams. And even though I realized I couldn't climb it -- I still dream about making it to the top.
So flying down to Salt Lake today I was on a small plane -- Delta Airlines having given up on flying real jets between Salt Lake and Seattle and resorting to CRJ commuter jets which fly at a lower altitude. (I refuse to fly coach in Southwest Airlines cattle cars -- the only other airline with non-stops to SLC). It was a partly cloudy day when we left SeaTac, but cleared up right after take off and the pilot decided he'd give us a scenic tour of Mt. Rainier.