Camp Muir

 

We will climb from Paradise to Camp Muir. We will also only go if the weather forecast is good. The climb from Paradise is not technically difficult. It is just long and depending on conditions can be a lot of work. It is a good time to see how you do at elevation since Muir is at 10,000 feet.

Our plan will be to leave Olympia 6:00 am so we can start out from Paradise early. We will only go if we have clear weather. I really don’t want to come down from Muir in the whiteout. I’ve done that enough times already.

Expect anywhere from 4 to 6 hours up and about ½ that down.

Traction devices are in order. Microspikes or crampons are recommended. An ice axe will be useful. Treking poles are also recommended.

Also come prepared for cold windy weather. While we will start on a sunny day, the weather can turn nasty very quickly on the Muir snowfield and we need to be prepared for temperatures below freezing and winds of 30 or 40 MPH.

You will be required to stay with the group for safety. In the event of a weather change I don’t want people spread out all over the snowfield. We no doubt will not be alone, This is an extremely popular hike, especially in the summer time. Going mid week should help alleviate some of the crowds however.

Disclaimer: We will be in the wilderness on a difficult trip. Serious injury can occur. I am not a professional guide, I am not medically trained, nor do I claim to be an expert. By attending this hike you are assuming responsibility for your own personal safety and agree to participate with the others on this trip as a group. However I will not be held responsible for anyone’s safety.

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  • Chris S.

    It was a good day on the snow. Great company, insanely sunny weather, almost doable glissades.

    June 5, 2013

  • John D.

    I'm glad you guys had a good day! I used the time to rediscover my kayak roll so that was a very satisfying substitute.

    June 5, 2013

  • David W.

    What a Great day! Thanks everyone. Like the photos Jim. Glad you're in one.

    June 5, 2013

  • James S.

    Exceptionally nice day, but the snow became very soft and mushy in the afternoon.

    June 4, 2013

  • James S.

    Hope I can wake up in time tomorrow. See you all at 6:00!

    June 3, 2013

  • David W.

    You're funny Jim. I had just pulled out my SS & thought for that extra 4# I might enjoy those heel lifts. See you in the morn.

    June 3, 2013

  • James S.

    Just talked to my Camp Muir expert. Snowshoes will not be needed. Expect the snow to be soft and mushy on the way down. Gaiters will be necessary. Probably do not need an ice axe unless you want to carry one and look like a real mountaineer!

    June 3, 2013

  • John D.

    Jim & all - I've decided not to come on the hike. I learned years ago not to be the person with the least adequate equipment and I don't think my foot gear is up to the possible range of snow conditions. It did help, however, to get my snow gear reorganized. I'll be ready for another trip.

    June 3, 2013

    • Chris S.

      John, I've got a pair on snowshoes you can borrow. Would that help?

      June 3, 2013

    • John D.

      It didn't occur to me to borrow some! Thanks for the offer, but at this point I've already "rebooked" the day. But the offer is really appreciated!

      June 3, 2013

  • James S.

    No ice on the roads.

    June 3, 2013

  • Chris S.

    Ice axe huh? I may wear snow pants too. Sorry Ken that you aren't coming after all. Jim, are we talking dry or at least no ice on the roads? could drive five and gear.

    June 2, 2013

  • James S.

    I recommend bringing an ice axe and traction devices such as Microspikes or crampons. Bring whatever you want for food, I recommend at least 2 liters of water, sun protection, trekking poles if you want to use them.
    I believe there is still snow up the steep slope to Pan point which is partly the reason for the ice axe requirement.

    June 2, 2013

  • James S.

    I'm not sure what conditions we will encounter. From the report I referenced previously it sounds like the snow might be soft and wet. I would prefer everybody bring snowshoes just in case. Normally snowshoes are not needed to get to Camp Muir at this time of year, but Tuesday is going to be a very warm day with the freezing level going to 12,000' which means the snow may be soft and wet even in the morning. I also recommend that everyone bring waterproof pants for glissading down. This is not something I usually think of for coming down from Camp Muir, but it sounds like people are doing it right now. Normally I usually just plunge step down the snow field. Most of it is not steep enough to glissade. Generally, because there is so much traffic up to Camp Muir the track is well defined and beaten down, but the report I referenced makes it sound different. If anyone has any other thoughts please add them.

    June 2, 2013

  • John D.

    Jim - I don't have showshoes and only have low topped boots. (They are waterproof.) If you don't think this is adequate then I will stay home. I have no desire to posthole through wet snow, particularly if everyone else is better equipped. Let me know what you think. - John

    June 2, 2013

  • James S.

    For Tuesday, the freezing level will be 12,000' which means the Muir Snowfield may be very soft. I would recommend bringing snowshoes. We might leave them in the car, but maybe we can talk to a Ranger that morning and get a recent report of conditions. Also, bring the 10 essentials, sun screen (very important) and goggles/dark glasses. It is going to be very sunny and bright.

    We will meet at the Martin Way Park and Ride at 6:00 am. Look for us near the back of the lot. Should be a great day!
    Bring your camera for pictures!

    June 2, 2013

  • James S.

    For what it's worth here is a link to a report by someone who did Camp Muir yesterday. http://www.meetup.com/seattlebackpackers/events/121387432/
    I did Mt. Rose today and the snow was well consolidated, but at the higher elevations of the Muir Snowfield it may not be that way.

    June 1, 2013

  • John D.

    I found the National Park Camp Muir report but Jim's mountain-forecast site is really good. Looks to be a dramatic warming between now and Tuesday.

    May 30, 2013

  • James S.

    Everyone be prepared for very intense sun. Goggles/dark glasses and lots of sun screen. There is no shade on the Muir snowfield!

    May 30, 2013

  • John D.

    Where did you find weather for Camp Muir? I'd like to get a general idea of what temperatures could be. I know it can be windy.

    May 30, 2013

    • Bill O

      John, For my post, I just went to the Rainier Natl Park website nps.gov/mora and clicked on weather. They also have web cams at Paradise that show the mountain, etc. For local or national weather, I use weather.gov/seattle. But for mountain forecasts, Jim's site is the best. It has lots of useful info for climbers. Bill O

      May 30, 2013

  • James S.

    This is the site: www.mountain-forecast.com and then put in Mount Rainier for the search criteria. I have found their forecasts to be pretty accurate.

    May 30, 2013

  • Jim F.

    Hey! Why not Coho Campground at Lake Wynoochee or Wynoochee Falls? Just trying to drum up some additional trail help.
    Sorry about that.

    May 29, 2013

  • James S.

    Today's (May 28th) long term weather forecast is looking real good for our Camp Muir trip. If it holds we will have sunny weather.

    May 28, 2013

  • Bill O

    Hi All, I just checked the weather at Camp Muir (on the web, not in person). Typical spring conditions: 16 to 25 degrees, wind SW 20 to 45 mph. Snowing about 5k to 8k feet elevation; don't know how much. Forecast improving. Should be fun.

    May 27, 2013

  • John D.

    I plan to participate, but have to find and reorganize snow gear I haven't used in years.

    May 27, 2013

  • James S.

    I would assume snowshoes are not needed now. I put the description together in February so some modification is needed now considering we now have summer like weather -- we hope. Microspikes or other traction devices might be a good idea especially if the snow is frozen in the morning.

    May 25, 2013

  • John D.

    How necessary are snowshoes likely to be? I don't own any. My assumption was that the trail to Camp Muir is beaten down to hard pack by hundreds of previous boots! Thanks!

    May 25, 2013

  • Chris S.

    6 a.m. is fine. I could leave earlier.

    May 25, 2013

  • James S.

    We might consider leaving Olympia at 6:00 am. Please indicate if that would work for you.

    May 25, 2013

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