Hike to Camp Muir, glissade back down

Meet at Auburn SuperMall IHOP at 7:45 SATURDAY 9/7 to figure out carpools (several will be having breakfast at 7A), carpool to Paradise, Hike to Muir, glissade back down. Bring sleds (plastic, not the type with metal runners!), garbage bag, plastic pants, or tubes if you have them. Glissading is the act of descending a steep snow-covered slope via a controlled slide on one's feet or buttocks. 5mi and 4,600' to Muir. Requires National Park pass or ~$15/carload for week pass at the gate.


Suggested courtesy to drivers is 125% of gas and pass cost/# passengers for pass, gas, and wear and tear (not to be confused with "passing gas," in a carpool, which is a fineable offense).

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  • A former member
    A former member

    Group organizers Mike, Stephen, and other participants-I am the Chief Ranger of Mount Rainier NP and wanted to clarify park regulations re: sledding, and to express concerns about your plans to sled down from Muir. Please understand that the Park Service encourages and welcomes you to visit the park and to get up to Camp Muir and down safely. For reasons of safety, sledding is not allowed in the park other than at the groomed snowplay runs just above the Visitor Center, and only in the winter. We've experienced many accidents caused by sledding, and therefore it is prohibited down from Camp Muir and elsewhere in the park. If you chose to sled anyway, in addition to risking getting fined, you endanger yourself and others. On a busy day, we can get 500 people hiking up and down to and from Camp Muir. (see additional in reply below)

    September 6, 2013

    • A former member
      A former member

      Sledding is uncontrolled and cannot be stopped in a reasonable distance. The 1.8 inches of rain we had from the recent storm has left the slope hard and icy--even hiking will be a challenge this weekend.
      So, please be considerate of others and enjoy your hike up and down from Camp Muir safely--leave the sleds at home.
      Chuck Young
      Chief Ranger
      Mount Rainier [masked]

      September 6, 2013

  • Mike

    It has been a long week at work. Can't wait to go hike off some stress, take in beautiful sights with friends, and put on a boot glissade show coming back down http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=jtEgcaVw4kY&list=UUyDDjnijO88qklhNdT4gz0g. Wait, did I say boot? Might be some different letters between the b and t☺

    Who wants to carpool from Seattle/Eastside 7A?

    September 6, 2013

  • Stephen


    1.) Plenty of drinking water
    2.) Some extra warm layers in case it gets cold/wet ~ we are going up into the snow at high elevation after all :-)
    3.)Some lunch food for yourself + snacks. It's a steep uphill hike, you'll want food for fuel and it's good to have extra.
    4.) Sunglasses & Sunscreen - snow really reflects the light
    5.) A positive attitude and Fun-loving, adventurous spirit!

    Definitely bring the first five listed above and if you've got a sled bring that as well, however I will be bringing extra sleds and garbage bags!

    Below is the traditionally recommended TEN ESSENTIALS:

    1.) Navigation (map and compass)
    2.) Sun protection (sunglasses and sunscreen)
    3.) Insulation (extra clothing)
    4.) Illumination (headlamp/flashlight)
    5.) First-aid supplies
    6.) Fire (waterproof matches/lighter/candles)
    7.) Repair kit and tools
    8.) Nutrition (extra food)
    9.) Hydration (extra water)
    10.)Emergency shelter

    September 6, 2013

  • L Lisa L.

    Here are the rules on sledding at Mt Rainer...

    Snowplay - Sledding and Sliding
    The snowplay area at Paradise is generally open late December through mid-March, depending on snow. Sledding and sliding are permitted only in the designated snow play area at Paradise. Trees, tree wells, and cliffs make other areas dangerous. For everyone's safety, use "soft" sliding devices-flexible sleds, inner tubes, and saucers. No hard toboggans or runner sleds. Note: Check the status of road and avalanche conditions before leaving home. Remember all vehicles are required to carry tire chains when traveling in the park in winter. Update 3/31/13: Snowplay is CLOSED for the[masked] season.

    September 2, 2013

    • Connie M.

      Alright already Lisa...if you don't want to go, don't go. We are all adults here and can make our own decisions. I think you have made your point.

      1 · September 5, 2013

  • Eugene K

    FYI: "There are several glissade chutes descending the snowfield, however as it continues to melt out please exercise caution when choosing to glissade. Many of the chutes now dead end into recently melted out rocks and can cause injury."

    from http://mountrainierconditions.blogspot.com/2013/03/muir-snowfield-2013.html

    September 4, 2013

  • Stephen

    Hello everyone, sounds like some people are very concerned with safety. Thanks for your concern and obviously we do not want to see anyone get hurt. First off it should be noted that this hike is not for the faint of heart. You do need to be in good physical shape to do this. This is not the same as driving up in the winter and sledding/innertubing near Paradise Lodge. We must hike up, up, up, up, up and up some more from Paradise to get to the Muir Snowfield. It is a lot of uphill and at higher altitude getting close to 10,000 feet up from Paradise which is at 5,400ft. If you are not in good enough shape to carry a sled up a long hill gaining almost 1,000 vertical feet per mile then this probably isn't a hike for you or you should wait around by the lower non-snowy trails and just enjoy the scenery.

    I'll send out a list of what is recommended to bring and also please bring a positive, responsible, healthy attitude and I think we'll all have a great time! :-) Five more notes below:

    1 · September 4, 2013

    • Stephen

      4.) I am not a professional mountain climbing guide, we are not going past Camp Muir where you need a pass. Also remember this is an open Meetup group and this is all AT YOUR OWN RISK. I will send out a notification regarding recommended things to bring. The 10 essentials is a good start and especially, Extra warm clothes just in case, headlamp or flashlight, something to make fire with, sunscreen & glasses (the snow is harsh) and some extra food and water. This is not something to bring kids along for to go sledding and this is not some training time for climbing Rainier although it will be a good workout. You are simply deciding to come along with other adventurous in-shape people and you will make your own choices and do it at your own risk and the meetup organizers will not be responsible for your own poor choices if you make any.

      September 4, 2013

    • Stephen

      5.) That said, I'm a NW native and love Mt. Rainier. I have been up there almost every weekend this summer since early July and always get an annual pass. I'm in quite good shape, I will be bringing a GPS and other essentials and I'm familiar with the fact that the Mountain can quickly create its own weather and thick fog and whiteouts can happen rapidly as I've been hiking and backpacking in the park since childhood. If the weather or other conditions look sketchy we'll call it an early day and or enjoy another hike lower down. There is a very real possibility we may not make it all the way to Camp Muir and I think that's okay, it's still a great hike with a great view anytime you look behind you.

      September 4, 2013

  • L Lisa L.

    Camp Muir is very serious business, not for everyone and most certainly not to be taken lightly. I've been chased up above 8,000 feet by whiteouts and have dealt with crevasses and rockfall.

    This requires excellent physical condition, and map/compass/route finding skill and knowing when to dig a snow cave and shelter (yes, even in the summer)


    September 1, 2013

    • L Lisa L.

      I spent a lot of years working search and rescue for multiple municipalities and organizations, including the NPS.

      I get extremely twitchy at the thought of people being led into a potentially dangerous situation, without the proper skills, experience and equipment.

      September 3, 2013

    • Paul

      Crevasses typically open up on the Muir Snowfield every Sept.-Oct., moreso in dry years like this one. Though it's called a "snowfield" it consists primarily of permanent snow/glacial ice with a snow surface, thus it acts like a glacier.

      1 · September 3, 2013

  • L Lisa L.

    I am honestly quite concerned after reading this trip description.

    I hope that the person who is leading the trip has more knowledge and experience, than the writeup (which I believe was written by someone else) would indicate.

    As the article states, most of the deaths on this mountain do not occur on full ascents, but on the snowfields, even in summer.

    It is nothing to take lightly or mess around with.

    Everyone needs to be well informed, in good shape and properly equipped for something like this.

    September 2, 2013

  • Nicole

    Agree with Lisa... Be careful, and I suggest an earlier start. Just did this hike and a sled could easily take out a hiker. A garbage bag to glassaide down is the usual mode of transportation. Or skis, but the snow is really sticky this time of year. Good luck!

    September 2, 2013

  • Paul

    Don't believe that's legal; skis yes, sleds no.

    September 1, 2013

5 went

  • Stephen +3
    Event Host
  • Mike
    Assistant Organizer
    Event Host

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