I wanted to try the hike up to Camp Muir(10000 ft) before the Mt Rainier expedition on July 2-5. I checked the forecast and June 19th looked good. I invited 2 other whom I had met on other hikes. We reached Paradise, WA (5600 ft) at 8:30 AM and it was the best weather we could ask for. Clear sky with hardly any clouds and Mt Rainier looked spectacular. It was a different sight altogether being so close to the mountain. We started hiking at 9:15 AM and I had around 20-25 pounds backpack. I carried extra water just for the weight practice. There were too many people and though we had prepared ourselves with maps and GPS, we didn’t have to use any of them.
The first stretch was gentle and gained little elevation. The steep and continuous slope started from Mile 3 after Pebble Creek (7200 ft). It was very tiring and near the end even though Camp Muir was in sight I felt so energy-less. The view was spectacular throughout the route. The snow was fresh and was pure white. There was the majestic Mt Rainier in the North and Tatoosh range, Mt Adams, Mt Hood and Mt St Helens in the south. We took 4 and half hours to reach Camp Muir. I felt better after having Poha and apples. It was sunny and glacier glasses truly saved my eyes.
I glissaded down most of the parts till Pebble Creek and the last two I did wearing garbage bags. Some slides were awesome and I had a blast coming down. It was so opposite to the tiring ascent. There were people Snowboarding, Skiing and having all sorts of fun. I felt i was on a picnic rather than a hike. It was Father’s day and I saw a father-son duo on the hike. It was the best mountain day I had ever had.
A meetup friend and I hiked to Camp Muir on a smokey Saturday. Though we couldn’t see much of Tatoosh range and other mountains, Rainier itself looked amazing with all the glaciers. Glaciers is what you will get to see late in the summer. I knew it was a slog up, so I kept counting to 500 steps until I looked up the trail again. The shelter at the camp was quite empty and I took good rest there. Coming down was fun again due to the glissades.
Somewhat impromptu, a friend asked me for the Camp Muir hike on 7/29/2818 and I agreed even though it was on a Sunday. We were 4 of us and we reached Paradise by 9 AM and started our hike by 9.30. The temperature was considerably warmer than my previous week’s visit and I started with just my t-shirt and never wore another layer for the entire hike. We split off from the Muir snowfield and I hiked the rest solo. I took three major breaks : Panaroma point, At 8,200 ft and around 9,200 ft. As usual, the last part was quite tiring and a bit frustrating. To keep myself distracted I started counting steps from snowfield and I counted up to 7500, steps. This stretch gains around 3000 ft in 2 miles. I had taken 4.15 hours for the hike up. It kept getting hotter and I felt the warmest at Camp Muir itself. I couldn’t even finish half my lunch there since I felt full. I took a 25 min break and started the descent. Descent was not that enjoyable (maybe due to the heat) barring few really awesome glissades. I used my poles to push myself on the tracks and it was like skiing on my bum. Fortunately, my feet didn’t hurt in the final tar stretch and I was glad to be at the parking lot.
The hike tests my stamina and patience. Let’s see how for many years, I will hike this stretch.