Camp Muir - Winter Standard RouteDate:
A group of 7 members of Adventure Explorers decided to do a trip to Camp Muir to practice building snow shelters and experience navigating a winter storm.
We met up in Bellevue area around 7:00 AM on Saturday, drove south towards Paradise. The Mount Rainier Rangers are asking for tire chains regardless of AWD; however, they are only requiring that non-AWD vehicles put on tire chains.
We got our permit and bear canister at the Longmire ranger station around 9:40 AM and were informed the the Muir hut was closed.
We started hiking from paradise at 10:18 AM.in clear weather. Weather became a whiteout around pebble creek so we started wanding the route shortly after. Snowshoeing to Camp Muir can be very challenging at times, there are sections of the winter route that are quite steep. The snowshoers in our group were using the MSR Lightning Ascent 25 inch snowshoes.
At 9000 feet we decided to split the group because it was getting late. The first team to arrive to camp was supposed to start building shelters for the second team. We had radios and tested them before separating. The first team encountered a lone man coming down at 9900ft around 4:05 who pointed to us that the camp was to our right. We proceeded and arrived at camp Muir at 4:20. We discovered that the muir hut was opened and another party of two had just arrived. We decided to use the hut instead of building shelters due to high winds. We tried radioing the other team but could not get an answer back. ... We woke up at 7:00 AM, cooked our breakfasts and left camp around 8:56 AM in whiteout conditions. Two of the members were on skis in front and would wait at each flag found. At pebble creek one member fell down a small cliff and injured his knee. We covered it in snow to reduce swelling and administered ibuprofen to reduce pain. He was able to continue down to paradise. The weather then cleared out a little lower. At the bottom of Panorama point, we encountered 4 guides who were looking for a missing person. We think it might have been the person we saw near camp Muir the previous afternoon.
If you're interested in our gpx file, you can get one at https://www.facebook.com/groups/adventureexplorerswa
A few pics: Sunny skies when we started
One of the steep parts near Panorama Point
Higher in the mountain, whiteout conditions Gear Notes:
A few of us were in AT gear and others in snowshoes.Approach Notes:
Snow starts from the parking lot.