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Norman_Clyde

Camp Schurman approach questions

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My father and brother are joining me for a non-summit oriented weekend camp in MRNP in September. Both of them are agile, familiar with snow travel, but neither is up for any technical glacier work. I want us to be able to hike as high as possible, but we also are seeking a degree of solitude, hence Muir snowfield is out. Having never been to Glacier Basin or Schurman, I have a couple of questions for the board:

 

Is it possible to hike all the way to Schurman unroped without any significant glacier travel? We will probably be in running shoes with trekking poles, and while we may feel fine bypassing a few crevasses on a low angle boot track, snowbridge crossings will be out. I have heard that the Inter Glacier is no big deal, yet it seems to swallow an unwary glissader every few years.

 

How scenic is Glacier Basin? Is the opportunity to hike to Schurman worth passing up a night at Summerland or, say, Granite Creek? Will Glacier Basin be crowded with climbers at that late date?

 

Thanks. wave.gif

 

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Is it possible to hike all the way to Schurman unroped without any significant glacier travel?

 

i dont rope up on interglacier, but be careful because yes they can and do swallow people. i would like a bit more than tennis shose for traction if my life is dependant on it...

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Mt. Ruth is a fun, pretty hike all by itself, with great views of the Emmons on one side, the Interglacier on the other, and the big mass of Rainier right in front of you. Earlier in the season there's some great glissading to be had from a little below the summit all the way down to glacier basin, but it's probably all scree now.

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I was up to camp Schurman 2 weeks ago. I wouldn't recomend traveling the route without crampons, rope and axe. I am not familiar with Mt Ruth, but if it puts you up to Camp Curtis, then it is possible to continue up the exposed rock ridge right up into Schurman but to get into camp you'll have to descend some pretty loose rock above the hut. Some folks that didn't like the shape of the Emmons left that way while we descended the Emmons. They claimed "No problems" getting to Camp Curtis

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Using the Mt. Ruth route you can continue up to the top of steamboat prow by staying on the ridge left/east of Interglacier. From there you can scramble down to the Camp Schurman. It's a crumbly class 3+ scramble that tends to let loose a few good size rocks.

 

Interglacier is pretty tame, however it will have some descent size crevasses this time of year that you would have to navigate around or over. The lower headwall of the glacier has probably melted down to glacier by now and would be dicey without boots and an ice ax. You'll be much better off heading up the Mt. Ruth route. If your looking for solitude, Glacier Basin is not without it's crowds.

 

Tod

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