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MissQ

Camp Muir - first timer

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Thanks for all of the advice everyone.

 

After some thinking and a hike to Granite Mountain this weekend I think I am going to pass on this trip to Muir. My husband and his brother are going to go at it by themselves. My husband is super determined to make it to Muir (it will be his 30th bday) and I don't want to be stuck in a situation where I don't feel comfortable b/c he doesn't think it is unsafe. Plus, I don't want to be the one who makes us all turn back if I could convince them to do so. When we did Granite mtn yesterday I had to stop once we got to the snow b/c I was just too uneasy. While I am disappointed in myself that it is taking me so long to feel more comfortable in these situations I don't think this particular trip to Muir is the time to push past my comfort zone. It really bothers me b/c I know I can physically do it and I'm usually up for challenges but it doesn't feel right frown.gif Anyways, thanks again for all of the advice...I'm thinking I should take some sort of moutaineering course to be more confident while climbing/hiking.

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Thanks for all of the advice everyone.

 

After some thinking and a hike to Granite Mountain this weekend I think I am going to pass on this trip to Muir. My husband and his brother are going to go at it by themselves. My husband is super determined to make it to Muir (it will be his 30th bday) and I don't want to be stuck in a situation where I don't feel comfortable b/c he doesn't think it is unsafe. Plus, I don't want to be the one who makes us all turn back if I could convince them to do so. When we did Granite mtn yesterday I had to stop once we got to the snow b/c I was just too uneasy. While I am disappointed in myself that it is taking me so long to feel more comfortable in these situations I don't think this particular trip to Muir is the time to push past my comfort zone. It really bothers me b/c I know I can physically do it and I'm usually up for challenges but it doesn't feel right frown.gif Anyways, thanks again for all of the advice...I'm thinking I should take some sort of moutaineering course to be more confident while climbing/hiking.

 

How much snow was up on granite mountain? Where did you stop? Granite Mountain has a notorious avalanche chute that you want to avoid under certain conditions, so that may have been a wise move on your part. There is an alternate route that people taken in the winter.

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"How much snow was up on granite mountain? Where did you stop? Granite Mountain has a notorious avalanche chute that you want to avoid under certain conditions, so that may have been a wise move on your part. There is an alternate route that people taken in the winter. "

 

We met a guy on the way up that was training for Rainier, he told us that this was the most dangerous he had seen Granite b/c of how the snow was melting and exposing holes or something. He also mentioned the avalanche risk and that the winter trail was the one that was open but that once we got to the main snow field there was even another route we could take that was less dangerous. I stopped probably about 90% of the way up. I went through several small patches of snow but what looked like the last push up to the lookout was completly covered, that is where I stopped...and I was thiking if it was a safe place to stop or not but people in other groups ended up dropping off at the same point I was at.

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GO!

 

Or at least don't rule it out at this point.

 

Granite can be frustrating to a newbie in the right conditions... and rightly so. But Muir in June, in good weather... phhhh. Not to understate the dangers in nasty weather, but the hike to Muir is just one foot in front of the other over a gently rising snowfield. No scary exposed traversing... in fact NO traversing. (I'm thinking of Granite, taking the SE ridge up to the lookout... kinda steep traverse with big pile of rocks below you - was THAT where you stopped?)

 

While I understand listening to the "inner voice", it seems a bit early to bail.

 

Just my nickels' worth.

 

-kurt

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Kurt,

 

Yea that sounds like where I stopped. I looked up the route to the lookout and it looked snowy, steep, and rocky. I kind of wish we hadn't even talked to that guy b/c I probably would've done it if I didn't know about the dangers....ignorance is bliss ya know?

 

As far as Muir goes, I know the chances of the weather being so bad that we need to stop probably aren't that great in mid-June but I'm worried that b/c my husband has this stuck in his head that he is doing it no matter what, if something does happen he'll see it as more of an exciting challenge to reach his goal then a danger and I'll be the worry wart having an anxiety attack on the side of the mtn. Maybe I can just take some downers before the hike?

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Kurt,

 

Yea that sounds like where I stopped. I looked up the route to the lookout and it looked snowy, steep, and rocky. I kind of wish we hadn't even talked to that guy b/c I probably would've done it if I didn't know about the dangers....ignorance is bliss ya know?

 

As far as Muir goes, I know the chances of the weather being so bad that we need to stop probably aren't that great in mid-June but I'm worried that b/c my husband has this stuck in his head that he is doing it no matter what, if something does happen he'll see it as more of an exciting challenge to reach his goal then a danger and I'll be the worry wart having an anxiety attack on the side of the mtn. Maybe I can just take some downers before the hike?

 

The hike up the Muir Snow Field is analogous to hoofing it up an intermediate ski run. It is wide, and there is nowhere that you'll look down and freak out. The weather is the big thing. Just go when the forecast is good. I was on the other side of Rainier yesterday. It was mostly sunny, and we watched for any coming rain showers (as forecast). We had no problems, and it was probably a great day to have been to Muir as well.

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...I'll be the worry wart having an anxiety attack on the side of the mtn. Maybe I can just take some downers before the hike?

 

You're bringing Guiness... aren't you? grin.gif

 

-kurt

 

PS... But seriously - punching through weak layers of snow into a boulder/talus field below are good reason to ponder whether you should continue or not. Sounds like you have a good "inner voice." I'd recommend waiting to see what the weather is like just before you go. If it's gorgeous - go. From what you've described here, you'll make it to Muir... you've got all day. If the weather isn't so hot, then make your decision.

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The snow on the snowfield will likely be 100% easier to hike than the undermined, rotting garbage on Granite this time o' year. If you go on a clear day, you can always bail before the hut and sit on the porch at the Inn waiting for the other two to stumble back.

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All the advice given so far is sound and the descriptions of the Muir Snowfield are certainly accurate, but if you are a newbie to the snow, I would like to offer one small caveat...

 

Climbing from Pebble Creek, where the trail ends, onto the snowfield is usually quite steep and can look just a little intimidating if you are not accustomed to snow climbing, especially on the way down.

 

But having said that, I wouldn't want to discourage you because that section is very short and all you have to do is use the steps that others ahead of you will already have kicked. Keep your eyes focused on your feet and you'll be over it before you know it.

 

Trekking poles, while much-maligned on this board, would be very helpful and I strongly recommend them.

 

The hike to Muir on a nice day is a really beautiful one. Many of us do it frequently as training to get in shape for bigger climbs. Think hard before you deny yourself that pleasure, especially if you have the weather with you.

Edited by Maestro

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Get a compass learn how to use it and get settings from ranger station, There is only one direction change at moon rocks.

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This thread was one of the first things I thought of when I heard that there were hikers missing after their trip to Camp Muir. You have to be careful and go in good weather. I expect that they would have been fine if the weather had been better.

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There is only one direction change at moon rocks.

Well, that and Pebble Creek. In fact at Pebble Creek you should shift from ~157o (mag) to 179o (mag) to make sure you get to Paradise. wave.gif

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Good point. A precise direction change at the correct altitude will give you much comfort in knowing you are on route. Along with a compass or GPS, one should also have an altimeter watch. Usually, the route is wanded by the NPS, but if you get off the boot path, you need skills to get back on. It's very important to know your altitude. If all else fails. Hunker in. This is where appropriate clothing and shelter come into play. Or dig a good snow cave. I like a tent, because it's easier to stay dry. Don't have to dig much. Hunker in, fire up the stove and watch the storm pass. It can be an exciting time or it could mean death. The choice is yours. Come prepared, be prepared and possibly retreat if need be. Come back another time if all else fails.

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It was windier than shit this morning, but the worst of it was at Pebble Creek. The NPS had helicopter operations going most of the day, and it was really fun to see them flying in and out of Camp Muir. It truly was a fabulous day to be up there.

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I went yesterday. The wind sucked from Paradise up to about 8000 feet, then it died down and got warmer and warmer. Camp Muir was an oven. Great day to be up there. We met a party that had just climbed the Ingraham Direct successfully, and saw a group heading up towards Fuhrer Finger/Thumb.

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Don't go until you have some hiking and backpacking experience. No sence in upsetting your family because you went down hill and fell into the nisqually or over compensated and fell in the paradise. No sence in wasting the time of climbing rangers on hikers who have no idea what they are doing. Please, don't go until you are able to make the trip without asking for "pointers" here on the internet.

 

HIRE A GUIDE! Save us all the headache of watching another news report of experienced climbers dying on MOUNT RAINER!

 

Go to Snow Lake with the rest of the newbies. Put in your time, learn something before you go and put your rescuers and risk. Leave Mike alone, he has awesome spring snow conditions and you would be just taking away his turns!

 

My $2 bucks worth.

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HIRE A GUIDE! Save us all the headache of watching another news report of experienced climbers dying on MOUNT RAINER!

hellno3d.gifrolleyes.gif just go. i think you have enough sense and have picked up enough on what to watch out for to make intelligent choices for yourself. go, be cautious (just as you would in any other situation that has inherent risk), have a great time (since that's why we do this stuff anyway), and write us a tr and post some pics when you're done. wave.gif

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Yeah, I'd be interested in hearing your story as well. And TLG is gonna be askin' for pics, ya know... smirk.gif

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hey now. i work a regular full-time job where i stare at spreadsheets all day. seeing cool pics from fun things people do really helps relieve some of the eyestrain ... evils3d.gif

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