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NCClimber

First hike to Muir questions

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Hello and many thanks to this community for all that I have learned reading the many informative threads.

Hiking to slightly north of Pebble Creek last summer, my son (then 8) and I got that ole mountain itch. So this summer Aug 19/20/21 we are preparing for a hike all the way to Camp Muir with a one night stay in our new 2-man. Things seem to be coming together well at this point, but I still have a few questions and need advise:

1) hiking boots with gaiters OK this time of year?

2) crampons?

3) any reasonable expectation that a self-arrest (or variation thereof) would be required in a slip/fall?

4) my now 9 year old has some good climbs in his log including Angels Landing in Zion, The Grand Canyon, and tons of scrambling on slickrock. But my wife wants some other opinions about the risk on this climb. In other words, would you consider this low risk for (father-young son) given thorough planning and preparation?

Any other tips would be welcomed.

Many Thanks!

NC Climber

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sounds like fun! thumbs_up.gif here are some thoughts:

1) hiking boots with gaiters are fine! if the boots are not low cut you probably won't even need gaiters. i see people do it in lesser shoes pretty often ...

2) crampons are not generally needed up to muir. i don't think i've ever worn them and can't really remember seeing anybody else either.

3) no self-arrest should be needed up to muir if you stay on the main trail. it's not that steep. if you fell and slipped you'd eventually stop. some people slide (glissade) on purpose. you can find "steeper" sections if you want to practice self-arrest, though.

4) the biggest risk will be navigation in a whiteout. plan accordingly. also drink lots of water to avoid dehydration, and bring warm clothing and sleeping bags. (it can be a hot 90 degrees at paradise and chilly and blowing 50 mph winds at camp muir.)

have a great time!!! grin.gif

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I would agree with everything TLG said, and add that I would take my son (8 years old) up there without hesitation as long as the weather, and forecast, was ok. Also, I feel more comfortable with a GPS myself, loaded with waypoints from TOPO....just in case the weather turns sour.

 

Also, and this may be way too basic information for you, but you should know that there is no water at Muir. Plan to melt snow for water. The last time I was up there a very tired looking woman in jeans and sneakers asked where the water was, and when I told her there was none so she asked for some from me. Not cool when I was worried about having enough fuel for myself as it was.

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Ditto to all the above and in regards to water drink lots the day before and take plenty with you.I usually like to tank up on gatorade an hour or so before any climb and something like Muir 2 liters or so usually does the trick. If you think you'll need more take a filter/purifier or some iodine tablets to use it off the mountain. Usually,though, there is generally someone at Muir who is looking to give their extra away. Please don't forget to take sunscreen,sunglasses, and something to keep the heat off your head. It's certainly is a safe climb provided the weather is going to stay nice (it usually is that time of year)and as long as you can stay protected from too much sun.

Enjoy! fruit.gif

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By far, the most likely danger you face is the sun. Take serious sun glasses. If you have ski goggles, you may want those too. 50 block sunscreen used frequently is a must.

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Print or read the mountain navigation guide. It will give you bearings to go down in a whiteout without a surprise detour through the neighboring glaciers (maybe not this weekend but it doesn't take space in your pack).

 

Sunblock, sunblock, sunblock.

 

drC

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