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Muir (Hike up ski down)


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1130am - Cold and windy at parking lot - about 25 degrees with 15-20 mph winds. Once out of the parking lot it continued to stay consistently windy and cold to the base of panorama point. Been a long time since I was able to hike in fleece, shell, and balaclava and not get hot. Half way up panorama point it was real icy, and w/o some sort of crampons - it would be a real tough endeavor. We had snow shoes so the teeth helped us gain the top of panorama point. The wind was blowing about 40-50mph+. After hurdling a few small ice/snow barriers to gain the ridge, the wind started to calm down a little bit once we reached McClure Rock. The rest of the trip was a slog, with 50% patches of ice mixed with 2 inches of spindrift - so the traversing on snowshoes really sucked. We set our turnaround time for 330pm. A member of our team shot ahead and was kicking ass, but never knew we had a turnaround time. We reached 9000' at 330pm and decided to have lunch there. Sergio was a few hundred feet above us and came down to us as well while our other member w/o a radio continued on. We waited for a long time but got cold so we put on our skis (Sergio had a splitboard) and started heading down. The first 1500 feet were okay, with good snow followed by patches of ice - so it was a challenge. From 7500' on down it was a real challenge as it was pure ice. The descent down panorama point was a little hairy as it was like pure ice. The lower portion to the car was all heavy/wet snow and real slow. Down in 45 minutes (I liked that part) First time descending the snowfield opn skis and I liked it, even though I hiked my downhill boots up since I have no randonee setup. (I was a gaper)

*******At least I didn't wear my down jacket in Kirkland like Sergio [laf]

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Originally posted by adr_901:
Right On, sounds like a great trip! Was there any loose stuff or conditions fairly safe as far as avy risks? I did the trip in the summer and got to ski some great corn with very nice weather.

It was agreat trip, but the ice and high winds kinda sucked. Avy risks were low - there was hardly any loose snow anywhere to be found. There is a map on the nps site that shows where avy risks are high in the winter, and most of the route to Muir is pretty safe except for near panorama point. With 80% of the route being icy, there was no consideration of avy risks what so ever. I can't wait for spring, and cant wait to get a randonnee setup.

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