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grandpa

Hiking the Muir snowfield "protocols"?

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I'm going to hike up the Muir snowfield sometime this summer, not sure when. Just getting "up there" isn't my only goal, along the way I want to look around and explore, take pictures, etc as well. Being mindful of various hazards I've read of, are there any restrictions to to just "wandering about" once one is onto the snow? Is the path the only, or preferred way for someone who isn't trying to make the camp early for a following day's summit attempt?

 

Thanks for any and all replies.

 

 

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No restrictions of the sort that I know of. But rangers might show concern for you drifting onto crevassed glacier.

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Stay on the path util you get to snow. Then wnader aimlessly being VERY careful to stay off the glaciers. Most of the ridge to Muir is open and above the glaciers. You can get plenty of space and peace and quiet away from the crowds if you drop just a little to the east of the crest but again, don't wander onto the glaciers unroped.

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Be sure and check the weather forecast....weather can move in quickly, and it can snow at muir during summer. People have died of exposure up there because they didn't bring the appropriate clothing.

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When I am running down the Muir Snowfield, I make a point of hooting and hollering in high glee as I run past any RMI groups I might see gasping and groaning on their way up.

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As folks have said wander about but watch the weather. It can and will come up fast. Be prepared for a major blizzard and to be able to return to Paradise in a white out. Take and map and compass and know the way points in between - it ain't a straightline.

 

The one hazard to watch out for are underground streams. People have fallen through and drowned. This is problem typically near the terminus of the snow fields.

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Thank you for the replies, and advice. This is about what I was hoping, and would expect. The weather is my first concern, next is navigation, then watching where we're going. We're accustomed to cold weather, but don't relish getting stuck out in it anymore than anyone else. Streams running under the snow are found here as well (but are usually easily spotted as being at the bottom of a valley), and I expect to recognize the signs well before stepping into one.

 

Thank you all,

 

Grandpa Dave

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