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[TR] Camp Muir - via Paradise 5/11/2008

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Trip: Camp Muir - via Paradise


Date: 5/11/2008


Trip Report:

[font:Verdana]Sunday May 11th Ashley, Franklin and myself (Kirk) took on hiking to Camp Muir for the first time. At the Paradise parking lot it was partly cloudy and 37 deg f.






Wait a second... our trip really started in Kirkland, where we were all meeting at 5am. Franklin's car wouldn't start, so we jumped in the car and drove to Mukilteo to pick him up. After suspect route finding (I hope that's the end of that) we finally found his place. After loading up and heading out, we were all excited and talking about this and that; gear, scrambles, other trips, etc. Franklin realized his small Platypus had a bad cap and leaked all over inside his pack. His socks were soaked along with a bunch of other stuff. We dried the socks nicely with the front defroster... but his change of clothes for the ride home were in serious trouble. We arrived at the Paradise parking lot at about 8:45 am and there was a nice layer of slush on the ground. Since Ashley's car isn't AWD, we had to park right at the bottom. After a few minutes of getting geared up and out packs in order, we were on our way at 9:12 am.






After an uneventful start, we came up on our first group of people about 30 monutes in or so. It was a group of nice ladys having a Mothers Day hike to Camp Muir as well. (Pretty cool) We passed them right near Panorama Point... that's them slightly ahead of us going up the 46 deg slope.






We stopped and talked a bit before moving on. We were passed by a strong pair of Russian Climbers, who also came back by on their way down... we were still over a mile from Camp Muir!






Above Panorama Point, the weather took a turn for the worse. The wind was blowing around 40 mph and we could barely see anything due to thick clouds and snow blowing in our face. Being unexperienced, Ashley and I were feeling like maybe turning around was the right thing to do, but luckily Franklin was able to keep us on track and give it a while before calling it quits. After all we had two GPSs and the entire route was wanded (thanks IMG). Within a few hundred yards, things improved slightly and we just kept heading up, although there wasn't much to look. We mostly were looking for the next wand, which was very tricks to spot some times.






Around 1:30 or so, we stopped for our olny real break for the trip up to get some food in us and hydrate. We sat on the rocks for about 5 minutes or so and headed out.






Conditions stayed the same for quite a while. As we were going up a Park Ranger was skiing down and stopped to say hi. He said the clouds would break at about 9000 feet, which made us happy to know we would eventully leave the clouds behind. After a couple more hours, we staerted seeing sun break though the clouds every once in a while and we finally got out first view of the summit of Mt. Rainier. Although we were sucking air a bit and not moving incredibly fast, this really motivated us to keep on keeping on.




This was at about 8800 feet. By the time we hit 9200 feet or so, we finally got out of the clouds for good, althoug the wind was blowing at about 45mph and was quite brutal at times.









We could finally see Camp Muir and it was nice to think we were about to finally make it. I wasn't sure what to expect, but it sure looked small. The last 1000 feet or so, we could really feel the altitude and our pace started to slow a bit, especially for myself and Franklin. Ashley was hard charging about 100 yards ahead of us. We arrived at Camp Muir at 2:24 pm... a little over 5 hours. It sounds slow, but the route finding was slow and weather really slowed things down. I think we would have been closer to 4 hours otherwise.





We finally made it and luckliy there was some room in the shack for us to eat, drink and change layers.


















I love the handicapped crapper at 10,000'!




We stayed in Camp for about an hour before heading down. Franklin and Ashley wanted to glissage down when we could, but I had on brand new softshell pants and had no shell pants to wear. I improvised by using my sit-pad and climbers tape... unfortunately is didn't work well. Luckily the conditions were not great for glissading anyway. Most of the trip down was uneventful, but we did run into very soft snow for the last half hour or so and spent much of the time post hole digging.




Back at the car, we enjoyed apple juice courtesy of Ashley. It took just a little over 2 hours to get back to the Paradise parking lot.










Edited by Bishopp66

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Awesome TR...I especially like the Gerber Apple Juice at the end!


Look forward to getting up there tomorrow!

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Thanks for posting these Kirk. I had an awesome time on this trip and was glad we decided to cowboy up and keep climbing. I am looking forward to a summit climb.

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It looks like it was fun! I plan on coming here for my first time in a week or so. I hope the weather holds up. I been wanting to go here for over a year now. Nice trip report, for some reason I liked the photo before getting to camp Muir when barly able to see Mount Rainier. Even though the photo did'nt turn out well, I can tell theres a mistical look to it. Thanks for sharing! Cheers Josh Lewis.

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There's nothing quite like the light as you're hitting the top of the clouds and about to break through into sunlight! And looking out over a sea of clouds at the tops of Adams, St. Helen's, Hood, and Jefferson...

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