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BootsandPants

[TR] Mt Rainier - Muirly a Kegger - Muir Snowfield 5/28/2011

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Trip: Mt Rainier - Muirly a Kegger - Muir Snowfield

 

Date: 5/28/2011

 

Trip Report:

It's Memorial day weekend again when people get together with friends, fire up the BBQ, celebrate the "unofficial" start to summer, and remember those who gave their lives for our country. For some of us, it's also time for a Muir Kegger. Why? Because this is fuckin 'Merca, and we like beer and mountains.

 

The day started off on the 28th at 3AM in the Paradise parking lot with everyone waking from their cars/snow caves and getting the gear ready for the haul. After securing the keg, enough tents and some wine to the sleds we were off to Muir.

 

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We cruised right along in the dawn and reached Pan face in about an hour and a half. Thankfully the steepest and hardest part would be in the beginning while we were all relatively fresh. We had to take 3-4 rest brakes on the way up but made it up the face in about 30 minutes, a huge improvement on last year.

 

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We had reached the top of the cloud deck at the top of Pan point and were treated to some wonderful morning views of the mountain while we caught our breaths and grabbed some food and water.

 

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The rest of the slog up the snowfield was pretty uneventful. Slow going with 200lbs of keg pulling you back in addition to your pack. The weather stayed mostly clear with a gently breeze for most of the way up. Besides the grueling weight it was very pleasant!

 

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Along the way three day hikers joined the madness and helped haul from about 8500ft the rest of the way to camp. Thanks Ed, Gordon, and Doug for the help!

 

We finally reached camp Muir around 1:30PM or so, unhooked ourselves happy to be sled dogs no more, and sat down to enjoy the fruits of our labors. The weather was nice, but clouds were starting to roll in and the wind was picking up. No rest for the weary...time to set up camp.

 

The conditions deteriorated rapidly and by the time we were finished setting up our tents it was snowing and blowing quite hard. The party would have to wait...into the tents for the rest of the day/night.

 

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With no plans on summiting, we awoke at a leisurely 7am and started milling around camp. We found that the public shelter was emptying rapidly and started filtering inside to melt water for the day. Someone then had the genius idea to move the keg inside; the party was on. First beer: 8AM. Shenanigans quickly ensued as we were determined to lighten the keg as much as possible for the return trip. Beer brats were made, and were quite possibly one of the best things I've ever had at altitude.

 

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Eventually the party moved outside, as the weather had quickly shaped up into a beautiful day. With the sun above us and the clouds at our feet, 10,080ft kegstands were realized, and we treated the other inhabitants of Muir (and the day hikers just arriving) to some delicious beer.

 

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With the keg killed, we packed up, strapped everything back to it's respective sled and started down. Those of us who were skiing took the sleds while the others walked. Skiing with an expedition sled, while doable, isn't exactly fun and we were having problems keeping them upright through anything but an extremely slow turn. The solution? Carry the keg over a shoulder and pass the sled off to a hiker. Worked great!

 

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Conditions on the snowfield were great above 8000ft. Corn was beginning to set in nice with increasing heaviness and stickiness as we descended. Pan face was heavy taters and everything below was complete jank. It was still fun passing everyone on the trail with a keg over my shoulder though.

 

Back in the parking lot by 2pm, sunburned, tired, buzzed, being gawked at by tourists, and feeling totally full of win.

 

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Side note: if you were up at camp Muir on the night of May 28th and stayed in a green Hilleberg tent, you're welcome. You should have asked someone before picking up a random tent on the ground and staying in it. Gear is not a free for all.

 

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Everyone else; don't leave your tent unattended or this will happen. This is the only known photo of the mystery tent squatter

Edited by BootsandPants

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Definitely one of the hardest and most fun things I've done in the mountains. The varied responses of people on the snowfield and in camp made it totally worth it (in addition to the beer of course).

 

We had 8 pulling on the keg sled and 6 on the tent+boxed wine sled. Each sled also had an auxiliary man who would set a picket that was attached to the sled when we needed a quick break.

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looks like a blast! awesome for sure. brawts at altitude sounds uber-primo!!!

 

now, wtf.... a tent squatter? nobody went over to investigate?????

nobody else needed the tent???? someone planning on staying in shelter who went for tent instead? so weird!

 

btw whos got that michigan mug in the cheers photo? go blue!

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Side note: if you were up at camp Muir on the night of May 28th and stayed in a green Hilleberg tent, you're welcome. You should have asked someone before picking up a random tent on the ground and staying in it. Gear is not a free for all.

 

DSC03190_-_Copy_282_29.JPG

Everyone else; don't leave your tent unattended or this will happen. This is the only known photo of the mystery tent squatter

 

I can't say with certainty, but I think I recognize the tent squatter:

lando_calrissian_billy_dee_williams_01.jpg

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I went up on Memorial Day Monday for a day ski, and the people in the Muir hut reported that your kegger group pissed all around the back of the hut. Now people have to climb way over to get clean snow, and this will affect climbing parties all summer. This is definitely uncool!

Edited by ready2climb

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that is so cool! I love the konga line picture of hauling the thing up the slope!

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Sounds like really good fun and thanks for taking the time to share the story. I had thoughts of trying the ledges route that weekend but the weather forecast appeared to be just uncooperative enough, so we delayed our trip until this past weekend.

 

Beer brats anywhere are primo, but at Muir, with a cold one to wash them down, had to be the best.

 

Regards,

 

d

 

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now, wtf.... a tent squatter? nobody went over to investigate?????

nobody else needed the tent???? someone planning on staying in shelter who went for tent instead? so weird!

 

btw whos got that michigan mug in the cheers photo? go blue!

 

The Big Ten was well represented! There were at least two Penn State and a Minnesota mug going around.

 

The tent situation was a weird series of events. We were expecting reinforcements to show up about halfway up the snowfield, so we had allocated tent space for them when we were loading up the sleds. This is why my tent was going to be needed. It turned out that our reinforcements bailed on us, so I just jumped into a 4 man tent instead of set my own 2 man up as it would be warmer and left my tent at peace.

The tent squatters got there after I had turned in for the day and I didn't notice my tent set-up until I went outside around 330AM to re-tighten the guy lines (I drew the short straw I guess). I figured the others in our group who didn't show up before I jumped in a tent must have gotten there and needed a place to stay since the shelter was full. It was also 330AM and I didn't feel like investigating.

The next morning I didn't recognize the people breaking it down but figured someone in our group must know them, because, you know, who just takes and sleeps in random stranger's tents. It wasn't until I didn't see them at all with the rest of our group that I started asking around and nobody had any clue as they had already left.

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Good to hear it on the big 10! glad they brought their school spirit up high too.

 

so.. did they break it down for you and leave it there? or steal it down too?

 

i can totally understand the night events now - given time of night, day of drinking. Not like joe blow walks up and takes something from a pack in front of everyone and nobody says hoot. Very very interesting situation---imagine the story that guy is telling any of his friends, or if he is bizzaro loner... the story in his own head.. of getting up to muir late and using someone elses tent... then taking it down the next morning and slinking off! camp-break of shame, haha. Maybe shelter was more full than they wanted and they made an assumption like it was a guide tent or something? one can only wonder.

 

thanks for the clarification.

 

and boohoo there is pee behind the shelter. how many extra feet are people going to have to walk? sounds brutal. how much piss do you (ready2climb) think ends up at camp muir in general all over in the snow? piss is sterile, UV radiation is plentiful, and between rain and melt it will be gone soon enough.

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and boohoo there is pee behind the shelter. how many extra feet are people going to have to walk? sounds brutal. how much piss do you (ready2climb) think ends up at camp muir in general all over in the snow? piss is sterile, UV radiation is plentiful, and between rain and melt it will be gone soon enough.

 

Well said.

 

d

 

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and boohoo there is pee behind the shelter. how many extra feet are people going to have to walk?

 

About the same number of extra feet the offenders would have had to walk to piss in one of the three shitters up there.

 

Poor form to not use the established facilities. Good show towing a keg up there and back.

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In regards to the yellow snow comments:

 

So it has always been my understanding to not urinate into pit toilets if possible. Something about how it's bad for the breaking down of the waste, or not good for the pit; I'm not really sure as it's been forever since I learned that. Maybe that's only for toilets in earth, either way it's a habit. If the NPS only wants people to urinate in the solar toilets, a sign would work better than an assumption.

 

I apologize if my groups' actions will slightly inconvenience others for a while, but placing the blame solely on our group is folly. As Water said, there is urine all over that camp. The spot behind the shelter was already full of piss from the armies of people who trek up there when we arrived, not to mention a lot of the good tenting spaces were covered in yellow snow. I'm not trying to rationalize anything here, or falling into the "but everyone else is doing it" game, just explaining that it was already pretty heavily used when we arrived. Also, I'd be surprised if anyone would use the snow from around the shelter as drinking water given the amount of traffic that area sees in general, urine or no.

 

Honestly though it is what it is; a highly used camp by thousands of people every year. We all just have to deal with these certain things, good and bad, about it if we so choose to use the comforts of the facilities there. That's all on that.

 

Glad to see others wanting to help out next year! I'm not sure if it will be over Memorial Day again as the exact weekend is generally weather dependent but it will definitely be around the same time frame. So if you see a sled line of people hauling a keg on the snowfield next year and you feel like being part of something just a little bit stupid but very epic, jump on and help! It's much appreciated :grin:

Edited by BootsandPants

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