lukeh Posted February 6, 2012 Share Posted February 6, 2012 Trip: Mt. Rainier - Muir Snowfield w/Snowboard Descent Date: 2/4/2012 Trip Report: [video:youtube] NOTE: If you can't see the video embed above, to be taken directly to the video. I thought I’d test out my little $250 Go Pro camera up at Mt. Rainier Sat on a snowboard descent from the 10,000 ft base camp, Camp Muir. This little camera has a lot of potential: It’s tiny and light, you can mount it anywhere, and it’s super tough and waterproof. They quality isn’t as good as my 5D MKII obviously, but it’s not bad. I was excited to see how the test footage would turn out. Alin, Piotr and I started hiking at 11am from the Paradise parking lot. I had just purchased snowshoes but was hoping I wouldn’t have to use them. After 200 feet on the trail, I realized that if I hadn’t brought them, my climb would be over. I don’t think it would be possible for anyone but a professional climber to make it up to Muir before sun down without snowshoes in these winter conditions. My boot would sink a foot on the already compressed snowshoe pack. Wasn’t going to happen. We got up to the top of Panorama Point fairly quickly. For the last 30-50 feet of the steepest part it was rock hard ice. Thank god for the snow shoe crampons. Without crampons or snowshoes I can’t imagine anyone getting past this area safely. The wind here was deafening. It almost blew me over several times, the most inopportune being when I was relieving myself behind a rock. 1,000 vertical feet later and the wind subsided almost completely. It was perfect weather. If you stripped down to a t-shirt you could hike hard and hardly sweat due to the low temps. I hate sweating, so I was in heaven. Winter is the only time to do Muir during the day and not feel like you’re in an oven. We missed our 3:30 turnaround time. Piotr, having recently come back from a solo 2-week Aconcagua trip made it up first easily. I arrived at 3:51 and took the shortest break in my Camp Muir hiking career. 5-10 minutes of setting up to ride, then we were off. The first 800 vertical feet were awful. Hard snow/ice with 6-12” ice ridges everywhere to ensure your discomfort. After that it was super smooth. There were a few really icy/rocky sections, but they were usually short. That said, when there was ice, it was rock hard. The edges of our snowboards scraping it could probably be heard for miles. After missing the Panorama Point descent, we searched left near the Paradise Glacier, but were stopped by cliffs and cornices. We finally found a gully that looked steep, but doable. Alin was in first on skis. He didn’t die, so I went next. Keeping up speed would get me to the car with only 1 stop + 10 foot walk on my board. I wasn’t sure this was going to be possible off the main trail under Panorama Point, but it was. Alin took a really bad fall near the bottom due to having skinny skis in deeper powder, but we all made it back to the car alive. We made it back just before 6:30 PM and were able to get out before they closed the gate. We dined on surprisingly good food at a place Piotr suggested, the Copper Creek Lodge. That combined with a ton of water and Ibuprofen cured one of the worst post-climb headaches I’ve ever had. If the weather holds, we may be back next weekend for a winter summit attempt up the Gibraltar Ledges route. Going up. Hi mom! 4500 ft. and ~5 miles to the car. Riding a Lib-tech Skunk Ape. Love it. T-shirt if you’re moving. Big down parka if you’re not. Copied from my climbing/photography blog. Luke Blog | Photography | Cinematography Gear Notes: Required: Snowshoes that are good on ice, or skis with crampons. Approach Notes: Watch out for foxes and squirrels. They'll getch'a. Quote Link to comment Share on other sites More sharing options...
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