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Jun Bum Kim
(snvplayer) - F
Questions on hiking upto Camp Muir (first timer at Mt. Rainier) on 06/26/2012 18:24:08 MDT Print View

I am planning to go upto Camp Muir in the first week of July - this will be my first time at Mt. Rainier..I plan to spend a night at the camp, and have no intention of going further...
Is the hike beyong Pebble Creek technical - requires rope, etc? Or, can it be safely with hiking poles? Are there a lot of crevasses at that elevation?

And, will a light waterproof hiking shoes be sufficient for the hike (ie. Merrell Moab Waterproof)? I really prefer low cut over mid cut because of the flexbility that I get...

Thanks.

Elliott Wolin
(ewolin) - MLife

Locale: Hampton Roads, Virginia
RE: Questions on hiking upto Camp Muir (first timer at Mt. Rainier) on 06/26/2012 19:08:44 MDT Print View

The way up to Camp Muir from Paradise should be just a long hike in July, nothing technical on the standard route, unless it's a very late snow year and the snow hasn't compacted yet. There are no crevasses that I'm aware of. I've done it a couple of times (years ago) with just regular boots. These days I'd definitely take poles. I'm not sure you need waterproof boots unless the snow is really mushy and you sink down into it all the time. If I did it again I'd go with low hikers and gaiters.

Note: The sun can be fierce, and even if it's cloudy you can get burned. My first time up we didn't realize this and our faces got burned on a cloudy day. We had to pull our balaclava's down to cover our faces on the way down despite the warm weather...it was better to sweat than burn some more. Also, be careful of your lips. And if it's real sunny be careful about the roof of your mouth...the snow reflects the sun everywhere.

Edited by ewolin on 06/26/2012 19:09:16 MDT.

Jun Bum Kim
(snvplayer) - F
Re: RE: Questions on hiking upto Camp Muir (first timer at Mt. Rainier) on 06/26/2012 19:18:24 MDT Print View

Thanks for the information.
Is the navigation from the Creek to Camp difficult? I haven't really done off-trail navigation so I am somewhat apprehensive on that..
Looking at the weather report, I guess it can still get down to 10s in July up there?

Art ...
(asandh) - F
Re: Re: RE: Questions on hiking upto Camp Muir (first timer at Mt. Rainier) on 06/26/2012 20:15:51 MDT Print View

the route is not technical in July, just a long workout.
navigation is not difficult in good weather.
I have heard of people getting lost and getting in to trouble in a storm (very unlikely in July).

if you are backpacking it should take you 3-6 hours depending on weight of your pack, your cardio conditioning, and your comfort level hiking in snow.

if you are going to spend the night at Camp Muir, I strongly recommend taking the time to hike across Cowlitz Glacier to Cathedral Rocks for an amazing view down upon the Ingram Glacier. It is a short hike, maybe half an hour each way (its been a while). Yes Cowlitz is a glacier with cravasses, but in July they should be all open and well marked because your hike across will follow the route the guides take their clients across on.

Tom Kirchner
(ouzel) - MLife

Locale: Pacific Northwest/Sierra
Re: Re: RE: Questions on hiking upto Camp Muir (first timer at Mt. Rainier) on 06/26/2012 21:04:39 MDT Print View

"Looking at the weather report, I guess it can still get down to 10s in July up there?"

The weather is your biggest potential problem. Check in with the rangers before you start out, if there is any doubt whatsoever. If you get caught in a whiteout, you will be in very serious trouble if you do not have the waypoints stored on a GPS or are very good with a compass and have the waypoints marked on a map. People can and do get killed up there frequently in whiteouts by wandering off the snowfield and falling down the Nisqually Glacier.

Other than that, it might not be a bad idea to take crampons, as it can ice up a bit that late in the year. Crevasses, if any, should be well wanded, but you still need to pay attention. Pay attention, and you should have a great time. It is an excellent hike, and technically easy if the weather cooperates.

Jun Bum Kim
(snvplayer) - F
Re: Re: Re: RE: Questions on hiking upto Camp Muir (first timer at Mt. Rainier) on 06/26/2012 22:27:21 MDT Print View

Thanks for all the info..
I will be sure to check the weather for any storms.
I take it that from Camp Munier to the summit is a lot more dangerous and involves technical climbing w/ rope, etc?

Art ...
(asandh) - F
Re: Re: Re: Re: RE: Questions on hiking upto Camp Muir (first timer at Mt. Rainier) on 06/27/2012 00:59:59 MDT Print View

there are several technical easy routes to the Rainier Summit.
but even here the danger is in falling into a crevasse.
so experience in glacier travel is mandatory (meaning ropes, self arrest, and rescue), but its still just a difficult hike rather than true technical climbing.

Nick Gatel
(ngatel) - MLife

Locale: Southern California
Re: Questions on hiking upto Camp Muir (first timer at Mt. Rainier) on 06/27/2012 09:02:03 MDT Print View

snvplayer,

Here on BPL we are a pretty close knit community and we look out for each other. So if my post seems offensive, it is not intended to be.

You might want to tell us a little bit about your hiking/backpacking experience, whether you will be hiking alone, or if you will be with other hikers and what is their experience level. Also what kind of a hiking experience you are looking for on this trip, how many days you want to hike and your general location. Perhaps someone can offer suggestions for an alternate trip. We don't know much about you, since you have only posted here less than 10 times.

My concern about your safety related to the two threads you started. This one and the one about traversing Zion in July -- even though you said people had told you July is bad for Zion. Your statement about weak navigation skills and the apparent willingness to hike a big mountain that can create its own weather and blanket all trails with snow in summer is cause for concern too.

Just trying to be helpful.

Jun Bum Kim
(snvplayer) - F
Re: Re: Questions on hiking upto Camp Muir (first timer at Mt. Rainier) on 06/27/2012 15:25:25 MDT Print View

Nick,
No offense taken at all, it is the reason why I am asking questions and trying to gain as much information as possible..

About my trips, I will be on vacation for about 3 weeks during which I am visiting WA and UT, and hiking alone.
My hiking experiences are mostly day hikes doing upto 10mi a day...Regarding the places, Grand Canyon and a few mountains down in NC. I am fit enough in my early 30s to handles strenuous hikes..

From my trips, I am hoping to have some adventure within my capability and experience the nature that I don't get to easily. And, I am trying to find out whether these trails are going to be within my capability or not. With my skills and experience, I definitely won't try to climb upto the summit, but Camp Munir looked like something I can try as long as I prepare myself and be judicious when I get there.

About Zion, I am not quite sure I will transverse Zion or not after getting the information. I feel pretty confident that I can handle Zion Narrow 2 day hikes, but hiking 50 miles in that heat w/o guaranteed water sources is not something I am willing to risk.

Nick Gatel
(ngatel) - MLife

Locale: Southern California
Re: Re: Re: Questions on hiking upto Camp Muir (first timer at Mt. Rainier) on 06/27/2012 16:00:58 MDT Print View

Excellent.

I recommend you stay out of deserts in July. It is not about fitness, but acclimation and desert experience.

But there all sorts of great mountain hikes in Utah to include the Rocky Mountains. I can't help you with suggested routes, not my normal hiking area.

Washington has so many opportunities and we have a lot of BPL members who are intimately familiar with the PNW.

Hopefully some will chime in.

Jun Bum Kim
(snvplayer) - F
Re: Re: Re: Re: Questions on hiking upto Camp Muir (first timer at Mt. Rainier) on 06/27/2012 17:19:14 MDT Print View

Thanks. I understand the difference. I am going to spend a couple of days in other day hikes in Zion before even attempting the transverse. It is just on my wish list.

Walter Carrington
(Snowleopard) - M

Locale: Mass.
Climbing Rainier in a course/guided climb on 06/27/2012 18:12:47 MDT Print View

It's a bit expensive, but Rainier Mountaineering conducts courses and guided climbs on Mt.Rainier. I took one many years ago and it was excellent -- Ed Viesturs was one of the instructors.

Elliott Wolin
(ewolin) - MLife

Locale: Hampton Roads, Virginia
Re: Questions on hiking upto Camp Muir (first timer at Mt. Rainier) on 06/27/2012 19:24:12 MDT Print View

Just to be absolutely clear, the trip from Muir to the summit requires glacier travel experience and equipment, especially knowledge of crevasse rescue. It is technical in the sense that you must bring crampons, ice axes, ropes, snow and ice anchors, belay harnesses, slings, pulleys, prussiks or ascenders, and protection from high winds/cold/fierce sun. If all goes well and the weather holds it IS just a long, strenuous hike. But this doesn't happen all the time and some of the equipment mentioned earlier is often needed.

The trip to the summit is not for an inexperienced party, and the rangers might not let you go (they interviewed us many years ago, I assume they still do). On the other hand the hike to Camp Muir is just a long hike, easy route finding if the weather is clear.

As someone mentioned early, if the weather is bad be careful not to walk off a cliff onto the Nisqually Glacier. On my first hike to Muir many years ago we descended into a whiteout and couldn't see 50 feet. Route finding was difficult to say the least, and we really did worry about walking off a cliff!

Jun Bum Kim
(snvplayer) - F
Re: Re: Questions on hiking upto Camp Muir (first timer at Mt. Rainier) on 06/27/2012 19:33:21 MDT Print View

Thanks, Camp Muir will be my final destination...
Any suggestions on resources to prepare for the trip - learning about alpine hiking, I suppose.