Mount Rainier | Camp Muir
Distance: 8.4 miles out and back
Fees: National Parks Pass
View my Gaia GPS track here
It's Labor Day weekend which means you can catch me outside! Jennifer, Brianna, and I headed to Mount Rainier yesterday to climb up to Camp Muir at 10,188 ft - the highest point you can get to on Mount Rainier without a climbing permit.
In comparison to other climbs I've done, I would like to have been able to say that climbing up to Camp Muir was a breeze. But we all know that every day is different and variables (that aren't just elevation gain and mileage) what makes each climb so unique and memorable.
We got a later start than we had anticipated, but we also started out with fewer people for the long weekend that we had originally thought. The first short section is paved followed by a section of trail that is well marked out. It's a pretty steady incline for most of the way up. Approximately two miles in, after you cross Pebble Creek is where the Muir snowfield begins.
We strapped on our microspikes and trudged upwards on the suncupped snowfield. By the stats, this whole climb should have been fairly straightforward. But Jen and I weren't feeling great from the start and on top of that we had barely gotten any sleep. Jen was feeling lethargic and exhausted on our ascent up the Muir snowfield while I later wound up with some trouble with reoccurring knee pain on our descent.
We reached Camp Muir while the skies were still and blue, without a hint of a breeze. We relaxed at the camp for an hour, taking in the views and resting up. The winds picked up a bit and smoke from the surrounding wildfires blew in some haze that blanketed the view below.
After snapping some - okay, a bunch - of photos, we started making our way back down. We were able to glissade a good chunk of the way (in September, no less!) and I was definitely grateful that it both took away stress from my knees and was plain gleefully fun!
We had our fair share of frustrations and mental blocks this trip, and the horde of people we ran into with poor trail etiquette at Paradise on our way down was another breaking point for the three of us. Everyone faces frustrations at some point and we learn to cope with it and each other and work as a team to help each other through the struggles. And there is no one I'd rather work through struggles like this with than these ladies.