Rainier Area question

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Rainier Area question

Postby nyker » Sat Sep 24, 2011 2:08 pm

I have a question about hiking up to Camp Muir. (as a dayhike, meaning not camping there).

For the hike up to Camp Muir from Paradise, is this a "normal" hike, that someone can do without any permits? It appears crampons and an axe may be needed, but assuming this is the objective and not on the same trip or same day as a climb up the mountain for a summit attempt, is there any special planning/permits that would be needed for this?

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Re: Rainier Area question

Postby wineguy » Sat Sep 24, 2011 2:15 pm

I don't know about permits, but ice ax and crampons were not needed to get to Camp Muir in July 2011. This was a very heavy snow year, 900" vs. 600" normal, so we stepped onto snow from the Paradise parking lot. Of course, the snow was soft by then, so at other times of the year crampons might be helpful. I didn't think the route was steep enough to ever require an ice ax. Different story above Camp Muir. Our only problem was visibility, the mountain was socked in dense clouds, so the RMI guides were useful for finding Camp Muir.
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Re: Rainier Area question

Postby jimlup » Sat Sep 24, 2011 7:11 pm

The need for crampons below Muir is going to be a strong function of weather. In the early morning I recall wearing mine while descending in August 2009. We took them off about 1000' down but the first 1000' feet down were pretty frozen slick as we descending in the very early morning.
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Re: Rainier Area question

Postby cheeseburglar » Sat Sep 24, 2011 7:20 pm

If you start later in the day, say after 9 am, you shouldn't need crampons unless something unusual is afoot.
I've been up there a few times and never used crampons below Muir.
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Re: Rainier Area question

Postby bdub223 » Sat Sep 24, 2011 8:07 pm

No need for crampons... if your worried you could always bring mircospikes... I was up there a few weeks ago. 2 of us from a party of 3 used crampons to Muir, mainly because we had them. but by 8am they were not necessary. This time of year there is several boot track line craved in the snow all the way up.

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Re: Rainier Area question

Postby Tory Wells » Sat Sep 24, 2011 10:50 pm

+1 for Microspikes...I think some extra traction is a good idea, but crampons are too much.
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Re: Rainier Area question

Postby nyker » Sun Sep 25, 2011 12:40 pm

ok, thanks guys.

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Re: Rainier Area question

Postby highcomm » Sun Sep 25, 2011 4:07 pm

I was on Rainier this past week. Snow below Muir was pretty soft. No need for microspikes or crampons. Could be different if there was a cold snap. Word of caution - I was glissading down the snowfield in a short sleeve shirt. Cut my right arm on the corn snow and needed nine stitches. It's one the dumbest things I have done on a mountain in recent memory. :x
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Re: Rainier Area question

Postby winmag4582001 » Mon Sep 26, 2011 5:32 am

Great information to know. My son and I are flying into Portland and going up to Rainier on Thursday this week to hike from Paradise to Muir. I've packed everything just in case. I will post some info on Oct. 2nd if anyone is hiking it after that.
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Re: Rainier Area question

Postby TerryLiv » Tue Dec 20, 2011 4:56 pm

What is the ruling about minimum of 2 people together on a glacier? Or is that just above Muir Hut?

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Re: Rainier Area question

Postby robco » Tue Dec 20, 2011 5:38 pm

TerryLiv: Yeah, there aren't any crevasses before Muir.

I agree with the others, no need for crampons/axe to dayhike Muir. I'd say poles/microspikes might be nice.

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Re: Rainier Area question

Postby lazy climber » Thu Feb 23, 2012 1:21 pm

I was not up on Rainier last season but the season before there were some cracks open on the Muir snow field, if it is early in the season they should be filled and late inthe season they should be visable so not a problem but to say there are not any might be pushing it a bit, of course you would have to work hard to actually "fall" into one but there were cracks.


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