8/06/2010 06:24:00 PM

Day 72 (July 17, 2010)– Three-quarters of the way to Camp Muir

Since I had today off as well, I know it seems like I never work but I actually do on occasion. I usually work my hiking in around work schedule. Basically if I have free time, I am probably hiking.

So the goal for today was to hike to Camp Muir. Camp Muir is named after the naturalist John Muir. John Muir founded the Sierra Club and was a conservation supporter. John Muir visited Mount Rainer and my favorite story about him comes from this visit. His plan had been to just hike up a part way up the mountain, but in a letter to his wife he tells his wife pushing upwards and the next thing he know he is standing on the summit.

Camp Muir is a camp where climbers typically spend the night at before summiting the mountain. Camp Muir is about a 4.1 mile hike from Paradise. 4.1 miles seems like an easy enough hike, but it’s not. It is a grueling 4.1 mile hike with about 4,900 feet of elevation gain. Plus add in the sun beating up and down on you. Up on you, what am I talking about? SNOW! On the mountain you risk sunburn not just from the sun but its reflection off the snow so it is easy to burn your chin, underside of your arms, inside your shorts.

I knew from the beginning that this was going to be a grueling hike, but my hiking partner didn’t quite understand all this. It took us longer than I expected to make it to Panoramic Point, which is only 1.7 miles from the trailhead. The view was fantastic. It was a clear day so we could see(from right to left) Mt. St. Helens, Mt. Hood, and Mt. Adams. Mt. Hood is in the  middle-left and is very hard to see in the picture but it is there.
From Panoramic, we continued up the mountain. After about another hour of climbing we made Pebble Creek with is about half way there. We took a short break and then started working our way up the Muir Snowfield.

About half way up the snow field my hiking partner sits down and state “I refuse to go any further.” Needless to say I was disappointed but not surprised. She wasn’t in shape for climbing to Muir and was getting pretty sun burnt. So we turned around and headed back to Paradise.

As we were heading down, I decided that despite wearing shorts, I wanted to glissade down part of the snowfield. For those who don’t know glissading is a fancy name for sliding down on your but.


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