Our intent for today was to check out the Muir Snowfield. This broad expanse of snow must be traversed to reach Muir Camp. Typically, climbers leave Paradise Lodge on the Skyline Trail and hike 4 miles and almost 5000 feet to spend the night at Muir Camp. The next morning (well, it is usually somewhere around 1 AM) they are up and on their way to the top--another 3 miles and 4500 feet across the glacier. After their ascent, they come all the way down making it a very long day.
Muir Camp is accessible to the hearty hiker, so they say. Skyline Trail to Pebble Creek is usually dirt in August (peek climbing season), although we crossed some snow today. The snowfield is not so steep that you need crampons, so they say. When we got to Pebble Creek, we perched ourselves on a rock and watched as several climbers made they way onto the snowfield. Most slipped and we made a mental note of that.
Once upon a time, in a life far, far away, I wanted to climb this mountain. People die on this mountain and I wouldn’t climb without a guide service. Rainier Mountaineering came very highly recommended so a very good friend and I made reservations to climb with them. They will not take anyone without mountaineering training so we also signed up for mountaineering school. My guardian angel was no doubt watching over me, because I just happened upon a photograph in a book somewhere of climbers high on the mountain. It scared the beegeebies out of me. I cancelled. My friend subsequently took 3 mountaineering courses and was still unable to get up the mountain. However, since that time, I have thought I would climb as far as Muir Camp. That could be my summit.
|There were hundreds of climbers on the trail|
|Gene at Peeble Creek|
|Climbers getting ready for the snowfield.|
|I ain't going up there.|
We have planned to hike again tomorrow, but that will depend on whether we can move well enough to get out of bed.