Between moving, getting settled, making no money, traveling, and getting our bearings figured out here in Washington, I have not posted in a long time. But, I’m back with a great hike! Over the weekend, we decided to hike up to Camp Muir on Mt. Rainier. Camp Muir is about halfway between the Paradise Lodge and the summit, and it is the highest point you can hike to on Rainier without a climbing permit.
The weather on Rainier is known to change swiftly, so even though the forecast was calling for sun and 60 degrees, I brought all of my winter gear just in case.
It was unreal to see how alive the mountain is as we hiked up. As we got closer and closer to Camp Muir, we heard what sounded like airplanes flying overhead or thunder in the distance. We found out that it was huge chunks of glacier breaking off due to the warm temperatures and causing gigantic snow and rock slides. It was a surreal experience.
The hike was just over 9 miles round trip. Psychologically, it was one of the hardest hikes I have ever done. Very soon after we began the hike we were above the treeline and exposed to the beating sun on a slippery and steep snow field. It was difficult to look around at the breathtaking scenery as we trudged along because you would slip in the snow or lose your footing. It was a lot of staring down at your feet to make sure you had a good hold. You could also see Camp Muir way off in the distance, but it looked so close. In reality, it was quite a ways away which can get discouraging.
It was constant steep slope as we gained almost 4,700 feet of elevation in 4.1 miles of hiking. I kept waiting and waiting for the pitch to level out for a while, but it never happened. The hike was grueling, but so worth it.