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Archive for the ‘Mt. Rainier National Park’ Category

Trip Report 26

  • Points:  1
  • Trip Dates:  August, 2000
  • Wilderness Area:  Mount Rainier
  • Wilderness Size:  228,480 acres
  • Location:  Western Washington
  • Destination:  Just below Camp Muir
  • Total Miles:  Approximately 9
  • Duration:  Day Hike

Mount Rainier

The Muir Snowfield

Parasise Meadows at Mount Rainier

Locals in Washington often refer to Mount Rainier simply as “The Mountain.” It absolutely dwarfs everything around it.  It is 14,411 feet of pure mountain rising all the way up from near sea level.  It contains the largest glacial system in the lower 48 states, by far.  It is the largest single mountain by volume in the lower 48 states, by far.

Think of this:  Mount Rainier and Rocky Mountain National Parks are about the same size.  The matriarch peak of Rocky Mountain is Longs Peak which is a formidable and sizeable mountain.  But, Longs and its ridges and slopes encompass maybe 5 percent of the land area of Rocky Mountain National Park.  Mount Rainier’s slopes, on the other hand, covers probably 50-60 percent of the land area of Mt. Rainier National Park, as evidenced by the map below.

Map of Mount Rainier National Park

A friend and I set out on a day-hike to Camp Muir at 10,000 feet, which serves as the base camp for most people attempting the summit.  We made it to just a couple hundred feet below the camp before turning around because my friend’s boots were soaked through from the Muir Snowfield.  Rather than risk frostbite, we stuffed her feet into plastic bags and got down fast.

This hike is a tale of two worlds.  The first half is a beautiful, if somewhat steep, hike from Paradise Meadows up to the terminous of the Muir Snowfield.  This part is characterized by stunning views of Rainier behind fields and fields of mountain wildflowers as you climb along the well-traveled dirt path.

Then you step on the ice of the Muir Snowfield and for the next 2-3 miles are kicking footsteps in snow and listening to icefalls, like stomach growlings, on the big mountain.

On the way down we slid on shutes of snow–nature’s slides!

The photos above were found on the internet.

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Trip Report 25

  • Points:  1
  • Trip Dates:  July, 2000
  • Wilderness Area:  Mount Rainier
  • Wilderness Size:  228,480 acres
  • Location:  Western Washington
  • Destination:  Crystal Lake
  • Total Miles:  Approximately 5
  • Duration:  Day Hike

Crystal Lake in Mt. Rainier National Park

I did this hike with some friends.  I remember a steep switchbacked walk up to a nice lake, but it wasn’t especially exciting by the standards of the Cascade Mountains.  There were some views of the giant Mount Rainier, but if I remember correctly, the mountain was hidden from our view for most of the hike.  I also remember an unusually large number of mosquitos.

Still, it was a nice day in the park, and if I can recall it by memory alone, then it was a better day than 99% of those spent in the office.

The picture above was found on the internet.

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