A visit to the northwest wouldn't be complete without a little skiing, and luckily have pair of skis here. What I was missing where poles, so I had to come up with set and I was relegated to buying some treking poles from Walmart in Yelm. Crickees they sucked, but I was able to get couple strips of duct tape from the ranger and that helped out. Since I was traveling solo today, I kept my plans pretty conservative, so I opted to follow the hoards of summit climbers up to Camp Muir (10,188 vf). Nothing technical about this hike up or ski down, just kind of a slog up.
I had gray skies for my drive from Olympia to Paradise, and the fog was really soupy in the parking lot. The parking lot at Paradise sits at about 5,400 vf, and I broke through the cloud layer around 6,500 vf. I split from the car about 8:45, and took my time getting up to Camp Muir. My walk up took 4 hours, but I swear I've done this in around 2.5 hours back in the day. There was snow right from Paradise, with only a few patches of rocks to cross over at Panorama Point and Pebble Creek.
It was a perfect day up there, sunny skies above the cloud layer, no wind, and not cold. I had my skins, but I just opted to walk up in my tennis shoes.
I pretty much skied down the Muir Snowfield the way I had come up, but when I got back to Pebble Creek, I headed towards the Paradise Glacier and strung together the strips of snow back to the parking lot.
The entrance fee into Mount Rainier National Park
Here's a vid of the day:
A high-res quicktime version can be found here: Camp Muir 6/26/09