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Banana Slugs & High Places


hydnsek

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Working on Jester's new Washington History Challenge? Need to get Banana Slugs & High Places at Camp Muir on Mt Rainier?

 

Me too! So, let's plan a trip for this summer. I've never been there, don't know enough to drive this, so I'm facilitating by opening the topic, and hoping that someone with more experience will take the lead. :drama: (Paging MTB, EraSeek, or ??)

 

This is not a trek for the faint-hearted. The cache is at 10,500 feet. The round trip hike is 9 miles, with elevation gain of 4600 ft (about 1000 ft/mile). Much of it is on a glacier/snow field, although it's not considered technical (no ropes, ice axes, or crampons). Here's some NPS info on the Camp Muir Trail.

 

Starter queries:

  • Who can advise on the trek and help lead?
  • When should we go?
  • Who wants to go?

Edited by hydnsek
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My log from Camp Muir June 24, 2001.

http://www.geocaching.com/seek/log.aspx?LU...89-c2e5a33c08e3

Interesting what I say about the "gantlet being thrown down" and "Challenge". Also the text about the weather is a likely possiblity.

Thanks for the info! I'm surprised you didn't log this cache when you did that one. Was it the weather?

 

So, when would you recommend we go? You had blizzard conditions in June - should we plan for later? Or does it matter?

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The mountain makes it's own weather, so what we see here can have little or no bearing on what's happening up there.

 

The hike itself is not technical. Unless you get off-route you are not on glacier, just snow fields. Depending on the time of year (and it's generally do-able year round, depending on you skill/willingness) the first half is paved trail, the second half is snow. I have it somewhere, a GPS route up/back so if the weather closes in you can make it down (that shouldn't pose any problems for this crew!).

 

You can expect 4-5 hours min to get up there, less for the trip back (if the snow is in condition for sliding you can save even more). If you've done Mt Si or Mt St Helens you should be able to do this. Good boots, clothes for all weather, food and water should do.

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Personally I'd like to try June 24 again. Weather can come and go, but it should be about the right time to get up there for me. I can advise and come but I'm never sure of my abilities these days with arthritis seeming to come and go, so someone else can lead this venture.

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My log from Camp Muir June 24, 2001.

http://www.geocaching.com/seek/log.aspx?LU...89-c2e5a33c08e3

Interesting what I say about the "gantlet being thrown down" and "Challenge". Also the text about the weather is a likely possiblity.

Thanks for the info! I'm surprised you didn't log this cache when you did that one. Was it the weather?

 

So, when would you recommend we go? You had blizzard conditions in June - should we plan for later? Or does it matter?

 

Well that time I'm not sure I realized the other virtual was there. I went again for a Markwell Photographers cache of the Slugs virtual and the weather was worse and I didn't get close enough for a good photo so I didn't log it.

 

Here's the story: http://www.geocaching.com/seek/log.aspx?LU...32-2c91d28a299e

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www.topo.com has the summer and winter routes in mapXchange. The ability to use a GPSr to set the route rather than flags on bambo wands is the reason I bought a GPsr which lead to Geocaching.

 

My experience is to just follow the well established tracks set by RMI; they know the best route based on the current season.

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Personally I'd like to try June 24 again. Weather can come and go, but it should be about the right time to get up there for me. I can advise and come but I'm never sure of my abilities these days with arthritis seeming to come and go, so someone else can lead this venture.

Volunteers? I think someone who's been there before needs to lead and advise. I don't even know if we need to get a permit. I just want to go!

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Ok, I'll make the suggestion. June 24th. Not too early, not to late. You don't want to roast on the snowfields in mid summer. June 24th you can have varied weather. It can be sunny and nice, or blowing and cold. That is the risk you take. Be prepared. There should still be plenty of snow underfoot. We would want to go early in the day before the footing turns soft and difficult. Say a starting time of 7am.

 

Must haves include wind protection in the form of a outer shell. Sunscreen. Sunglasses. Water (maybe 2 liters). Some food. Something for warmth. Good boots. Iceaxe or poles (I perfer an ice axe for safety). GPS. Batteries. Compass.

 

If conditions are right, glassadeing is a kick and a quick exit down. Rainpants works well for this.

 

I'm just one voice and not real willing to decide for others, so state your concerns or preferences. Nothing says we all have to do it in one group anyway. Later in the year there is probably a better chance of an easier weather-friendly hike, with a lot more people around and plenty of sunburns to boot. Either way at 10112 feet it will probably affect you. Expect slow steps, hard breathing, some dizziness, maybe a bit nausiated, inability to tie your shoes real well at muir. Then again if you are like me, maybe that's how you always are anyway :(

 

No permits needed for Muir.

Edited by EraSeek
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Nothing says we all have to do it in one group anyway. Later in the year there is probably a better chance of an easier weather-friendly hike, with a lot more people around and plenty of sunburns to boot. Either way at 10112 feet it will probably affect you. Expect slow steps, hard breathing, some dizziness, maybe a bit nausiated, inability to tie your shoes real well at muir. Then again if you are like me, maybe that's how you always are anyway :(

I'll vote for that! We'll be gone on the 24th and even if we weren't, I'd have to work that day. I haven't had any opportunities to climb anything since last fall (won't hike alone) and am woefully out of shape for a hike of this magnitude. Hopefully after this trip is over, there will be some people that would like to do it later in the year, maybe even (gasp!) mid-week.

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Nothing says we all have to do it in one group anyway. Later in the year there is probably a better chance of an easier weather-friendly hike, with a lot more people around and plenty of sunburns to boot. Either way at 10112 feet it will probably affect you. Expect slow steps, hard breathing, some dizziness, maybe a bit nausiated, inability to tie your shoes real well at muir. Then again if you are like me, maybe that's how you always are anyway :(

I'll vote for that! We'll be gone on the 24th and even if we weren't, I'd have to work that day. I haven't had any opportunities to climb anything since last fall (won't hike alone) and am woefully out of shape for a hike of this magnitude. Hopefully after this trip is over, there will be some people that would like to do it later in the year, maybe even (gasp!) mid-week.

 

Sounds good. I don't really want to commit to one date yet either, nor am I opposed to going later in the season. Maybe we should pick 2 or 3 dates and opt in or out as we get closer. Pandora, why don't you pick a midweek date that you like for option 2 maybe in July.

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Must haves include wind protection in the form of a outer shell. Sunscreen. Sunglasses. Water (maybe 2 liters). Some food. Something for warmth. Good boots. Iceaxe or poles (I perfer an ice axe for safety).

 

I have an ice axe that I picked up at a garage sale that I have no plans to use again. I'd want about $50.00 for it -- if anyone is interested, let me know and I can email you more info and pictures.

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I would vote for July myself, and am not opposed to mid-week, although that might prevent some folks from coming.

 

I'll throw some dates out:

 

Sun, June 24 (already proposed)

Wed, July 18 (weekday)

Sat, July 21 (weekend)

 

Preferences? I'll count up and post the results.

 

I definitely want to go when someone like EraSeek will be there, since I'm inexperienced climbing at that elevation on glaciers.

 

Speaking of which - we don't really need ice axes, do we? The other logs indicate it's more of a strenuous climb with good boots and poles, rather than ice-technical, as do the NPS pages. If we need to get training in self-arrest with ice axes, and to borrow/buy equipment, that would be good to know now, and might reduce participation. Wasn't my impression that was needed.

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I would vote for July myself, and am not opposed to mid-week, although that might prevent some folks from

Speaking of which - we don't really need ice axes, do we? The other logs indicate it's more of a strenuous climb with good boots and poles, rather than ice-technical, as do the NPS pages. If we need to get training in self-arrest with ice axes, and to borrow/buy equipment, that would be good to know now, and might reduce participation. Wasn't my impression that was needed.

 

I wonder what the last logger experienced when wearing tennis shows and carrying 2 PBJs?

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I'm out on the 24th of June (or any other Sunday for that matter) and just started a new job so weekdays are out for me for a while. Looks like I'm limited to Saturdays only. Of course that shouldn't affect the selected date.

 

Sounds like I might have to head up solo some Saturday w/ 12 year old daughter. It has been 18 years since I was last up at Muir but even as a teenager, I remember it as a difficult hike. Can't wait to head up again and share the experience with one of my kids. From the pictures, it looks like there has been virtually no change to the area. Great place!

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I have off June 24 thru July 1, and also July 22 thru July 29. Lets see if we can find a date that might fit everyone. That looks to me like Saturday June 30 or Saturday July 28. Does either of these dates conflict with anyone's schedule.

Other than that I 'm hoping for something inside those 2 weeks.

 

No, an iceaxe is not usually necessary.

( I absolutely needed it only once going to muir)

Edited by EraSeek
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I have off June 24 thru July 1, and also July 22 thru July 29. Lets see if we can find a date that might fit everyone. That looks to me like Saturday June 30 or Saturday July 28. Does either of these dates conflict with anyone's schedule.

Other than that I 'm hoping for something inside those 2 weeks.

 

No, an iceaxe is not usually necessary.

( I absolutely needed it only once going to muir)

I can do either of those dates myself - thanks for driving this forward!

 

Whew, no ice axe. But you'll have to tell us your story during the trip....

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I'm interested in going also. One of my neighbors and I were just talking about going this summer. He has been up multiple times and was going to take me and a couple others. i'll see if he would be interested in going. His GC name is quadrasteer and he hasn't found alot of caches but most are at the tops of monntains.

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I may be in and out of contact for the next week, so I'll leave it to you guys to settle the date.

OK, folks, it's time to vote. Below are the two weekend dates suggested by EraSeek and the weekday suggested by Prying Pandora. If you want to go, PM or email me (abbywolfe-at-comcast.net) with your preferred date:

 

Saturday, June 30

 

Thursday, July 26

 

Saturday, July 28

 

I'll tally them this Friday and report back.

Edited by hydnsek
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I don't really want to commit to one date yet either, nor am I opposed to going later in the season. Maybe we should pick 2 or 3 dates and opt in or out as we get closer. Pandora, why don't you pick a midweek date that you like for option 2 maybe in July.

I have off June 24 thru July 1, and also July 22 thru July 29. Lets see if we can find a date that might fit everyone. That looks to me like Saturday June 30 or Saturday July 28. Does either of these dates conflict with anyone's schedule.

Other than that I 'm hoping for something inside those 2 weeks.

I may be in and out of contact for the next week, so I'll leave it to you guys to settle the date.

Sorry for the late reply, spent a long day out caching yesterday and a long day at work today. :blink:

 

Thursday, July 26th would be ideal for me - a day off to get down there and a couple of days to recuperate before I have to go back to work.

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Of the dates proposed so far, June 30th would be most likely for me but the timing is a little tricky (as usual) though so I might have a go at it the week before on 6/23 with my daughter.

 

The last time I was up there was in August and Skline trail was clear of snow and quick to travel up to Pebble Creek. I know that late in late june I might find things quite different. Anyone familiar with the trail conditions that time of year? I'm just trying to plan accordingly. I see very few logged June visits on the caches up there.

 

Edit: Thought people attempting this cache might find this document from the NPS useful. It contains GPS positions and compass bearings for navigating the Muir snowfield.

Edited by Blue Power Ranger
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I found a track log online from someone who made the climb to Camp Muir. I cleaned it up a little and have posted it to my web site:

 

Thanks for posting that. It'll come in handy when I attempt Muir in the next few weeks. I used your route on Mt. St. Helens, and it really saved me when I got a little confused on one of the boulder field. I just had the GPS guide me back to the route.

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OK, of the 11 people who've said they want to go on the Muir hike, 7 voted:

 

Sat, June 30 - 5 [MTB, AndrewRJ, LindaLu, Cruiser Guy +1, Blue Power Ranger]

 

Thur, July 26 - 1 [Prying Pandora]

 

Sat, July 28 - 2 [grossi, hydnsek]

 

So, looks like June 30 is the date of choice. EraSeek and I can both go on that date as well, so looks like we have a quorum. <_<

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OK, of the 11 people who've said they want to go on the Muir hike, 7 voted:

 

Sat, June 30 - 5 [MTB, AndrewRJ, LindaLu, Cruiser Guy +1, Blue Power Ranger]

 

Thur, July 26 - 1 [Prying Pandora]

 

Sat, July 28 - 2 [grossi, hydnsek]

 

So, looks like June 30 is the date of choice. EraSeek and I can both go on that date as well, so looks like we have a quorum. <_<

 

If I haven't went up with my friend who claims he really wants to go but won't commit to a date by then, I'll join you as well.

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I found out that we're doing a service project on June 30 in honor of our co-worker who died at Ipsut Creek recently, so I'm probably going to have to change my vote. Either of the other dates work for me, I just need to ask for the day off.

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I am in for the june 30th date and have 5 others that are coming with me. we have been doing a bunch of training hikes to make sure we are in good shape. we are hiking Mt. Si at 6:45 in the morning tomorrow if anyone is interested. 645 at the trailhead. for the miur hike we are planning on bringing the rv's to longmire and staying over the night before.

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