Muir Snowfield BC skiing, Mt Rainier
Eric and Aaron
December 24, 2016
We drove up to Rainier National Park Saturday morning and reached the Longmire gate just after it opened at 9am. After putting on the chains we drove up the snowy road to Paradise and were soon hiking up toward Camp Muir. Surprisingly there were only five other cars in the lot.
We got excellent views of Mt Rainier as it passed in and out of the clouds, and we were soon the only hikers above Panorama Point. By 3pm we reached Camp Muir at 10,000ft and were treated to an amazing undercast with sunny skies above. Mt Adams was the only object sticking above the clouds to the south.
Soon after we started skiing back down we entered the clouds and it started snowing. Visibility dropped to 15ft and we were in a whiteout. It was difficult to distinguish the ground from the air, and I took a few falls down small snow cliffs while trying to follow our drifted-over tracks. Luckily we had GPS maps to help in navigation.
After a few delays we got back to the car at 4:45pm, and down to the gate at 5:15pm, just seconds after the ranger pulled away locking it! I ran down and found some rangers, who were not interested in helping me get out. Then I talked to a guy in the Longmire Inn, who had a spare key. He acted angry, and made me fill out some paperwork, but then gave me the key and I got us out. We made it back to Seattle a few hours later, in time for me to catch my flight home for Christmas.