That already showed up on my Facebook page, Instagram account, so I think my WordPress blog is the last place where I can post it.
Had an amazing, little mountaineering experience during our camping at Camp Muir on Mount Rainier. It was magical to spend a night in those big winds, among people with the same passions and a great goal to climb that beautiful mountain. And even though we decided to not climb the mountain, whole adventure was a great step closer to real mountaineering, and also a big eye opener- mountains are not there to be trusted and everything changes so quickly. But also, it was so much fun!
The decision to not summit the mountain was made already couple weeks before, based on lack of, mostly, a Glacier Travel class, which is essential when you want to travel on crevasse in a party of two.
The truth is, being up there, seeing all the people who were going to summit, and thinking that I’m in so much better shape than at least half of those people; answering “no” to every “are you summiting?” question was really hurting, but we couldn’t underestimate the mountain and we cannot let our pride and ambition speak for us.
I saw a crevasse cracking up there. Rainier showed me the power of mountains and again proofed that we are their guests and it’s only up to their mood if we summit or not; if we live or not.
But even if not summiting, climbing up to Camp Muir is a hell of an experience.
It’s a beginning. That’s where it all starts. There, on the side of the mountain, during the night, in your little tent, where you can’t sleep because of the wind banging on its walls from every site. This is a place where you start feeling how it is to really LIVE.
I didn’t summit the mountain, so I am not going to give you any mountaineering tips or advice, but I can give you couple tips about camping on the side of the mountain.
- Have a way to melt snow. And filter it (you don’t want to use your entire fuel to boil it for 10 minutes). Probably the best way is a camping stove. REMEMBER about the lighter/matches (yes, that was our little mistake). You always want to have a tiny bit of water at the bottom of the container for the snow to not burn. Yes, snow can burn.
- Take a trash bags. One of the common rules of wilderness- whatever you brought with you, you need to take back. That applies also for the mountain. And believe me, you don’t want to carry loose trash in the pocket of your backpack, blah.
- Bring enough clothes. Especially sacks. You’ll get wet climbing up there, and I bet you don’t spend whole day freezing your feet off.
- Have a waterproof bag for your clothes. Especially if you don’t have four season tent- the floor of the tent will eventually get wet from the snow, as well as everything that’s lying directly on it.
- See the sunset. A little photographer’s tip. Long shadows make the area even more magical.
- Entertainment. Yeah, I know that may sound stupid. “I’m on the side of the mountain, looking at that beautiful landscape, with my best friends, what other entertainment would I need?”. But if the weather sucks, you may end up locked up in your tent for hours and that’s when you start understanding what REAL BOREDOM actually means.
Decided to keep it short this time, but I think I said everything I had to say. I hope you guys enjoyed it!
Couple pictures for the end.
I have a feeling I had photo like that already….
Camp in the morning
Trying to melt snow after lighting the stove with just sparks from the lighter
Can you imagine the guides and rangers have their own little cabins up there?? With a fire!
The birth of a mountaineer.
Climbing up Muir Snowfield