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Backpacking Washington

Mount Rainier

By on June 21, 2016

Day 31: Mt. Rainier

What a day. We woke up at 6:00AM with sleepy excitement. After coffee and an equipment check, we started climbing. Almost as soon as we left the parking lot, both the pavement and the trail disappeared. Just snow beneath our feet. We had all of our gear set for any weather. Now, we just needed to put one foot in front of the other – for 4.1 miles and up 5,000ft of elevation. The ascent took us 6 hours, but I never doubted we would make it. After only 2000 feet, the views of Mt. Adams and Mt. St. Helens in the distance were outstanding. We stopped for a lunch of smoked salmon & crackers, but for the most part pressed on to Camp Muir. WE made it to the public shelter & gave each other a big high five. We cooked a meal, and took a nap with the climbers attempting to summit while we melted snow for drinking water. Then, the weather was good, so we decided to descend. The way down was joyful – our pride and adrenaline showing. I glissaded down wherever possible, which means to slide on your butt. With gortex pants and the steep incline, it was almost like sledding. When we arrived back at the van, we found a friend who had a flat tire and offered to help him out. His bolts were stripped on the wheels with no hope of changing the tire that night, so we gave him a ride back down to Cougar Rock. We camped (more like crashed) there with Noah and his friend Clayton – exhausted from a really good day.

Day 32: Mt. Rainier

So tired – We slept until 11:00AM. Spent a lazy morning at camp and then went back to Whittaker’s to bathe in wifi. We found some of the climbers we saw at Camp Muir and were inspired to keep investing in the craft. Camped again with Noah & Clayton. Felt happy and rested.

Day 33:  Mt. Rainier

Work day. Spent the morning at Copper Creek Inn where they had good wifi, bottomless coffee & blackberry jam on homemade toast. I bought some of the jam and toast for our van when we left. Went back to Whittakers for a few more hours, but decided it was time to move on. We weren’t in great shape physically or mentally, so thank goodness for Rylea and Rob’s house. Their comfy couch and warm shower was exactly what we needed. I’m glad to know Rylea and definitely consider her a new friend.


Here are some pics from Rainier