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| | |-+  Oct 5, 2014 Camp Muir - A simple day trip...
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Author Topic: Oct 5, 2014 Camp Muir - A simple day trip...  (Read 9676 times)
unclebo
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Oct 5, 2014 Camp Muir - A simple day trip...
« on: 10/09/14, 10:13 AM »

Skiing Camp Mur this past Sunday pushed my infant backcountry career to 13 months in a row.  I was downplaying the run in my mind since it’s so straight forward this late in the year – but as we enjoyed this wonderful experience several moments of interaction, reflection and scenery made this an unusually stellar day.

My early skiing days were literally up-and-down a rope-towed cow pasture in upstate New York before I reached a young age where ice hockey became my muse and I worked my way up the playing ranks…never spending time at our local ski mountain Greek Peak as my buddies did.  Later in life I skied in Albany under night lights, mildly interesting.

As a life choice I moved to Seattle in 1999 and began regularly getting out into the Mountains.  First hiking, later learning to climb.  One June I skied on rented equipment and was hooked on a new outdoor purpose in life.

Having skied Muir at other times of the year dodging tourists in the summer or joining the throngs of fellow BCr’s in the winter – an October approach presents milder moments, fewer crowds and more time for personal reflection.  Here I was playing in my “backyard” on a wonderful sunny day doing something that would be impossible in the east, skiing under sunny skies in October viewing amazing mountains like Adams, Hood, Jefferson, and St. Helens along with one of my favorite skiing/scrambling areas, the Tatoosh range.

As we reached the upper portion of the snow field we ran into a skier coming down from an overnight at Muir.  It was Amar Andalkar whose many wonderful posts I had read and lived vicariously – we chatted for a bit and he mentioned only being at his 13th year of skiing every month and how he felt behind others who are into their 20th years – I had been feeling good about my 13th month but was quickly humbled!  Can I even get to 24 months?

A leisurely ski from the Camp began with a variable mix of conditions.  The first part of the run was going from patch to patch of white snow while dodging ice, running water and some cracks and crevasses.  Found a few hundred feet that was nice white corn to run.  At about 8,000 feet we began skiing on what one person described as “sprinkles on a snow cone” snow. We had to dismount for about 100 feet from the upper snow field to the lower snowfield around Moon Rocks. Put on our approach shoes around 7,000 feet for the trail out.

For some reason or reasons; the low number of people, the clear blue skies with just one set of clouds caressing the upper slopes of Rainier – the view before us as we hiked back to the car – through the whole day I was reminded how much more fun life is out here.  And our good fortune of skiing throughout the year, not just patches of snow (once watched some skiers hit Tuckerman Ravine for 100 feet of snow on July 3rd) but real runs that tire you out – I’ll be living off this run for a while, even if my skiing career is apparently patterned after Grandma Moses – late in life!


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Blizz Mountain
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Re: Oct 5, 2014 Camp Muir - A simple day trip...
« Reply #1 on: 10/09/14, 04:39 PM »

Nice post - enjoyable read.
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avajane
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Re: Oct 5, 2014 Camp Muir - A simple day trip...
« Reply #2 on: 10/09/14, 05:49 PM »

Very nice to read that. After all, this is Paradise and we should know what we've got before it's gone! We do live in a great place. There are very few places where you can go to an ocean or sound beach, fish for salmon in fresh or salt water, hike or climb on granite, basalt, or crap, ski on lifts or trails every month of the year, raft or Kayak big or small rivers....I love it all, and it's a lot of fun to have this site available to watch what others are doing and to share with them what you've done.

Here's to a great fall where the cracks get filled in early, and the base gets built of beautiful cascade crud that won't melt till we're tired of it and ready to move on to something else...
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Jonathan_S.
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Re: Oct 5, 2014 Camp Muir - A simple day trip...
« Reply #3 on: 10/09/14, 06:32 PM »

My early skiing days were literally up-and-down a rope-towed cow pasture in upstate New York before I reached a young age where ice hockey became my muse and I worked my way up the playing ranks…never spending time at our local ski mountain Greek Peak as my buddies did.  Later in life I skied in Albany under night lights, mildly interesting.
A reference to my hometown ski area of Greek Peak, love it!
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everestbill
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Re: Oct 5, 2014 Camp Muir - A simple day trip...
« Reply #4 on: 10/09/14, 06:46 PM »

Nice read and I too from upstate....... West point/ Bear Mt / Hunter and all the hills one could hike and ski (Storm King)..............still looking for Pizza after 32 years of skiing NW POW.
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"rich has nothing to do with money."
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MW88888888
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Re: Oct 5, 2014 Camp Muir - A simple day trip...
« Reply #5 on: 10/09/14, 08:13 PM »

A pivotal day in the mountains.  Bumping into Amar Andalkar on the volcanoes of the west coast...almost a rite of passage for a PNW skier. 

I enjoyed your post.  There is something about being brought up back east (my cow pasture was in Vermont and didn't have a rope tow) that you have a deep appreciation for the bounty of the PNW skiing.

Look forward to reading about your 10th anniversary.
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gregL
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Re: Oct 5, 2014 Camp Muir - A simple day trip...
« Reply #6 on: 10/09/14, 08:29 PM »

Speaking of crevasses opening up, pop over the ridge to the Paradise Glacier at about 7,400 ft. and check out the huge cracks that have opened up. I skinned right over those things for years not even realizing they were there (or how deep the snow/ice was just a stone's throw from the ridgeline).
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T. Eastman
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Re: Oct 5, 2014 Camp Muir - A simple day trip...
« Reply #7 on: 10/09/14, 09:44 PM »

Sounds like a NYS encounter group!

Yo, how's da skiin?  Not bad, gonna git me some Matt's and relax...
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ErikT
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Re: Oct 5, 2014 Camp Muir - A simple day trip...
« Reply #8 on: 10/10/14, 06:38 AM »

518 represent!
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unclebo
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Re: Oct 5, 2014 Camp Muir - A simple day trip...
« Reply #9 on: 10/14/14, 11:19 AM »

Thanks all for the good words! - praying for a healthy snow winter!...and let me know if you find any good pizza, also I'm challenged to find good Bagels, although the Bagelry in Bellingham is pretty darn good.
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T. Eastman
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Re: Oct 5, 2014 Camp Muir - A simple day trip...
« Reply #10 on: 10/14/14, 07:56 PM »

I often eat lunch at the Baglery and find it based on the real deal.  As for pizza, well having grown up climbing at the Gunks, I miss Chez Joey's and there is nothing like that west of the Wallkill!
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