8/26/2006 The First Big Red “R” Expedition
This last Saturday (8/27/2006) my brother Alex, my brother-in-law Dave and I climbed up to Camp Muir on Mount Rainer. From the parking lot at Paradise at 5,400 feet elevation to Camp Muir at 10,188 feet elevation. This hike is a mere 4-mile long hike, but the last mile requires nearly a 3,000-foot gain in elevation.
Despite the 3:30 AM wake up call (for the drive from Seattle to Paradise on Mount Rainier), and the 5-1/2 hour hike (just the up part), and the hazy skies due to the forest fire on the other side of Mount Rainier, it was all a lot of fun. For my brother Alex it was an easy hike (he made it up in 3-1/2 hours, then waited 2 hours for Dave and I), for me it was a bit of a struggle at times. However, this was my second hiking up to Camp Muir, and Alex and Dave’s first. I had talked Dave into the hike by telling him its an easy 4 mile hike, to which he asked, "Why do I need crampons then?" The crampons were not actually necessary, but they made the hike down a little easier.
My brother Alex, who I am certain is half mountain goat managed to beat Dave and I to the top by 2 hours despite the fact he carried several Rainier Beers for us (only appropriate beer) to Camp Muir in his back pack. He also beat us down by an hour. For the last 1,000 feet of elevation, the only thing that kept me moving was Alex telling me over the walkie talkie that if I didn’t pick up the pace, he was going to drink my beer!
My only regret from the whole trip was neglecting to check the settings on my camera. I had left my ISO set to 1600, and the white balance set to incandescent light, both settings from Motorik’s concert the pervious week. I didn’t catch the ISO settings until I reached Camp Muir, and didn’t catch the white balance settings until I looked at my pictures on the computer. I was able to fix the white balance, but I apologize for some of the grainy ISO 1600 pictures.
Here are the pictures. Enjoy!