Mount Rainier is one of the world’s biggest volcanos. It stands alone at 14,410 feet, almost 3 miles, and it’s the tallest peak in the Cascade range. We took a day hike, got a little carried away, and ended up just below Camp Muir at 10,080 feet! This mountain is a technical summit and requires proper gear/guidance and permits, to reach the rim of the crater.
Mount Rainier is the most glaciated peak in the lower states, with 26 named glaciers. This does not include Alaska of course, those mountains are in a class unto themselves.
The landscape, like Mount St. Helens, is a bit surreal. You begin your hike through the beautiful green alpine with flowers blooming and animals scampering about. But, once you gain the ridge all traces of alpine forest disappears and you feel like you might be walking on the surface of the moon.
Here we are, just below Camp Muir, and I was shot. My legs were wobbly and I knew that I’d be pretty sore the next day. Looking back though, I only wish we had time to go further.
This shot is looking back over the valleys surrounding Mount Rainier. I’m told that you can usually see some of the surrounding peaks, but not this time because of the smoke from nearby forest fires.
One last shot, looking back toward Rainier on the way back down. This is the biggest mountain that either of us had ever been on, and I think we have been struck by climbing fever. This mountain is so magnificent that it makes me want to learn the skills it would take to someday stand on the edge of the crater at the summit. I mean, can you imagine a sunrise at 14,410 feet, looking at the sea of clouds below you?
See you next week for the conclusion of this trip in Seattle!