Sunday, September 09, 2018

Muir Snowfield Conditions

A lone hiker descends the Muir Snowfield
At this point in the season there's typically a steady drop-off in climbing numbers, but the number of folks making day trips up the Muir Snowfield remains fairly steady.

For those who choose to make the trek: late summer/early fall can present hikers with mountaineering-type challenges. It is not uncommon for people to bring crampons and an ice axe to Camp Muir as icy conditions may exist anywhere above Pebble Creek. Walking down tends to be more difficult than up.

There are also glide cracks opening on the snowfield. While not technically crevasses, like those found on glaciers, these fissures can still injure you (or worse) if you fall into one. 
A glide crack on the Muir Snowfield ~9000'
Lastly, winter is on the way and this week looks like a stormy one. Any significant snow fall will obscure the path to Camp Muir making navigation harder and possibly cover up the glide cracks, turning them into trap doors. Use extreme caution when attempting to go to Camp Muir in poor conditions.