Jim and friend getting ready to ski down from Camp Muir! 1951
Jim Mossman and friend getting ready to ski down to Paradise from Camp Muir on a nice spring day in 1951! Rugged individuals have been doing this high adventure for many years! A favorite spring activity, and one of the best runs anywhere!



Camp Muir!


Camp Muir is a great trip anytime the weather is fine!


Historic Trip Report

College Students having lunch on the roof of the Hut! 1951
College Students having lunch on the roof of the Hut!


Ski Tour, Paradise to Camp Muir     Jim Mossman 1951

In the spring of 1951 another student and I decided to skip class and climb up to Camp Muir on skis. Three other classmates, one a woman, eagerly accepted our invitation to accompany us. I called the weather bureau the night before and was told the weather would be good. As this was the middle of the week, there was no traffic from the Park entrance to Paradise where we arrived mid-morning.

It was warm enough that two of the men wore short pants. When we reached Camp Muir the temperature still seemed to be quite mild. However, a few minutes later a cold wind came up. I had neglected to remove the sealskin climbers from my skis and discovered that the canvas strap on one climber was frozen and could not be unbuckled. Fortunately I had a knife and cut the strap.

We immediately started the descent, and after a few minutes, were back in spring weather. During the entire tour we never saw another skier.

According to the Mountaineers, Camp Muir can be quite dangerous, mainly due to sudden fog or whiteout, so take precautions!

Camp Muir is reached by many hundreds of hikers each summer. The 3-6 hour, 4-mile climb from Paradise provides hikers with an intimate view of Rainier's glaciers, icefalls, and rugged ridges, and perhaps a brief association with climbers who struggle upward under heavy packs and higher ambitions. Frequently during the summer Camp Muir is in clear weather high above a cloud-sea that is thick and cold fog at Paradise. Ira Spring likes to tell the story of leaving the warm, sunny Camp Muir, expecting to be at Paradise in a few hours. Descending into the clouds, it took his party two days to reach Paradise! A compass is a life saver in this situation!

What a view! Mike and Doerte at Camp Muir Look at that view from Camp Muir! That's Mount Adams on the left and what's left of Mount St. Helens on the right. The sun was hot and almost everyone was sunburned and dehydrated this day! We spent the afternoon melting snow for water and resting in the shade.

We tried to go to sleep about 7 p.m. but we were so anxious and nervous we mostly just laid there with our eyes closed. Before we knew it it was 10 p.m. and Camp Muir came alive with all the climbers getting ready for the midnight alpine start! Everyone wants to be the first to start up the mountain.

We dressed warm, and put on our climbing harnesses and crampons, roped up, checked each other over for safety, and begin the long journey toward the summit! We hoped to be there shortly after sunrise.

The Summit!

Recommended Equipment For Summit Climb!


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