Actually, there was one hike that I regret. Maybe it wasn’t so much the hike itself, but the fall I took.
It was on a hike up to Camp Muir on Rainier.
If you haven’t done this hike, I do recommend it in spite of my fall. It begins at 5000 ft in the Paradise parking lot. If you arrive early you can get a paring space. For some distance the the trail is a steep cement walkway built for tourists. Then it converts to a combination of manmade trail and natural.
After about two miles you will come to Pebble Creek. Crossing Pebble Creek can be interesting. One year the rocks had a thin coating of ice on them. I watched a couple hikers take the plunge into the creek and I barely made it across myself. After Pebble Creek you will be into the snow even in August most years. Then on to Camp Muir just another two miles away. You will think those two miles are a hundred or at least fifty.
After leaving Pebble Creek you climb a steep area of snow. This is where I fell, but more on that later. From there it just goes up. You may run into a crevasse or two on the way up depending on the snow melt, but they are small.
It gets steeper as you climb but there is a trail. Actually, there are several trails made by climbers in the snow. If you go on a clear day it is pretty easy to determine which one to take and you always want to go on a clear day. Once you can see Camp Muir it is still about a half hour away at my pace.
Coming back down the mountain can be fun. If the condition of the snow is right there are long slides you can take. It is called Glissading. Do not do it if the snow has frozen into ice. You will go way too fast. But if conditions are right it is a lot of fun.
Typically I will jog down. Be sure to keep your weight forward and place your heel first into the snow.
On that particular hike, I was wearing Yaktracks instead of Microspikes. Don’t do that. When the snow is just ice the Yaktraks just don’t give you enough traction.
When I reached the area just above Pebble Creek I was slowly making my way down a steep area when I slipped and slid a hundred yards down into the jagged rocks. I cut my head and legs. Fortunately, an EMT was on his way up the mountain and he bandaged me up and told me to go to a hospital within eight hours. I did.
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