Trip Report    

Backcountry Ski/Snowboard - Camp Muir

Beautiful day to be out on the Muir Snowfield with ~3000' of good skiing to be had.

  • Road suitable for all vehicles
  • Coverage was very thin and patchy below 7,200' with many protruding rocks, but there was relatively carefree skiing/skinning above 8,000' and careful skiing/route selection between.  The summer trail provided good travel with compact snow and a good bootpack.  Some party members used microspikes on the way down for traction.

    The situation at the current toe of the snowfield was surprising and even a bit distressing.  There were large dirty, icy berms and some deep holes (around 7600' and more or less on the standard Camp Muir route) that could easily ingest someone traveling on foot without flotation.  These holes will likely be covered — thinly — in successive storms until a thicker cover builds up later in the season, but they'll likely be back next year late in the season.


With the park now operating in Winter mode, we entered the Longmire gate when it opened at 9:00AM and started hiking from Paradise at around 9:40AM.  The trail was thinly snow-covered from the edge of the parking lot, but the coverage was thin on the trail and only several unconsolidated inches deep off the trail.   We stayed on the summer trail up until above Pebble Creek, following an established bootpack, until around 8,000', where we took our skis off our packs, stashed trail runners, and started skinning.

From Camp Muir, we enjoyed about 2,000' of free and easy skiing on the snowfield (on slightly punchy snow) followed by another 1,000' of still enjoyable skiing with some engaging route finding to avoid the more "shark-infested" areas.


We switched back to boots at around 7,200' and hiked down to the parking lot, reversing our ascent track.  By the time we were back at the lot, sections of the trail that were snow-covered in the morning had melted out.