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Trip Report    

Camp Muir & Anvil Rock

Trip Date: Sunday March 31, 2015

Trip Log:

Total Time: ~10 hours

Trail Conditions:
I think this trip is the last for going straight up Marmot Hill, since on the ascent it was getting patchy, and the descent we scouted it for possible glacading, but too much snow had melted and now there’s too much exposed ground. Also, the NPS has put up ropes at the top which is probably an indication that they no longer want people going that route. The rest of the season its the trail, taking the switchbacks across Marmot Hill to Panoramic Point.
The East side of Muir snowfield, along McClure Rock & Sugar Loaf, the ridgeline is mostly exposed with good sections of continuous rock, offering reprieve from the snow field if one so desires to mix it up. My preference is to ascend on the rocks (east side) and descend on the west side of the snow field, especially if the group desires glacading.

Leaders Reflections:
Everyone made Camp Muir & Anvil Rock & Sugar Loaf!
We started out with mostly cloudy, which was nice because just standing in the parking lot I was getting hot. We didn’t hit solid snow until we broke off the trail to skirt to the base of Marmot Hill. Didn’t really need cramptons but the group put them on anyway. At this point there’s just about no need for cramptons to get to Camp Muir --freezing level is likely to remain 10,000+ feet for the remainder of the season.
As I mentioned in the trail conditions, we headed north west from the stone toilet at Panoramic Point.
When we got to the base of Sugar Loaf, I asked the group if they would be interested in a detour to scramble Sugar Loaf, which everyone seemed excited to do. Turned out to be an exciting scramble since we had to use ice-axe self-belay for ~20 meter snow-hardpack section with ~40 degree slope to make the last pitch to the top. I led and kicked in the steps, which I think once the steps are kicked in it wasn’t as exciting for everyone else. Once at the top, we continued on the east side of the ridgeline which required squeezing in between the rocks and hard pack snow. Saw fissures in areas with rather all-too-similar-deep-blue-hard-pack snow-ice reminiscent of glaciers. We stayed on the rocks for the traverse.
From there we followed the exposed rocks for a little ways until it looked good to start veering towards the caravan line to Moon Rock. North Sugar Loaf is a good spot to head northeast to tie back in the main caravan line since straight ahead is likely glacier/crevasse territory.
At Moon Rock we talked about Anvil Rock and the group decided to do it on the descent. I believe it was at Moon Rock that we got to see sun dogs up in the sky --it was my first time I had ever seen them, so cool.
Made it to Camp Muir at ~15:00 (some sooner, some just a little bit later) which gave everyone a good hour at altitude (3000+ meters / 10,000+ feet).
Group located to the far east side of the Camp to get away from the all-too-potent toilets.
We departed at 16:00 for the descent which was our turn-around time.
At Anvil Rock the group decided to detour to take in the view offered from the top of Anvil. I think everyone was quite happy with the detour since we had such a spectacular view, and you’re right on top of Paradise Glacier.
Group got a bunch of good glacades in on the way down. Since I wanted a bit more of a workout, I ran down along the glacading paths, which I find to be a blast.

Started out with 4 liters of water; drank 3 liters on the ascent, and drank my last liter to the parking lot.

This time I lathered up the zinc sunscreen. No sunburn to speak off, but because I wore my ‘stylish cool’ helmet for most of the day I think that rubbed my forehead, so I have a red band there.

I enjoyed this trip immensely; great group of people. Can’t wait to do it again.

Saw a marmot on the way up to Marmot Hill --hence the name?
More marmots on the way down from Marmot Hill.