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Muir Snowfield Ski Tour

Skiing the Muir Snowfield on Mt. Rainier
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Rating: 5 out of 5 by EveryTrail members
Difficulty: Moderate
Length: 8.8 miles
Duration: Full day

Overview:  The Muir Snowfield on the south-east flank of Mt. Rainier offers some of the longest ski descents in the Cascades during the winter,... more »

Tips:  Essential back-country touring gear. Beacons, snow shovel and probe, plus the ten essentials. Best done during the spring when the... more »

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Points of Interest

1. Start of Tour

Complete tour video available

Enter Mt. Rainier National Park at the Southwest entrance just a few miles east of Ashford. Follow the road up to Paradise and park at the lower lot west of the Visitor’s Center, as the upper lot is for non-skiers visiting the Visitors Center much of the season. From the lower lot, head north into the woods towards... More

2. Base of Panorama Point Climb

Climb north-northeast to the base of Panorama Point. Climb the west face of Panorama Point to the viewpoint at 6800 feet. The main boot track is straight up the west aspect of face heading up to Pan Point. In the spring, it is often easier to boot up as opposed to skinning up the slope as you will want to do in the winter. Watch the slope to... More

3. Panorama Point - 6800 ft

Enjoy the view of the Goat Rock peaks, Mt. Adams, Mt. St Helens, and on very clear days, you can see Mt. Hood on the distant the southern horizon. Often the visibility is poor above the point on cloudy days so be sure you follow good landmarks if you proceed upwards in a whiteout.

4. McClure Rock

Continue to climb if visibility permits along the east flank of the snowfield towards McClure Rock to 7400 ft. This marks the descent route for the McClure Rock route back to Paradise. From here you head straight up the flank of the snowfield along the climbers track toward Camp Muir.

Descent Route:
The McClure Rock descent starts at 7400 ft. ... More

5. Anvil Rock

This wedge-shaped prominence marks the last stretch of the climb to Camp Muir. If you drift to the skier's left on decent here, you can end up on the Paradise Glacier, which does contain crevasses. Stay to the right of the rocky ridge crest on descent.

6. Camp Muir

This is the high point of the climb. From here, your descent begins down the snowfield.

Main Route
Ski the descent just adjacent to the uptrack for an intermediate run down the snowfield all of the way to Panorama Point. Be aware that the lower snowfield has several gullies the peel off to the west that can take you towards the Nisqually... More

7. Entry to Upper Nisqually Chute

The Nisqually Chutes are ideal in last spring and early summer when the snow is very stable. The entry to the longest run down the Chutes is at 8500 ft. on the west edge of the Muir Snowfield. This is an expert only run that drops you down to the east flank of the Nisqually Glacier quickly. On warm days, snow sluffs are common on this run with ... More

8. Entry into Edith Creek Valley

An alternate to returning back the standard route is to turn left into Edith Creek Valley after descending down from Panorama Point. There are a variety of mellow to steep runs that feed into this valley. The McClure Rock route drops into the valley at the Golden Gate.

9. The Golden Gate

See descent from McClure Rock. This entry to Edith Creek Valley can be missed if you are not familiar with the landmarks.