There are many camps on Mt Rainier, but the most popular by far are the Muir Camp, and the Ingraham Flats. By far and a way, the
most summit attempts are made via these two camps (particularly the Muir Camp). Muir Camp is located at an elevation of 10,080 feet
above sea level, and is located in a spectacular setting as you can see in the main photo above. It is the camp of choice for two day
climbs on the mountain, and is used extensively by the park and guides services. Full time rangers are on duty at the camp during the
main climbing season which goes from late May through mid September, and are very helpful should you need some assistance.
Above you see a photo of the public shelter at camp Muir. It is
a very sturdy structure but can be cold and a bit drafty in a
storm. But it certainly beats being out in a tent when hurricane
winds are in force. To the right you see a photo of the interior
of the public shelter. Nothing more than little alcoves for your
equipment and wooden bunks to sleep or rest in.
To the left, are a couple of the guides tents set up on the flats.
They also can be helpful during down time with questions you
may have about the route up above, or the conditions you may
run into, since they are going up and down the mountain almost
on a daily basis during the heavy climbing months of July and
I would say that most climbers do not use the Ingraham Flat
camp, and opt to get up very early from camp Muir and go all
the way to the summit from there. But we opted for an easy
second day for our climb, and made use of Ingraham Flats. It
certainly makes summit day a lot easier, having that additional
1000 feet of elevation out of the way, and even more
importantly, some extra rest before having to push for the
summit the following day.
In the photograph to the left, you can see far
below in the upper right hand corner, Ingraham
Flat camp. Notice that the camp is surrounded by
large crevasses. Always remain roped when
wandering around areas outside the camp. A
hidden crevasse is always a possibility and you
certainly do not want to fall into one of them.
Ingraham Flats, unlike Camp Muir does not have
any toilet facilities, so all solid waste must be
packed out. But all in all, we found the Ingraham
Flats area, like Camp Muir, to be in a very
beautiful setting, and it was a great experience to
watch the sun rise and set from such a
spectacular location on the side of Mt Rainier.
So whether you use just Camp Muir, Ingraham
Flats or both, you will be sure to have a great
adventure on Mt Rainier.
|Mt Rainier - Camps timberlinetrails.net
The Camp Muir area also has a toilet and a place to deposit your blue bags. The biggest negative when it comes to the public shelter is
just that "it's public." Very little privacy, and it can be noisy during all hours as climbers go in and out, set up gear, cook, and then
wake up and get ready (at all different times in the very early morning) to set out for the summit.
Above left you see a photo of one of the guide services huts, with the ranger's hut in the background. In the above picture on the
right, you see climbers setting up on the lower slopes of the Ingraham Flat camping area at 11,100 feet. This camp is pretty exposed,
and wind can certainly be a problem. So many folks dig in, or build walls of snow and ice around their tents to help with this problem.
Above left, you see a climber nicely dug in with his tent in place. This type of setup provides excellent protection from the wind, and
even helps a bit with the cold. Needless to say, you will need a lightweight snow shovel to do this kind of work. On the photo in the
above right you see that the climber has used his ice ax to anchor the tent. We used a snow picket to anchor ours. This is a must, if
you do not want to loose your tent in heavy winds.