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Snow Caves

January 21-22, 2016« More activities from 2016

We met at the church at 7:30am, got our gear together, and left the church around 9am. The road to Paradise was open, so we headed to Mt. Rainier! We stopped in Elbe to make sure our vehicles we all together before heading on to the Mount Rainier National Park gate. The gate ranger informed us that chains were required if we didn’t have four wheel drive, so a couple vehicles had to stop about half the way up to Paradise to chain up.

There was lots of snow, probably 12+ feet at Deadhorse Creek Basin campsite area. The weather was great on Saturday. Many hiked and made camp with with no coat on until the sun went down. The sunset was beautiful on the mountain and surrounding area. Everyone stomped out tent platforms and stowed our gear in our tents, three groups of Scouts built useable snow caves, and two groups slept in them. Dinner was hot and good and most ate between 5 and 6pm. We had a large, almost full moon and decent amount of stars on Saturday, so we did not even need our headlamps on the night hike. Everyone was very warm when we went to bed between 9-9:30pm on Saturday.

Lovely sunrise on Sunday too. We boiled snow all morning and folks made breakfasts, coffee, cocoa, and cider as they got up and dressed. We then collapsed our snow caves, took down our tents and stowed our gear, and swept camp for gear, garbage, and dropped food.

We had hoped to get a little sledding in and do a short treewell rescue training, but as we were sweeping camp, the clouds came in and we got some snow. It was great to experience all the different weather. We hiked back to the cars, put all the gear in the vehicles, and drove down to Longmire where we had lunch before driving home. We made it back to the church by about 4pm. – MHG

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