A night in a Snow Cave on Mt. Rainier on New Year’s day

Welcoming 2013 from our snow cave on Mt. Rainier

Jen and I don’t really attach much significance to days like New Years day. However, why pass on a nice extended weekend to get out and have some fun? We decided to go snow camping on Mt. Rainier. We had been to Mt. Rainier many times before but had never camped overnight, and never really built a snow cave. Got a lot of help from my good friend Brad, who helped me figure out what supplies I would need and how to use them. Also did a lot of research online on tips on building snow caves. Mt. Rainier is one of the snowiest places on earth and the hike to Camp Muir is one of the 10 most deadliest ones in the US. So I also went through all the incidents of fatalities and emergencies on Mt. Rainier over the last 30 years. Almost all involved bad luck and many were made worse because the victims and survivors hadn’t been planning on staying there long but were forced to due to bad weather. Since we had enough supplies to last us two days we felt safer.

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We were a little adventurous and didn’t pick a spot to build a snow cave until the sun had set. And then we realized our main shovel had a broken handle. This put us under a lot of pressure because we had to build the cave as soon as possible before we started freezing. It took us 4 hours and by the time we were done we were very tired. But we stayed up, cooked some food, toasted at midnight and then went to bed.

The inside of the snow cave in the morning


The morning was gorgeous as we saw the sunlight filter through the ice inside the cave. Mt. Rainier had full visibility and we could see every detail that could be seen.

You are required to destroy the cave once you are done to leave the area pristine and to avoid accidents of people falling in. It was a little sad to do that, but then also a lot of fun to jump around.

On the way back, we hit the golden hour and the landscape was bathed in beautiful golden sunlight. It was breathtaking and I will just let the pictures do the talking!

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