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Mt. Rainier: Expedition Skills Seminar continue training at Camp Muir

The storm hitting us at Camp Muir originated in the tropics and we wouldn't have been surprised to see palm fronds waving in the breeze given how unseasonably warm it is up here. Yes, it's still snowing, but just. And for being at 10,000' that's warm! We started our day discussing numerous topics in the Bunkhouse, but ventured out by mid morning. Equipped though we were with full on Gortex storm gear it took less than an hour for the moisture in the cloud enveloping our world to permeate the vaunted membrane of our rain gear. But we persevered and got some great training in, developing our expertise in handling running belays and evaluating snow stability through studying snow pits. Lunchtime found us back inside, thankful for the plywood protection of our bunkhouse and trying to dry out our external layers through our bodies natural internal combustion. It does work, but slowly. There was plenty to talk about through the afternoon, and when queried whether anyone wanted more outdoor training a decided no was the response. A smart group! The evening culminated with war stories of Everest and beyond. Now that we're back in our old sleeping bags the weather gods are unleashing a tempest like no other. All we can hope is that this big bad storm is blowing itself out. Dreams of a pleasant descent tomorrow morning might allow some well deserved sleep tonight. Goodnight from Camp Muir. RMI Guide Brent Okita

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