We all wake up and hustle around to get our gear in order. With all the mountaineering equipment strapped onto my pack, I look like Samwise Gamgee from The Lord of the Rings. The tent Jewel Thief and I are using weighs in at a measly 7lbs (ouch!) of which I’m carrying the tent and he has the poles and fly.
After a few errands, we make it out of town and arrive at the trailhead by 12:30. We all sign up for our climbing permits and start our 5 mile, 5000′ climb up to Camp Muir which will be our base camp. The climb up begins with an asphalt trail and hundreds of tourists. In about a mile it switches to gravel and the tourists thin down. About half way up, the trail ends and we hiked the rest of the way on snow fields. We make it up to the camp by 6pm and setup our tent on a snow platform a measly 5 feet from our first real crevice.
From the camp we can look south and see Mt. Hood, Mt. Adams, & Mt. St. Helens washed in reds and blues from our brilliant sunset. We all cook dinner, organize gear, and climb into our bags to try to get a couple of hours sleep before our 12am wake up.