A makeover of Camp Muir at the 10,000-feet level of Mount Rainier is scheduled for the next few years following an environmental approval of the project.
The National Park Service announced last Thursday that it has issued a Finding of No Significant Impact (FONSI) for the Camp Muir rehabilitation plan, allowing the project to proceed. Work on replacing some structures and remodeling others will take three to five years, depending on the availability of funding for the project, officials said.
The Client and Butler shelters will be removed and replaced, and four new toilets will be constructed to replace five existing toilets, according to Mount Rainier National Park officials. Toilets at the center of the ridge where the camp is located will be removed, and new toilets will be located on the east side of the ridge.
The Historic Public Shelter will have a ventilated cooking area partitioned within the building to provide separation between sleeping and cooking functions.
Camp Muir, roughly 4,000 feeet below the mountain’s summit, is located on a narrow east-west ridge, or cleaver, at 10,080 feet on the Gibraltar climbing route. That route is considered the most direct one to the summit of Mount Rainier, and it’s heavily used. The number of climbers has ranged from approximately 9,000 to 11,000 annually on the mountain since 2001, officials said, and approximately two thirds climb through Camp Muir. As many as 500 climbers and hikers visit the spot each day during the peak climbing months of July and August.
The popularity of Camp Muir as a climbing base camp and day-hike destination strains its existing facilities, officials said, which led to the rehabilitation plan. As part of the environmental review process, the plan was aired last year at public meetings held by the Park Service in Ashford, Tacoma and Seattle.
Camp Muir has been listed on the National Historic Registry since 1991.