Monday, December 11, 2006

Access is difficult

I reported that Paradise would open late this winter and that prediction is spreading. The News Tribune now says March... They also increased the estimated cost to date: $791 K. As noted earlier, the repairs at mileposts 5 and 9 will each take a minimum of 1-2 months The question is, can those repairs take place concurrently? I also wonder about the difficulty of doing such work in the middle of Mt Rainier's winter. Dare we say...???

Over the next few months, there will be a number of events around the Puget Sound (and maybe beyond) to raise awareness to Mt. Rainier's flood and recovery work. They are a great opportunity to reconnect with the park and discuss what's happening on the mountain. My first scheduled talk/show is on Jan. 19th at the Mountaineers Clubhouse in Tacoma. I'll put more information up about the program when the details settle.

The suggestion to access the mountain from Highway 410 was well intended, but we've since learned that the state doesn't allow any parking along HWY 410 near the park boundary. You either have to have someone drop you off, or [READER CONTRIBUTED UPDATE] park in the small pullout on the right, which isn't always plowed, as you turn onto Crystal Mountain Blvd.

Speaking of intrepid climbers, a few showed up at Nisqually Entrance wanting to hike the Nisqually Road to Paradise. The road corridor, however, remains closed. There is some talk of allowing access to the westside road or Longmire, but those issues are still up in the air and largely depend upon the repairs at Sunshine Point and Kautz Creek. Stay tuned.