Tuesday, January 16, 2007

Mt Rainier Update

It's been far too long since I've posted... So what's going on at Mount Rainier? Lots of road repair, but very little climbing and hiking. I snapped this image of the Carbon River Road on Saturday, Jan. 13th. For the most part, hikers/skiers/climbers are limited to the main road corridors, unless they'd like to bushwack.

On Sunday, the 14th, I hiked to Camp Muir under calm, clear skies. Though the temps were well below freezing, I wore only light clothing the entire way. Camp Muir and most of the buildings were encrusted in ice and firm snow, however, and access to the Public Shelter was straightforward and easy.

The snow conditions (ski/board) below Pan Point were absolutely fantastic. Over the past week, there has been a prolonged cold snap throughout the Pacific NW, which left great backcountry skiing and climbing conditions around the region. Even in Seattle, there was snow on the ground for more than 72 hours. As for the route to Camp Muir, I needed snowshoes up Pan Point, but things firmed up nicely above 7K.

Speaking of snow, there is over 130 inches on the ground at Paradise (nearly 350 total inches this fall/winter). Not bad for an El Nino year (predicted by climatologists to be warmer and drier).

In the meantime, David Horsey of the Seattle PI decided that Mt. Rainier needed a cartoon.