More information about the climbing routes and access to them is starting to pour in from our vast network of contributors (you could be one too)... And from the latest reports, getting up and down the Glacier Basin trail won't be so easy this year. Today, the NPS trail-crew leader said, "My initial impressions, given the several feet of snow, is that the route will be impassable to most people and will likely require the full replacement of about one mile of trail." There's more on the Glacier Basin trail in the Updated Route Conditions.
The Seattle PI (in the Getaway Section) did a nice feature on spring access to Mt Rainier. The story covers what's happening, safety, and what visitors may expect once the park reopens. But the best part of the story is that they managed to tag this blog as "all things Rainier." Nice!
Last week, I revisited Camp Muir for the first time in three months. Things there seemed as normal as ever when it comes to spring access... However, things will be different this summer with the new guide services on the mountain. The most notable change will be that the NPS ranger station is moving to the Cook Shack (which is much more centrally located in camp). Also worth noting are the changes to what guide service will be operating out of what facility... AND that there will be a few new weatherports at Camp Muir... When the dust settles on the plan, I'll post more information. In the meantime, the reservation office has been quite busy churning out permits. If you've submitted a climbing reservation, there is a good chance that your confirmation is already in the mail. Pictured right is Seattle Times photogragher Erika Shultz, image by Mike Gauthier.
In other mountaineering news, Phil Ershler (longtime guide for International Mountain Guides) and his wife Susan recently released a book about their quest for the seven summits. In 2002, they became the first known couple to complete the circuit. The Seattle PI did a really nice piece about them, and some of the trials and tribulations, that went on behind the scenes.