Thursday, April 12, 2007

Cinco de Mayo - Projected Opening

In celebration of Mexico's victory over French forces in 1862, the proposed reopening of the park has been pushed back to May 5th. OK, maybe that's just a coincidence, but I suspect that there will be some amount of celebration on May 5th if the road to Paradise does open. More in The News Tribune, Seattle PI, and Seattle Times.

Based on recent email, there is increased interest in the status of the Glacier Basin trail. Earlier this week, I relayed the news about significant damage to the trail. As a point of optimism, remember that a handful of people have successfully made it to Glacier Basin already this year. Yes, early season snow helped these folks out, but determined teams will probably find a bypass around the significant areas of destruction. In fact, I heard a rumor that two climbers/skiers made it to 11k a few days ago!

Speaking of the east side and access to the White River area, the road crew has cleared a path up to the campground wye. It's unclear when they will clear the campground road, but anyone accessing that area can bike in from the north boundary. As a reminder, self-registration is still in effect at the White River Ranger Station and watch for NPS/DOT vehicles.

Here are a few snippets from the 2006 Mountaineering Report. I'll get the rest of it up on the next week.

Climbing Statistics

9,154 climbers registered in 2006. Of those, 4,132 were part of a guided trip, while the other 5,022 climbed independently. 5,787 summited, the overall success rate in 2006 was 63%, a rather high rate.

The Disappointment Cleaver and Ingraham Glacier direct are the most popular routes on Mount Rainier. Together, they saw over 6,500 attempts in 2006. The registration statistics for the most popular routes are as follows:

2006 Registered Climbers, Popular Routes

Routes Attempted or Climbed:
Disappointment Cleaver and/or Ingraham Glacier Direct - 6,534
Emmons – Winthrop - 1,477
Kautz Glacier and Fuhrer Finger - 447
Liberty Ridge - 164
Gibraltar Ledges - 139
Little Tahoma - 120
Tahoma Glacier - 51

Resource Protection

In 2006, over 22 barrels of human waste (four and a half tons) were collected from high camps and Panorama Point. We regretfully report an increased number of displaced blue bags and piles of human waste, 122. Climbing rangers also carried down more trash from high camps than ever before, almost 700 lbs. Along the way, they also dismantled 71 rock walls and newly established campsites.