Sunday, June 24, 2007

Guiding, recent weather, and the 4th of July

We haven't discussed guiding operations on Mt Rainier in a while, but the local paper interviewed the guide service owners and operators last week. They (the TNT) shared their thoughts on the 2007 operation to date. But little of this information should come as any big surprise to readers of this blog... and I would note that there are a few errors (minor) and omissions (political) in the article. But hey, this blog is about climbing conditions, current Rainier related gossip, access, and things you can do to avoid climbing accidents!

Speaking of which, climbing rangers recently spent more time on the Kautz Route. They would have done something on another route, but the weather has been quite tough lately. And while we're talking about the weather, hasn't it been reliably terrible over the past few weekends? Rain, snow, high winds and cold temps have been dominating the upper mountain with regularity everytime Saturday night rolls around. Even Ted (our ever faithful high camp maintenance guy who cleans the outhouses) finally broke down and complained that the weather has been rotten! I (and many climbers) agree.

Are you into fireworks? The city of Tacoma isn't, and I suppose you should know that the National Park's aren't either (no big surprise there). Therefore, you'll have to celebrate the liberation of the USA on county property if you want to light a few sparklers or ignite things that go "boom." That said, some of the best firework displays are to be enjoyed from the summit (or high camps) of Mt Rainier. One year, I hung out at Liberty Cap (appropriately named) for the 4th of July festivities. The firework displays across the Puget Sound were totally, totally awesome. Bring your bivy gear, (and cell phone, nudge, wink) sit back and enjoy the awesome view (if the weather cooperates).