Monday, July 02, 2007

July is here... and Bill Painter is back

The mountain is being coy these days. Though the weather has been great (warm, clear, and calm), the avalanche conditions have been notable and threatening after last week's storm. Saturday (6/30) and Sunday (7/1), the guide services checked the conditions and decided that it was best to turn back, even though the weather was perfect. That was a great call, because there was definitely a threatening slab above the DC and also on the Kautz. See the updated reports for the DC and Kautz for more information on the route and snow conditions.

BTW, climbers and skiers should note that Mount Rainier has a history of "off season" avalanches (particularly in May and June) that have killed climbers... Keep in mind, however, that those slides could happen during any month. I recall being hit by a slide high on the Emmons Glacier with Joe Puryear in August one year after a snowstorm. That slide wouldn't have "buried" us, but it nearly swept us into a crevasse.

The weather forecast calls for extended hot temperatures and no precip. More than likely, the snowpack will settle out soon, which would be a good thing for everyone interested. But it's an especially good thing for our old (84) friend Bill Painter who is back on the mountain... Details on his adventures later this week... Good luck Bill, we're rooting for you!