A storm pummels the mountain as winter finally plays a more serious hand. High winds were measured at Camp Muir today. For 12 hours, the weather telemetry station recorded 100+ MPH wind gusts; 10 of those hours had sustained averages above 90 MPH! Currently, it's snowing at Paradise. Until Sunday (Nov 11th) the weather over the last few weeks has been rather mild with very little precipitation and long stretches of clear skies. The early October snow storms that resulted in great skiing largely disappeared, until today. The current forecast for the week calls for cold temps and more precipitation.
The normal procedure for "climber" self registration will likely be suspended this winter with the recent report that overnight parking at Paradise is likely to be limited. The current plan calls for 18-20 overnight parking spots - TOTAL... Nine of those spots will be set aside for "campers." Those are folks who "dig in" around the immediate Paradise area - i.e. 1/4 mile from the parking lot. Stay tuned if you intend to climb on weekends, it's likely to be tight.
Detailed road updates - Nisqually to Paradise: closed nightly at Longmire, the uphill gate locks at 4:30 pm. HWY 410: (Chinook and Cayuse Pass) open, however the road to White River and Sunrise is closed at Mather Wye. HWY 123: (Cayuse Pass to Ohanapecosh) closed. The Carbon River Road remains closed from the flood damage; HWY 165 to Mowich Lake is closed at Paul Peak Trailhead.
Pickles: The sadly fated Cascade Fox is gaining internet attention judging by the number of hits, links and web traffic. I wonder if there should be a Mount Rainier Animal Stories blog? (See HWO, NWH, and Backpacker)? It reminds me of our Ingraham Flats bear, which everyone seemed to love.