Autumn Rolls In...

Autumn started last week with a heat wave. High freezing levels and cloudless skies brought the temps up and the climbers out. Plenty of guided parties and independent climbers summitted last week. As the snow continues to melt, interesting objects around the mountain have been appearing. Climbing Ranger Cliff came upon some old aviation wreckage on his patrol last week.

The conditions are still okay for late September. Approaches to the standard routes (Disappointment Cleaver and Emmons/Winthrop) are icy and have crevasses, but are definitely passable. Wintry weather can change climbing conditions quickly. The National Weather Service forecast read "The first storm of Autumn will begin to affect the region late Monday with cool and damp weather lingering through most of the week." Hopefully a week of stormy weather will bring decent skiing conditions.

Sunday, September 27th is the last day the Climbing Information Center will be open for the 2009 season. Self-Registration in Paradise will be open through the winter.

Crushing It

Last week was warm on the mountain - and the forecast is for record temps early next week. Climbing on the mountain has been heating up too. A former climbing ranger, Chad Kellogg, was seen mashing up and down the mountain - three times in a row. His earlier tour this summer (climbing from White River up and over the summit, down to Paradise, and back in less than 24 hours) was just the beginning of the triple header throw down. Round three has yet to be rung in.

A helicopter was up on the mountain Wednesday afternoon for what was thought to be a climber with a broken leg. The injury occurred at 12,800' on the Emmons Glacier and the patient was flown from a flat spot just below. All rescuers and the patient made it down safe and sound.

Check out the recent updates on both the DC and Muir Snowfield. While skiing conditions have gotten worse, climbing conditions have improved.

Autumn Climbing

A small break of warm and clear weather, after the major storm cycle, let multiple teams summit early this week. A climbing ranger climbed on Saturday morning and reported 'great-for the end of the season-conditions' on the DC. Climbing rangers at Camp Schurman had a similar report about the Emmons/Winthrop route.

End of season operations are underway. Helicopter flights for refilling propane tanks and human waste removal occurred last week over the mountain. Stairs to the half-doors on the public shelter are being put in place and the solar dehydrating toilets at Camp Muir will be closed. The larger ADA compliant vault toilet with a half-door will be opened at Camp Muir for use during the winter.

Be sure to double check registration requirements for the dates of your climb. The transition from summer registration regulations to winter registration regulations has begun. See the regs. link to the right for more info.

Fresh Snow

Post Labor Day weekend storms have delivered new powder to the mountain. Big swings in freezing levels and large volumes of precipitation will bring dynamic conditions to the mountain. Come prepared for a variety of challenges.

Seven days of stormy weather and complex conditions have shut down both independent climbers and guided parties from reaching the summit. Check out updates to the DC and Muir Snowfield for photos and current conditions. Photo taken from Camp Muir during a stormy sunrise.

Labor Day Weekend

As the last major weekend of the summer approaches things are getting quieter on the mountain. We've had lots of climbers summit even with late-season conditions. The weather has been warm and dry for the most part. Leaves of the deciduous trees are starting to change in the valleys below making for spectacular views from the upper mountain.

End of season operations are beginning next week. Climber self-registration will start on weekdays beginning Tuesday. See the climbing
permit/regulation page for further information.

See you on the mountain.


Message from park superintendent

As we look ahead to the fall season, we are excited about the PBS debut of the Ken Burns’ film The National Parks: America’s Best Idea. The 12-hour series starts on Sunday, September 27 and runs for six consecutive nights. I think this will be a powerful series and is going to be a great showcase of the National Park Service, its purpose, its places and its people - I hope all of you will have an opportunity to see it. Check out pbs.org/nationalparks for film clips about the series, e-postcards that can be sent to friends to tell them about it, and other information.

Randy King
Acting Superintendent