Thursday, June 09, 2011

Going Big, Getting it Done

This past week has been a very busy time on the Mountain. Climbers have been coming out in droves, summiting via many, many routes, and skiing some very big and beautiful lines down the upper and lower mountain. Even though there have been some cloudy days in the lowlands, the weather on the upper mountain has been spectacular, with sunny skies light wind, and a little new snow just to keep things fresh. Last weekend saw a few hundred skiers come out to get spring turns on the snowfield, and with close to 200 inches of snow still on the ground at Paradise it can be assumed there will be many more great days of skiing this spring, and yes even this summer.

If you were one of the people who made it up to climb, ski, hike or just hang out above the clouds for a day or two you may have noticed some busy rangers running around doing all sorts of tasks, one of which was helping scientists put stakes in the glaciers by which they measure the melt rate of the winters snow, that then helps them determine overall mass balance of the glaciers. The past 14 months of cold and wet weather have had a pretty big impact on the mountain. This is the first ever year where glaciologists have found a positive mass balance in Rainier's glaciers, even though it was just barely on the positive side of things. We'll be waiting to see what kind of weather this summer will bring and how it will effect the large amounts of snow we currently have on the mountain.

Check out the new route updates and photos for the DC, Gib ledges, Liberty Ridge, Camp Muir and the Muir Snowfield.