Thursday, November 03, 2011

Winter is here

There is no doubt that Winter is upon us at the high camps. New snow, rime and ice have accumulated over the past few weeks during several minor storm cycles. A few parties a week are still striking out for the summit. Shorter days, icy conditions and cold temps are keeping the summit percentage low.

Right now it is super icy at Camp Muir and on the Muir Snowfield. Boilerplate ice laid bare by winds covers large stretches of the Snowfield and the Cowlitz Glacier. In other areas the hard ice is buried under just a few inches of snow. There aren't many times that one wants a pair of crampons just to get up to Camp Muir, but this is one of 'em .

Skiing/boarding is pretty good on the lower Muir Snowfield (see snowfield conditions) but above Camp Muir it is not looking so good.

Posts are less frequent during these winter months. Be sure to check out the weather and avalanche conditions when planning a trip to the mountain this winter. Also, regulations for climber registration change, roads will close, and visitor center hours switch as the park prepares for winter. Check out the links to keep current.

The roadgate at Longmire closes each evening (at 6pm) and reopens each morning after the Road Crew has finished its prep. We have an excellent crew who do their best to keep the road passable, but there will be a handful of days this winter when conditions are so bad the road to Paradise will not open.

Cone on up and enjoy our early winter!