Tuesday, May 22, 2012

White River Opening

So the latest news from White River is that the road to the campground and the ranger station will be opening this Friday around 7:30, barring some unforeseen event. The road to White River Campground is currently clear but still gated at Hwy 410. Climbers can gain access behind the gate by bike or foot to get an early start on the weekend.

Fuhrer Finger Sunrise
For the remainder of the season the White River ranger station will be open from 7:30 - 4:30 Sunday through Thursday, 7:00 - 7:00 on Fridays and 7:00 to 4:30 on Saturdays.

So it seems the weather is taking a break from summer and freshening up the skiing conditions for a bit! Remember to always be careful in stormy weather and bring your map/compass/GPS with you for when the visibility gets low.

Check out a great report on the Fuhrer Finger sent to us by some Utah climbers. Also, many thanks to those who have sent feedback on the Google translate feature. It appears to be a pretty rough translation, which doesn't surprise us, but could maybe be of use in certain situations. We will keep evaluating it.

Hope everyone has some great adventures planned for the upcoming holiday weekend!

Saturday, May 19, 2012


This blog now has the ability to be read in many many languages! (Possibly)

There is this little scroll down button that our blog service provides which supposedly translates whatever we type in English into something like 50 languages. It seems like a pretty cool tool, especially because we get a healthy population of foreign climbers here on Rainier.

However, since the foreign language skills of most climbing rangers are kind of rudimentary, we can't really fact check that what we write is being properly translated. Unless we just blindly trust Google, and that's not really how we roll.

So if you are one of our readers that has some solid skill in another language, we would very much appreciate some feedback on how the new Translation Button (to your right) works. Thanks!

Monday, May 14, 2012

Road Openings

The weather this week looks great for climbing! Check our updated Access and Road page for the latest beta on how to get where you want to go

The Climbing Information Center (CIC) is now open 7 days a week 6am to 3pm. That means that there is no more self registration out of Paradise. Please stop by the CIC to register for your climb. Self registration is still in effect for White River and Carbon until the ranger stations open full time for those areas.

Also check out the climbing route interface with Google maps to help in your trip planning. Yes, we know it still needs some tweaking to work super smooth, but you might find it to be a help.

Wednesday, May 09, 2012

Flying High with the 214th

Over the past couple of days, Climbing Rangers had the opportunity to train with the US Army 214th reserve aviation brigade and their CH-47 Chinook helicopter. The 214th and the Rainier climbing rangers have been working closely together for many years and they provide us with an exceptional tool for Search and Rescue missions and we are very proud to have the opportunity to fly with them. 

Throughout the climbing season rangers and the Chinook crew train together so when things get "real" everyone is up to speed with what to do. The 214th's Chinook is specially equipped for working on Rainier, with skis that make soft snow landings possible, special flooring which allows rangers to wear crampons inside the helicopter, and special rigging inside that allow rangers and rescue litters to be lowered and raised safely on the cable hoist. 

Training with these guys also allows us the chance to do some great early season recon of the climbing routes on Rainier. Yesterday we got that opportunity, so check out the Route Updates page...all the major routes have been updated with aerial photos and conditions all around the mountain are looking great! Access to the more remote routes is difficult at this time, since many of the roads into the park are still being plowed out from the winters snow. The road crew has been working very hard lately and most park roads should be opening soon. If you are feeling adventurous there is nothing stopping anyone from getting to and climbing any route at this time, just plan on an extra day or two for the approach. Spring on Rainier can be some of the best climbing and skiing along with a very real wilderness experience.

See you on the Mountain.

Saturday, May 05, 2012

CIC Opening

The Climbing Information Center is now OPEN!  Please feel free to come on by and say hello--We've spent the past couple of days de-shuttering the windows, digging out pathways, and just generally shining the place up. The entrance is somewhat hidden due to huge walls of snow, but if you walk toward the Paradies Inn you should see the plowed path to our front door.

We'll be open this weekend from 8AM to 3 PM Saturday and Sunday . The CIC will be closed during the week--and will open full time (6 AM to 3 PM, 7 days a week) for the season on May 12.  Feel free to stop by or give us a call with questions--360.569.6641.

All climbers must register in the CIC if going above 10,000 feet during the hours we're open, otherwise look for the self registration box in the Old Station.  Don't forget to check out from your climb.

Wednesday, May 02, 2012

May Days

So if you are a Northwest resident it is no secret that we have had our fair share of dreary weather this spring, but that hasn't stopped a lot of motivated people from coming up and having some rather fantastic days playing in the park... I know I've gotten a face tan so the sun has definitely been out. The thing with partly cloudy, partly rainy, partly whatever forecasts is that a lot of the time the sun does in fact shine through. So I guess the take home here is to not let some drizzle get you down, come on out and see what's happening for yourself.

Most of the roads in the park are still being plowed out from under feet of snow and the Paradise road is still under winter management which means it does close every night, but since the weather is staying a little warmer, skiers and climbers can count on access to Paradise being more consistent until the switch to summer management. We will continue to keep our Road and Access page as up to date as we can as roads get plowed and opened.

The Climbing Information Center located at Paradise is going to be opening for weekend operation starting this Saturday at 8:00!  For the next two weekends rangers will be staffing the CIC from 8am-3pm, and then by May 12th the CIC should be open full time 7 days a week 6am - 3pm. Stop by to register for a climb, get some up to date info for your ski tours, or just to sit on our couches and read from our library.

Check out some recent photos and conditions reports from the Muir Snowfield, Gib Ledges, and the Fuhrer Finger. We also welcome reports and photos from climbers, since we can't be everywhere we really enjoy hearing how peoples trips went, especially on the more remote routes.

The Weather, Snow and Avalanche page has been recently updated and includes some new links to weather sites to help with your trip planning.