So as many of you might have noticed our updates have been kind of few and far between lately. We've had some pretty hard times this summer and this site has felt the effects of tired rangers. We as a group definitely want to extend our thanks to everyone that has supported our program and what we do here at Rainier throughout this summer. Your positive support is greatly appreciated!
As we enter the backside of August, a time when climbers start to shy away from Rainier for many reasons, we just want to say that Rangers are still up there climbing, staffing high camps, training (still) with some new and very exciting rescue techniques and pretty much around to serve you for a while still. The standard routes are holding up great right now, with the DC staying as direct as it can for late August and the Emmons holding solid all the way up the Winthrop. Many of the non standard routes such as Mowich Face and Edmunds Headwall, to name a couple, seem to be in really good shape up high still, access over the bergschrunds seem to be the major cruxes. The weather looks good for a late summer adventure, so come on out and get some!
Last Sunday Mount Rainier National Park and the Rainier Climbing Community lost yet another long time friend. The following is from our Chief Ranger Chuck Young and former climbing ranger Mike Gauthier. Thanks Guys. A memorial service honoring the life of Ted will be held this coming Thursday, August 16th around 6 pm at the Community Building in Longmire, WA. Everyone is invited to come and help us celebrate the life of our friend. It is a potluck so along with stories bring some food and beverages to share. If you would like more details about the location or event please email us, we will try to be timely in our response.
We are saddened to report that MORA Protection Division employee Ted Cox has passed away from complications related to an aggressive form of cancer. Ted, 70, passed away this Sunday in the company of dear friends and loved ones; he had worked for the past 10 years as a seasonal Trails Laborer at Camp Muir. Ted’s career at Mount Rainier was defined by meticulously taking care of the waste and water systems for Camp Muir, arguably one of the world’s most difficult utility systems to maintain. He did so with pride, dedication, and joy, which earned him the unofficial and affectionate title of "Mayor of Camp Muir." By doing his duties so well and with such disarming charm, the climbing rangers were better able to focus on the pressing needs of public safety and resource protection. Each week in the late spring and summer, Ted began his work shift by hiking to the 10,000 foot high camp where we would reside for four days. Each trip, he would pack and haul heavy loads of supplies and materials; often he performed arduous and physically demanding tasks at high altitude which is always an impressive feat. This is something that Ted did with gleeful pride up until his diagnosis this June. With a playful and light-hearted grin, Ted often said that maintaining the critical waste system at Camp Muir was his “life’s work.” He was serious about that too, as he loved the mountain community and the unique personalities that he would meet day to day. Ted did more than just maintain a utility system, however; he also cared for the staff as a non-judgmental friend and confidant, and always kept the peace amongst a dynamic crew of with equally dynamic personalities and situations. Ted was the person that rangers and guides could rely upon to help maintain cohesiveness and peace within the sometimes intense and stressful situations that can exist at 10,000 feet. Before Mount Rainier, Ted worked at Olympic National Park in the maintenance division, and in the off-season, lived in Sequim, WA and in Talkeetna, Alaska. He will be sorely missed by the guides, rangers, his friends, and the public who had the good fortune to meet Ted at Camp Muir or while hiking up or down from Paradise.
Posted on Saturday, August 11, 2012