Wednesday, May 29, 2013

Memorial Weather

Both high camps have been receiving lots of new snow over the past couple of days.  Memorial Day itself put drifts up to 50 cm deep around camp.  High winds (40-50 mph) pasted the wet snow to most surfaces.  The general forecast, at least initially, looks better for early-June.  Hopefully we'll avoid the all too common "Junuary" weather pattern.

Climbers have been unsuccessful in reaching the summit for almost a week due to weather and avalanche concerns - although challenging conditions have been welcome training conditions for climbers with their sights set on even loftier peaks.  

Stop by the Climbing Information Center in Paradise for the most current information on the mountain.  We're open everyday at 06:00 - come on up and talk to us early, the Paradise Inn is open again for the season and they do serve espresso!

See you on The Mountain.

Wednesday, May 22, 2013

Cancel the Luau, Winter is Back!

As we approach the month of Juneuary here on Mt. Rainier our weather has done a 180. Monday was sunny with great corn skiing on the Muir Snowfield, now we are looking at breaking out the powder skis again!

Yesterday, NOAA published a  Special Weather Statement reguarding this front moving down from the Yukon. Snow is expected Wednesday thru Friday. So far we have  14" of new snow is on the ground!
Today, 5/23/13 rangers in Paradise woke up to another 7" of fresh snow and no sign of it letting up soon. If your a powder hound you will be stoked!  If you are traveling to Paradise, Chains or 4x4 have been required for the past two days.

On the climbing front, this storm system has provided a reset for the mountain. Last week was bluebird and climbing felt like July. This week climbers should be prepared for winter conditions and the subsequent avalanche hazard from heavy snow fall and wind loading.

 Further, crevasses are going to be a increasing hazard. The recent warm spell produced significant melt on the mountain with NPS natural resources speculating that 2 meters of snow was lost. Lots of craks have started to open up and combined with this recent snow the possibility for thinly covered and wind-liped crevasses is very high. Be sure to travel in rope teams anywhere on a glacier.

The Climbing Rangers are still on the Mountain and Rainier is open for business. Come up and enjoy the weather.

Tuesday, May 14, 2013

Route Updates

Check out a couple of updates on the DC and Emmons on our conditions page. Temps have cooled off and snow surfaces have solidified for the time being. This could be a great time to get on some non-standard routes if the weather keeps giving us some breaks. Full on sunny day at Camp Muir this afternoon!

Thursday, May 09, 2013

Weekend Update

We have come to realize there was some incorrect information about the White River road posted earlier on this blog. The road to White River campground is currently gated at highway 410 and not plowed past the White River ranger station. Climbers will need to boot or ski if traveling past the entrance booth. Apologies to anyone who was thrown off or planning on bicycling to the campground.

The Emmons and Inter are in prime shape for climbing and skiing right now though, so if you don't mind the extra travel it's a worthy destination. Stay tuned for some more route updates over the weekend.

Tuesday, May 07, 2013

Feels Like a Pacific Island Around Here

With all the beautiful sunny days and scorchin' temps we've been having lately, some visitors to Rainier might feel like they are actually visiting a Pacific Island rather than on a cold snowy volcano in the Pacific North Wet. It's actually kind of fitting since this month of May, is National Asian American and Pacific Islander Heritage Month.

Even though our high camps are far away from warm Pacific Islands, rangers have sometimes been known to imagine themselves on a tropical beach of some sort. So bring your sunscreen, some tropical fruits, your favorite swim costume and head on up to our glacial island where you can almost see the Pacific Ocean on a clear day. We'll be waiting.

On another note the Northwest Avalanche Center has issued another special statement visitors to our mountain should read. If anyone sees anything weird going on with out snowpack we'd love to hear about it.

Wednesday, May 01, 2013

Special Avy Statement

For those who are venturing out in the backcountry anywhere in the Cascades from now until the end of the weekend take a moment to read the special avalanche bulletin that NWAC has put out.

There are some great conditions for climbing and skiing right now, always use YOUR best judgement to stay safe.