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.