Like the previous post stated, it's fully summer. Still. The sun has been out consistently during normal daylight hours and the stars have been seen most of the other time. The cloudy marine layer that covered the Puget Sound area most mornings never even made it close to the park boundary. Summertime and the living is easy!
Saturday Morning, Camp Schurman
The scene up here on Rainier the past couple of weeks has been really busy with climbers making many successful ascents of many routes. The Emmons and the DC are still both in great shape. The Emmons is currently the more direct route of the two, offering stellar glacier climbing from Schurman to the summit. Many people have also been climbing the Kautz, encountering moderate and fun conditions in the ice chutes and moderate glacier travel above. We've even gotten a few reports in from climbers who have made recent ascents of the Tahoma, Sunset Ridge, Ptarmigan Ridge and Mowich Face. The approaches on these more remote west side routes are a bit long and involve more encounters with scree and talus this time of year, but the climbing conditions above 9,000' remain great.
Sunset Ridge, photo by Paul Cook
The past couple of weeks we have seen what appears to be an increase in the number of climbing parties having mishaps and/or full on accidents. We as the climbing rangers just want to remind everyone to stay vigilant, know and respect their abilities, stay aware of current conditions, and be ready and prepared to deal with whatever emergency may arise on your own. Help is definitely out there for people if it is needed, but that help might be a long way off which means self rescue is always required to some level.