Monday, May 19, 2014

Full Swing!

It's been a great week at Mount Rainier! The climbing and skiing have been excellent, lots of people have been getting to the summit, and we rangers have wrapped up our annual early season training so we've begun staffing the upper mountain more regularly.

Right now is a prime time to climb some of the less-traveled routes on the mountain as well as the standards. The snowpack is deep and coverage is great all over the mountain so many of the more difficult and committing routes are in excellent shape. There have been parties on the Tahoma Glacier, Liberty Ridge, and all over the south side of the mountain. We will be adding information about more routes as we get access to them and hear reports from you folks. We want to hear from you about your climb particularly if you have been on any of the aforementioned non-standard routes.

As always, pay attention to the weather forecasts. We still get some pretty strong spring storms this time of year, but the sunny periods in between offer excellent climbing conditions and fantastic views of the alpine surroundings. Access to more remote areas will usually require skis, snowshoes or determined post-holing, come prepared.

The Climbing Information Center in Paradise is open daily from 6:00 am - 3:00 pm Sunday to Thursday and 6:00 am - 5:00 pm Friday and Saturday. Stop in for route and weather updates, and to register in person with a friendly ranger.

Climbers leaving from the western side (Paradise, Longmire) of the park are required to register in person during business hours. Climbers leaving from Carbon or White River may still self register as those ranger stations have not opened for the season yet. These ranger stations should be opening prior to Memorial Day weekend so please check our Park Access page for current road conditions and opening dates.

Since there is a holiday weekend coming up make plans for getting to ranger stations early, especially if your destination is Camp Muir or Camp Schurman. Although these camps can hold a lot of people they do sometimes fill to capacity. It is smart to have an alternate plan or at least have the ability to be flexible if your primary itinerary doesn't work out.

We look forward to seeing you on the mountain!