Wednesday, May 27, 2015

Two Thousand and Fifteen Season in Full Swing!

It's officially between Memorial Day and Labor Day weekends which we consider as the "climbing season" here on Rainier.  Only about two percent of the 11,000 climbers who attempt Mount Rainier every year climb in the "off-season" and their success ratio is much lower due to the difficulties of colder, stormier and more unpredictable weather.  Guide companies have started making regular trips up and down the mountain, snow on the mountain has begun consolidating into a melt-freeze cycle, and non-standard routes around the mountain have been ascended.  

A much lower than average snowpack here in the Casacades will have an impact on climbers this season.  Routes might not be "in" as late as some summers.  Approaches along the Wonderland Trail are almost entirely snow free.  The Mowich Lake Road is scheduled to open in early June.  Even some sub-alpine wildflowers are starting to bloom in the high meadows.  

Construction projects at both high camps will begin for this year in early June.  Extreme weather tore the bathroom apart at Camp Schurman.  New walls and a door will be installed there.  A new and improved toilet system and structure will continue being built at Camp Muir behind the Public Shelter and eventually replace the current toilet scene.

We're stoked on the long days and nice weather patterns we've been having.  Come see the mountain before the white winter coat wears off!

Thursday, May 21, 2015

Memorial Day Weekend

Recent Weather and Tokaloo Spire,  Puyallup Cleaver
'Tis the weekend again and a three day one at that. Be prepared for some fabulous and variable mountain weather this weekend.

The DC is in shape thanks to much work done by the guide services. Check the route condition pages for more details from around the mountain.

The general consensus is that the glaciers are in mid-late summer condition, and that the snow is in spring condition not quantity. If you are planning on voyaging on a lesser traveled route expect heavy slogging, flotation recommended.

Skiing from Muir to Paradise is getting less and less direct you will probably have to pop your skis before hitting the parking lot. As the trails melt out please stay on them! Per the usual watch for terrain traps and unmarked obstacles.

Saturday, May 16, 2015

Road Construction

Nisqually Bridge Construction 1959

Construction on the Paradise Road will resume Monday May 18th, 2015.
The current phase of the construction project will start in Paradise and work downhill towards Longmire.
Expect delays up to 30 min between 7am and 5:30pm. Monday-Friday until further notice.
Check the Mount Rainier National Park website for periodic updates.

Thursday, May 14, 2015

Climbing Information Center is Open.

The Paradise Climbing Information Center will be opening for the 2015 climbing season on
Friday May 15th.

The CIC will be open daily from 7:00 to 12:00 and 12:30 to 4:30 pm to register climbers, answer questions on conditions and provide general information on climbing Mt Rainier.

All self registration for climbing Mount Rainier will be closed until mid September. In order to climb Mount Rainier you must visit a ranger station in person to purchase a climbing pass and register your party. This is most easily done at the CIC or White River WIC where you will also be able to contact a climbing ranger for the latest updates.

Climbing registration is required for any glacier travel and/or travel above 10,000'.
36 CFR §7.5(b)(1)

We look forward to seeing you out on the mountain this year.

Friday, May 01, 2015

It's Friday!

The weekend is upon us with a high and dry forecast.

Big news around the mountain is that the road to the White River Campground is now OPEN, Stevens Canyon road remains CLOSED, and that asphalt has been spotted in the Paradise meadows (eek!).

You read that right folks access to the north side of the park just got a whole lot easier, you can now drive to the White River Campground.

If you are planning on running a shuttle from one side of the mountain to the other:
- The shortest drive is going to be around the south side of the mountain through Packwood on the Skate Creek Rd/ Forrest Road 52 (watch the bumps and elk).
-The anticipated opening date for the Stevens Canyon Road is May 25th. The opening date is subject to change, crews are working now to clear the obstructing rock slide.

For those of you familiar with the Paradise area it looks like mid July already.

This week has been warm, with more sun on the way; conditions are changing rapidly.
For folks touring there is an abundance of low snow hazards in addition to the regular hazard that comes with traveling in and through avalanche terrain. Watch where you are going, watch where your buddies are going.

Stay smart, stay safe.