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!