Friday, October 16, 2015

Sunny Winter Skiing

Skiers have been out making tracks.  Snow has thinly covered most of the Paradise Meadows and a couple of sunny days have made backcountry skiing feasible.  Weather patterns have been unstable over the past month and will probably continue to be variable.  Severe storms have blown through the park without much warning.  Make sure to have a contingency plan if poor weather leaves you stranded!  Check the NWAC Website and look at the "Mount Rainier Area" telemetry sites for the latest conditions.  The snow pack at Paradise looks to be holding on for the duration of the winter.  The Tatoosh Range still looks rocky with lots of slide alder sticking up.  Use caution while backcountry skiing this time of year - or just wait till the mountain gets a solid snow base.  Be especially cautious skiing in thinly covered areas with low visibility.

Road access to Paradise is limited to the daytime.  There's a gate at Longmire that is open ideally from 9:00 AM to 5:00 PM.  Extreme weather events and high avalanche danger can prevent the road from opening.  The park is tweeting out road daily opening/closing updates @MountRainierNPS.  Check out the widget in the sidebar to the right for the latest tweet!  Also, look to previous posts for off-season climbing information.