Winter conditions have returned to Mount Rainier without much of a Fall transition. There has been snow as low as Paradise in the last 24 hours and the National Weather Service has issued the first winter storm watch for the season.
...WINTER STORM WATCH IN EFFECT FOR ABOVE THE 5000 FOOT LEVEL FROM THIS EVENING THROUGH TUESDAY MORNING... .TODAY...Showers. Snow accumulation at Paradise near 3 inches. Snow level near 5500 feet. .MONDAY NIGHT...Showers. Snow accumulation at Paradise near 9 inches. Snow level near 5500 feet. .TUESDAY...Showers. Snow accumulation at Paradise near 8 inches. Snow level near 5000 feet. .TUESDAY NIGHT...Rain or snow. Snow accumulation at Paradise near 5 inches. Snow level near 5500 feet. .WEDNESDAY...Showers. Snow accumulation at Paradise near 4 inches. Snow level near 5000 feet.
A snow level near 5000 feet is typical for Winter here in the Cascades. BRRRRRR.
The guided climbs from Sunday didn't even leave Camp Muir to attempt a summit bid due to the stormy conditions. The route requires a large degree of independence and technical proficiency as well and would be very difficult to navigate in white-out conditions. We strongly discourage climbing it in a storm. Above the Cleaver there is several hundred vertical feet of heavily crevassed terrain. The guides have been sending teams up to repair and reroute the path through this area every day for the past several weeks. There have been large collapses with climbers on route and parties without sufficient skill have become stranded on the mountain for short periods of time.
|Climbing teams navigating a heavily crevassed area.|
There are a few more storms in the forecast before things dry out again. For this reason and the complexity of the route we would advise against attempting a summit bid in the next few days. Consider changing your objective to focus on learning skills instead of going to the summit or even let the winter pass and climb when conditions are more favorable in the Spring. Remember that even a trip to Camp Muir can be extremely hazardous in low visibility.