The colors of fall have arrived at Mount Rainier. With the change in color on the lower slopes comes change up high. All of the climbing guide services on Mount Rainier have finished their summer operations and high camps are closed for the season with only occasional visits by the rangers. Winter storms have blanketed the mountain with a thin layer of snow covering large crevasses and drifts forming hazardous cornices. Climbers can expect very challenging, if not impossible, route conditions on the standard routes with the potential for dangerously cold and stormy weather. Even day hikers and backcountry riders need to use extra caution. Endeavors into the Mount Rainier Wilderness this time of year are much more serious adventures. Always carry extra warm clothes, technology to navigate in a storm, and have a contingency plan.
Check the Mount Rainier Recreational Forecast before leaving for your trip. Remember that there's no gate that closes when the weather gets too rowdy - you have to make that decision for yourself and your team.
Both the Longmire and White River Ranger Stations are open through October 9th. Check out the park's Operating Hours Page for more info on seasonal closures. Also, as the snow line continues to fall, the passes in the park will begin to close for the winter. The park's twitter feed announces all the latest news regarding roads in the park and there's a Road Status Page that catalogues all of the changes throughout the year.