Well, for all the skiers out there it has been an up and down winter so far. Lots of big snows, followed by some big rain events. Such is life with La Nina! However, this weekend looks to be a sunny one at Mount Rainier National Park.
The forecast is calling for a cooling trend, with a sunny day on Saturday and maybe some "filtered" sunshine on Sunday. If you are in need of some vitamin D, grab your skis or snowboard and come on up to the park. The recent rains and warm temperatures at Paradise have settled the snow pack a bit, making for relatively stable avalanche conditions, which are expected to remain similar through the weekend unless something drastic changes in the forecast. With that said, it will still be a good idea to avoid steep slopes that will be in the sun. While the cool temperatures should certainly help, the sun has strong effects on the snow, even when it is relatively cold outside. Many of the cornices that developed over the last storm cycle have also been gaining weight from the rain, so avoiding slopes with cornices above will also be prudent.
It may not be a powder weekend, but it is always nice to get outside to ski, ride, or snowshoe in the sunshine. Grab your avalanche gear, a partner, and some sunscreen and come up to the mountain! Make sure to check the park social media pages (Mount Rainier Twitter Feed), website, or this blog to find out the most up to date road opening and closing information for the weekend. And if you see one the snow plow drivers thank them for their endless hard work! Without them none of us would be able to enjoy Paradise in the winter months.