The sun came out for the second weekend in March and so did the skiers and snowboarders. High pressure aloft made for amazing views from the flanks of Mount Rainier. New snow made the mountain sparkle!
Big shout out to the Road Crew for keeping the road clear and getting it opened early on a Saturday morning for all the backcountry enthusiasts. Check out the park's twitter feed (link to the right) for the latest info on when the roads in the park will open and close. Remember that it is still 'winter' here on the mountain and to drive and park accordingly. If in doubt, ask a ranger.
Also, as a reminder, please be aware of the avalanche danger in the backcountry. The forecasters at the Northwest Avalanche Center have been doing a great job this winter. Check out there website, read the current bulletin, and then corroborate the forecast with your actual observations. Avalanches aren't the only danger in the backcountry - cliffs, rocks, creeks, tree wells, moats, sastrugi, and other visitors can all cause accidents. Stay in control when you're skiing and riding. If in doubt in the backcountry, make a conservative decision - there's no ski patrol at Mount Rainier waiting at the top of the mountain and any help or rescue could be hours, if not days, away.
It's just five days away from when reservation requests for the summer season will start being accepted. Don't worry about being first, at least not until April. All requests received from March 15th to April 1st will be picked at random and processed starting in April. Any request submitted after April 1st will be processed in the order it was received. We recommend getting a reservation if you're flying a long distance to get here and don't have flexible dates, have a larger party size, or are planning on climbing during a weekend in July and early-August.
Hope to see you on the Mountain!