Thursday, March 22, 2018

Winter Storm in Spring

Crevasses opening up early-season.
Spring sprung on the mountain for almost a week - high temps, plenty of sunshine, and even a couple of rain squalls.  Now that it's officially spring the sun is carving a higher arc in the sky providing warmth to most slopes on the mountain during the day, and speaking of days: they're getting longer!  Summer will be here before we know it - but even in the summer, and reading into the forecast for the weekend, winter storms can still pummel the mountain.  With almost a foot of new snow and 1000 foot freezing levels, this weekend looks cold!

Climbers have been submitting reservation requests for this season already.  The park starting accepting reservations on March 15th.  You have until April 1st to submit your request before the park starts processing requests in the order they were received.  We recommend making a reservation if:
  • The dates you want to climb are around a holiday weekend or around a weekend in July
  • You're traveling a long distance to get here
  • There's a slim margin of dates that you're able to climb
  • The size of your climbing party is large (five or more)
Remember that walk-up permits are available and that only 60% of the total amount of permits are available for reservations.

Some intrepid climbers have already made the summit of the mountain this March during a spell of good weather up high.  The self-registration kiosk in Paradise and the Longmire Museum in Longmire are the two places climbers can register this time of year.  Any overnight trip in the park requires a wilderness camping permit, and each climber climbing above 10,000 feet or on glaciers must pay the climbing fee.

This time of year on the mountain can be cold, and at times unsafe, but can also be the most wild and beautiful.  Check the forecast, road access, and come on up to visit the mountain in the spring time!