September 20th is the last day for full-time Ranger Station operations at Camp Muir. There will be intermittent staffing, but don't rely on a ranger presence on the upper mountain. The Paradise Wilderness Information Center is also closed for the season. Climbers can still self-register at Paradise or any of the open ranger stations in Longmire or White River.
Guide operations will continue though September. The current route seams to be holding together with minimal change over the past few weeks. It's still crossing the Cowlitz, ascending through Cathedral Gap, traversing over from Ingraham Flats to the Disappointment Cleaver, ascending the spine of the cleaver, traversing back to the west to the top of Gibraltar Rock, and then zig-zagging from the top of Gib to the summit crater. Icy steep serac walls, skiffs of new snow hiding deep crevasses, and newly formed wind slabs are all hazards that climbers will encounter this time of year, along with the usual rockfall, icefall, and altitude hazards that occur year-round.
If you're planning a climbing trip to Mount Rainier next season and are doing some pre-trip planning follow these links to view our in-depth route briefs on the Disappointment Cleaver Route, the Emmons-Winthrop Glacier Route, the Kautz Glacier Route, and Liberty Ridge.
Thanks for a great summer season! Happy Autumnal Equinox and see you next year!