For the holiday weekend, expect wintry conditions to persist on the mountain, especially above Paradise. Frontal systems moving through our area during the next couple of days will be unseasonably cold, wet and windy. Expect multiple inches of new snow each day Saturday and Sunday, with the highest concentration predicted to fall Saturday. The National Weather Service has issued a Winter Weather Advisory from 1PM Saturday to 5PM Sunday.
|A ranger skins uphill near Panorama Point.|
Of course it's still 100% snow from Paradise to Muir. It's a 'choose your own adventure' mashup of skin tracks and boot packs to the base of Panorama Point where everyone converges on the main chute to get up 'Pan Face'. Above that the boot pack trends NNE aiming towards McClure Rock and the Sugarloaf. This is what rangers and guides call the 'winter route'.
There are very few rocks exposed on the Muir Snowfield. Expect whiteout conditions, which can happen without notice despite any weather forecast. Please prepared to travel without visibility by recording a GPS track so you can get back to your starting point.
For a GPS device or cell phone to be useful for navigation the device must be and stay charged throughout your travels. Bring equipment to recharge if needed. Ensure the appropriate maps are downloaded for the area. If technology fails you, a map and compass can be a lifesaver. Below is a helpful NPS map not to be used as a topographic map, but it notes key features along the route, GPS coordinates, and the compass bearings to Camp Muir and back to Paradise.
Camp Muir is very much still in winter conditions. NPS high camp workers, rangers, and the guides have all been teaming up to dig out the camp despite consistent new snow. As of 5/22/2022 there are five working bathrooms, 2 on the West side of camp, and 3 on the East side.
We are trying to discourage folks from urinating in bathrooms which operate on a conveyor system that is prone to freezing. Instead to dispose of urine waste on the snowfield side of camp and as far away from camp as possible. There are also no blue bag receptacles, currently, at Camp Muir. Please transport your blue bags down to Paradise for disposal. Also, The public shelter has been reopened for normal use after being closed since 2020.
|Camp Muir from Muir Peak|
While climber success remains abnormally low, a few teams of guided parties and independent climbers have made the summit recently. Weather and heightened avalanche danger have been the main reasons for unsuccessful summit bides. We expect that to continue to be the case through the weekend and into next week.
Rangers have been busy opening the camp and have not yet been to the summit so information is a little thin on route conditions. The Ingraham Direct is 'in' but with several crevasses to traverse. With a winter storm advisory we can expect the exact route to change over the weekend but below is the track take by an independent team that went to the summit on May 23.
Please continue to use your winter mindset when preparing for a climb of Mt Rainier. Avalanche danger continues to outweigh most of the 'normal' hazards and if your team is not prepared to perform avalanche risk management please reconsider the timing of your climb.