Thursday, November 8, 2012

Fall Turns

There's  been some great skiing on the Muir Snowfield this fall so far.  Between storms, and those 'tweens have been small, there have been some good snow conditions for skiing.  I last went up to Camp Muir on Friday November 2nd.  All those gargantuan suncups have been filled in.  Ski penetration has been pretty nice at less than 5 cm in most places so skinning up was fast.

I've taken the webcam down for the season.  Although we did get it working again, it's just too much to maintain in the winter, so we'll save it for next season.

Public shelter is open, but it may be snowed in when you get there.  Expect to shovel out the entrance.  Could take a long time and you may be exposed to the wind while you're digging (and tired and cold)...

A toilet is open near the public shellter, which may need to be dug out, too.

Remember a few things this winter:
     -Get a forcast from the NWAC before you go.
     -If overnighting, remember a permit, a pass and to park in the overnight area at Paradise.
     -Pack for contingencies, such as getting stuck out for an unplanned overnight.

Thursday, October 4, 2012

Webcam Working (if only temporarily)

So thanks to ranger Jon Bowman who made some last minute repairs - and with the generous support of our IT/Telecom unit in the park, we have a working webcam again at Camp Muir.  As time allowed this summer, we tried quite a few different solutions, but over and over we couldn't get it to work.

Finally, we fundamentally changed the way the webcam connects to other infrastructure at Paradise and it is finally working again.

The only hitch in the current getup is that I will have to take the camera off-line in the winter.  The antenna that I am using to support the radio transmissions down to Paradise is larger and will act more like a sail in the wind - and the winds will most likely reach over 150 mph this winter at some point and I don't want to risk losing the whole system.

So enjoy it for now.  I hope to keep it up until near the end of October.

The web url has not changed:

Thursday, September 13, 2012

Signs of Autumn

We are definitely starting to see the summer slipping out of reach from our perch high on Rainier. A couple of days ago the weather brought a fresh dusting of snow all the way down to Pan Point, and while it quickly melted away it was a reminder of what is to come. (More Snow)

Rangers navigating late season conditions on the Ingraham
Besides the short snow squall, conditions on the upper mountain have been generally sunny and warm. Climbers have still been heading up the DC on a daily basis and with the hard and consolidated surface conditions more climbers have been making daytime and sunset climbs, saving headlamp batteries and keeping circadian rhythms more normal.

The Climbing Information Center will be closed during the weekdays but still open on weekends throughout September. Rangers will be on duty from 7am to 3pm Saturday and Sunday to register climbers and answer questions. When the CIC is closed self registration is in effect and all climbers are still required to register. The self registration box is located at Paradise in the hallway of the Climbing Information Center for the time being.

Check out recent updates on the Muir Snowfield and DC for the latest Beta before you come up. Conditions are still great for a hike and a climb, but there are a few things to watch out for these days, like more exposed ice and crevasses in unexpected places. Plan well, Have fun.

Thursday, August 23, 2012

Still Climbing

So as many of you might have noticed our updates have been kind of few and far between lately. We've had some pretty hard times this summer and this site has felt the effects of tired rangers. We as a group definitely want to extend our thanks to everyone that has supported our program and what we do here at Rainier throughout this summer. Your positive support is greatly appreciated!

As we enter the backside of August, a time when climbers start to shy away from Rainier for many reasons, we just want to say that Rangers are still up there climbing, staffing high camps, training (still) with some new and very exciting rescue techniques and pretty much around to serve you for a while still. The standard routes are holding up great right now, with the DC staying as direct as it can for late August and the Emmons holding solid all the way up the Winthrop. Many of the non standard routes such as Mowich Face and Edmunds Headwall, to name a couple, seem to be in really good shape up high still, access over the bergschrunds seem to be the major cruxes. The weather looks good for a late summer adventure, so come on out and get some!

Saturday, August 11, 2012

Remembering the one and only Ted Cox!

Last Sunday Mount Rainier National Park and the Rainier Climbing Community lost yet another long time friend. The following is from our Chief Ranger Chuck Young and former climbing ranger Mike Gauthier. Thanks Guys. A memorial service honoring the life of Ted will be held this coming Thursday, August 16th around 6 pm at the Community Building in Longmire, WA. Everyone is invited to come and help us celebrate the life of our friend. It is a potluck so along with stories bring some food and beverages to share. If you would like more details about the location or event please email us, we will try to be timely in our response.

We are saddened to report that MORA Protection Division employee Ted Cox 
has passed away from complications related to an aggressive form of
cancer. Ted, 70, passed away this Sunday in the company of dear friends
and loved ones; he had worked for the past 10 years as a seasonal Trails
Laborer at Camp Muir.

Ted’s career at Mount Rainier was defined by meticulously taking care of
the waste and water systems for Camp Muir, arguably one of the world’s
most difficult utility systems to maintain. He did so with pride,
dedication, and joy, which earned him the unofficial and affectionate
title of "Mayor of Camp Muir." By doing his duties so well and with
such disarming charm, the climbing rangers were better able to focus on
the pressing needs of public safety and resource protection. Each week
in the late spring and summer, Ted began his work shift by hiking to the
10,000 foot high camp where we would reside for four days. Each trip, he
would pack and haul heavy loads of supplies and materials; often he
performed arduous and physically demanding tasks at high altitude which
is always an impressive feat. This is something that Ted did with
gleeful pride up until his diagnosis this June.

With a playful and light-hearted grin, Ted often said that maintaining
the critical waste system at Camp Muir was his “life’s work.” He was
serious about that too, as he loved the mountain community and the
unique personalities that he would meet day to day. Ted did more than
just maintain a utility system, however; he also cared for the staff as
a non-judgmental friend and confidant, and always kept the peace amongst
a dynamic crew of with equally dynamic personalities and situations. Ted
was the person that rangers and guides could rely upon to help maintain
cohesiveness and peace within the sometimes intense and stressful
situations that can exist at 10,000 feet. Before Mount Rainier, Ted
worked at Olympic National Park in the maintenance division, and in the
off-season, lived in Sequim, WA and in Talkeetna, Alaska. He will be
sorely missed by the guides, rangers, his friends, and the public who
had the good fortune to meet Ted at Camp Muir or while hiking up or down
from Paradise.


Wednesday, July 18, 2012

...And More Summer

Last weekend we saw a tremendous number of climbers heading up Mount Rainier and lots of folks just out for a day hike, picnic at Muir or getting some rather great mid-July turns in. Most routes on the mountain seem to be staying in great shape thanks to a cooler and wetter than average June.

July is one of the busiest months for climbing on Rainier, but those seeking more solitude should try for mid-week climbs on the popular routes, such as the DC and Emmons, or head out to some of the more remote west-side routes that are still in good shape. Also many thanks to the climbers who have been helping keep the routes and high camps clean during this busy time of year. We really appreciate your efforts.

Check out a couple of great trip reports sent to us by contributing climbers Bartosz Paliswiat and Scott Seitz on Sunset Ridge and Success Clever, respectively. The photo at right was also taken by Paliswiat. Guess Sunset Ridge got its name for a reason!