In Case You Missed It
Boulderganic Fall 2009
Student Guide 2009
Boulder Weekly Sweet 16 Anniversary
Summer Scene 2009
Best of Boulder 2009
Annual Manual 2009
Newspaper of the Future
Kids Camp Guide 2009
Wedding Marketplace 09
Student Guide 2008
Best of Boulder 2008
Annual Manual 2008
Join Our Mailing List
• Bikes for the commute
by Joe Miller
• More Elevation stories
• Upcoming Events
Danger lurks where winter clings
Take extra care if heading to Mount Rainier National Park
by Jeffrey P. Mayor
Snow continues to fall in the upper elevations at Mount Rainier National Park. So far this year, 947 inches of snow has fallen at Paradise. That’s just shy of 79 feet of snow.
With the snow year, which runs June 30 to July 1, having just come to an end, this year ranks as the fifth snowiest, according to park records. The top four snowfalls are:
1971-72: 1,122 inches
1973-74: 1,070 inches
1998-99: 1,032.5 inches
1955-56: 1,000 inches
All this snow means that folks who traditionally visit the park this time of year will likely find their favorite trail under snow.
“The fear we have is people will be coming up when they normally do, and they’re not expecting the conditions they will encounter,” said the park’s chief ranger Chuck Young.
“Everything has been pushed later. The stream-crossing issues you encounter in June might be seen in July. It’s just a strange summer,” Young said.
He stressed that hikers will need to be careful to stay on course if they try to make their way over snow-covered trails.
“In many places you’ll go through solid snow or patches of snow. If you’re not tuned into the landmarks, or know how to use your GPS, you could get lost,” he said.
The park’s new bio toilet at Cougar Rock Campground is ready for campers.
Staff from the park and the Japanese nonprofit organization, Groundwork Mishima, activated the toilet last week. The toilet uses cedar chips and natural composting techniques to reduce the need for water and eliminate odor.
The high-tech toilet, valued at $70,000, was donated to the park last fall by Groundwork Mishima, which works with citizens, local governments and businesses to address environmental issues and promote volunteerism in Japan, according to a park press release. The group is active at Mount Fuji, which has a “Sister Mountain” relationship with Mount Rainier National Park.
The toilet was installed in August with the help of Japanese Volunteers-in-Parks Association students. The group has been volunteering at Mount Rainier since 1993.
Because it was late in the season when it was installed, the toilet was not activated last fall.
The campground and picnic area is scheduled to open at noon Friday.
Campers should be aware that there is still three feet of snow in some places and some sites have not been cleared of snow.
back to top