Friday, February 20, 2009

New DNR Book Update

I wrote a post about the new book by the Washington Department of Natural Resources (WA DNR), Information Circular 107 "Roadside Geology of Mount Rainier National Park and Vicinity" by Patrick T. Pringle and contributors. In developiing two Web pages, one for the description and download the book and sections, and two, the map searchable download, I communicated with both the author, now a professor of Earth Sciences at Centralia College, and the folks at the WA DNR.

I did incorporate all of their suggestions and recommendations which you can see on the main book description and downloadWeb page and map searchable map Web page. But in working with DNR for the Web pages I discovered their download ftp server has problems with Apple's Safari browser, which is my main browser, with plug-ins with Mozilla's Firefox browser, and with OmniWeb browser.

Alternative Download Web pages

So to resolve the problems and provide an alternative access to the book, I developed two alternative Web pages, the new description and download Web page and searchable map Web page. These Web pages do not have problems with any browser or plug-in, at least what I have and tested, but you can send e-mail if you discover a problem with your browser or plug-in.

I still recommend people buy the book from DNR's Web page since it's a great book that is easily useable wherever and whenerver you want, especially in the car and field. I would also consider downloading the PDF files and printing some of the tables and maps to view alongside the individual trip sections. You can get the best of both.

Wednesday, February 18, 2009

DNR book errata sheet

The primary author/editor, Patrick Pringle, of the book, "Roadside Geology of Mt. Rainier NP and vicinity, Washington", WA DNR IC107 has an errata sheet, and is summarized below.


p. iii: I forgot to thank Gene Kiver for contributing information on the summit ice caves including the photo used in Fig. 39 on p. 41.


p. 8 typo. Figure 6 caption: In the third from the last sentence it should say "...this stream..." not "...this steam..."

p. 9 typo: "The Cascades volcanic arc has been active for "at least 37 m.y." [not 27 m.y., as stated in the book].

Fig. 8 (p. 10): The top of Pyramid Peak (elev. 6937 ft) is located about 1/2 in up and to the right of where the leader points.

Part I

Fig. 14 (p. 18): We inadvertently left out the west Rainier seismic zone (WRSZ) on this figure. However, the WRSZ is shown on Fig. 3 on p. 4 and on Fig. 43, on p. 44.

Fig. 33 caption. after “…reached the Nisqually River”, add “…and that the Osceola Mudflow and Paradise lahars flowed farther than depicted here. The areal extents of the Round Pass Mudflow and Reflection Lakes lahar, both large clay-rich flows, are not shown.”

Part II

Fig. A-3. This crude map of the Tanwax-Ohop valley flood(s) grossly exaggerates the width of the area inundated. Unfortunately an updated map on a lidar base was misplaced; a replacement is in preparation.

Fig. B-16, p. 73: The leader pointing to the Clear Fork Dacite Flow should extend almost a quarter of an inch (~8 mm) farther down to the flat surface that dips gently to the right.

Fig. C-14, p. 80: Oops, vegetation covers the drift referred to in the caption!

Fig. D-2 typo. The caption should say “southeast-dipping beds…” (in a future edit of this picture, the farthest right arrow should be changed so that it points to the actual dip slope (which dips to the right in this image) and the other two arrows should be moved slightly so that it’s clear they are pointing to the dip slope and not the scarp slope.

Fig. E-10, p. 101; Added information: Steamboat Prow is the pyramidal peak to the right of Emmons Glacier; Inter Glacier sits on upper flank of Steamboat Prow and Winthrop Glacier is above and to the right of the Steamboat Prow; Russell Cliffs (thinly bedded flows dipping to the north) are beyond the Winthrop Glacier.

Fig. F-21, p. 114: The platy jointing alluded to is not easily visible in this photo.

Fig. H-12, p. 128: The first sentence of the caption should say, “Tumac Mountain shield volcano.” The last portion of the second sentence should be changed to say, “…a crater is hidden in the trees on the west flank of the summit cinder cone.”

Fig. H-24, p. 134: Quaternary Tieton Andesite is the uppermost flow unit shown on the horizon to the far right.

Fig. M-3, p. 156 typo: The third sentence of the caption should say, "The buried trees shown in Fig. M-4 were about 150 ft..."

I'll keep this updated if I see additions.

Sunday, February 15, 2009

Thank the folks

Photo by Drew Perine, TNT

I wrote a short essay about the daily winter chore at Paradise in Mt. Rainier NP where I found images of the snowplower driver going to and working on clearing the parking lot at Paradise. Well, Sunday (2/15/09) the Tacoma News Tribune has a story on the winter staff, including the snow plow drover who clear the Longmire to Paradise road.

While we go there to enjoy the snow and the scenery, let's not forget the wonderful folks who live and work there, and make sure our time there is safe and fun and we get home. Without these folks, it just wouldn't be and the NP would be closed for the season when and where the best we could do is stand at the entrance and stare, and maybe get short hikes into the edges of the NP, and still not begin to appreciate it.

The NP has a history of all the people who have given time, some their careers, to being and working in the NP. While it's a nice summer job for many, it's a year-around job for some, the dedicated NPS employees, the contractor staff and the Inn, and the many volunteers who give their time.

So when you see them, say thanks.

Saturday, February 14, 2009

The daily winter chores

It's a snowy job and someone has to do it. Everyday it isn't seriously snowing, someone has to drive to Paradise, and start the road clearing equipment. While someone clears the road to Longmire, someone clear the road and parking lot at Paradise. And if you want to know how they get there (since no one lives at Paradise).

Those same someones has to get up early every day and drive there, no matter the snow and roads, no matter the cold and risk, they just do it because it's part of the work they do and enjoy. So when you go to Paradise in the winter, don't forget to remember someone cleard the road and made the parking lot that day.

You can see this on the NPS' Webcams.

Monday, February 9, 2009

New DNR Book

The Washington State Department of Natural Resources (DNR) has produced a new book on Mt. Rainier and the surrounding area. The book, Information Circular 107 is the "Roadside Geology of Mount Rainier National Park and Vicinity." It is available from the State Department of Printing or by downloading the individual section PDF files on the DNR Website (click on "Download IC107").

A word of warning about the dowload. Check your browser use and preferences to see how the files download and display. People using Apple's Safari browser should use the control-click on the link command to download the file as it may not display after loading in the browser window. Firefox gives you a choice to view or download and both options worked. I don't have or use any Microsoft products, so I didn't check Internet Explorer browser.

The book is excellent and a great book to know the geology of the mountain, national park and area on your visit. You can also read the chapters for the road guide for the different routes to, in and through the NP. And it's better as a print version, available through the DNR Website for $17.95 plus shipping.

Sunday, February 8, 2009

Early History

The Early History of Mt. Rainier NP

I would be hardpressed to present the history of Mount Rainier National Park in just a few Web pages with other Web pages of related information or materials. There are far too many people who have more than aptly described the history of the NP before and after its designation. What I have decided to do is focus on the pre-NP periods and the early decades of the NP, namely 1880-1920.

The history of Mount Rainier, once Mount Tahoma, can be divided into periods on decades due to the events about the mountain and the work to make it a national park and some of the general trends of nation during the respective periods. But that said, it's still mostly arbitrary on my part for the choice of events because it fits my interests about Mt. Rainier NP for photography, geography, and maps.

I've chosen three early periods, pre-1890 (explorations), 1890-1900 (pre-NP efforts and interests), 1900-1920 (USGS maps), and one later period, post-1920 (follow up to maps, laws, science, etc.). The pre-1890 period, mostly 1870-1890, is when the first explorations, including mount climbs, and first exploitation, mostly mining, timber, wildlife and land, occurred without little, if any, oversight and controls.

The period 1890-1900 was the period for the first scientific expeditions, the desgination of the Washington Forest Reserve and the work from 1893-1899 when the area was set aside as a national park. This was the period where all the efforts changed the course of everything about Mt. Rainier, and with the introduction of emulsion sheet film by Kodak in 1890, it opened the door for a number of photographers to work in and around Mt. Rainier.

The period 1900-1920 were the early years of the stablishment of the NP against the competing development and conservation interests, trying to find the funds for the basic needs and operating expenses before being brought into the new National Park Service, and the new scientific efforts in the NP with respects to developing maps, understanding glaciers, assessing the timber and wildlife resources, and other scientific ventures.

In addition, I'm researching the 1869 expedition by a team of USGS geologist who were exploring the rocks and geology of the Cascade Mountains at the time and were assigned to assess the glaciers and rock of Mt. Rainier. This eventually ended up in a USGS report published in an annual report in 1898.

And since discovering that report (have an original print copy with photos and maps), I've discovered a small wealth of material around it, so I'm working on an expedition revisited project with a report and map of their route. This expedition, known in the scientific community, has largely been overlooked by the mountain climbing community despite the team spending a night in the summit crater before descending to the Paradise Valley for rest before resuming their expedition.

History has shown they were the first to navigate across the northern face of Mt. Rainier, and if it weren't a last minute decision, one of the team member's 10 year old daughter would have also made the summit climb. Otherwise, she accompanied them for the whole expedition, even staying at the camps at the 7-8,000 foot elevation level while they climbed to the summit and return.

Anyway, that's the start of my view of the early history, and I'll update and add Web pages as I progress.

Updated news and access

I have updated the photo guide with the latest news concerning access and conditions. The short summary is that all the roads are closed at the entrances except the Nisqually entrance to Longmire and from there to Paradise, see news and access Web page.

I have also added new Web pages for the NP Web cams and for winter photography with a map for locations. I'm back to working on the early history, which covers the period before it's designation to the first USGS topographic map of the NP (1880-1920).

In addition I'm focusing research on the 1896 expedtion. I've found some letters one member wrote to family during and after the expedition which adds significantly to the expedition report. This is more long term project as I research more archives and work on the route they took (July 15-31, 1896) with a map of camps, side visits and waypoints.

And lastly, the Washington State Deparment of Natural Resources has produced an excellent geology and road guide to Mt. Rainier NP and vicinity, see description. I am working on a Web page to better present the book and download the whole book and individual sections provided by DNR, see their Web page.

That's it for now. Mt. Rainier and the NP is in full winter mode, and snow is the operative word, from the entrances and up.