Wednesday, May 26, 2010

May Update II

I have updated several Web pages with the Mt. Rainier photo guide for the changes in the news, conditions and access reflecting the Memorial Day holiday weekend when many of the roads and facilities will be open and the first wave of visitors come to the NP over the summer. In addition I have updated several other pages regarding day hikes and hiking tips listed in the guide.

In short, it's the start of the visitors season, from the Memorial Day holiday through the Labor Day holiday, when everything becomes accessible and very much enjoyable. The June reports will be on-line next week, but they won't be significantly different from the May reports except accounting for the mid-to-late June period not in the May reports.

I hope the photo guide helps your visit, experience and photography of the NP, and please feel free to send me e-mail with your questions. And photographers are free to send me request for reseach and information with your work in the NP, see a description of available services.

Saturday, May 22, 2010

May Update

Jackson Visitors Center May 22

I have updated the news and information Web pages for the Mt. Rainier NP photo guide for the changes in the roads and facilities which the NPS begins opening May 21-28th. Some of planned openings, namely roads, haven't occurred as planned, as the opening date for those is based on the snowpack and the Washington State Department of Transportation.

Currently this is primarily Highway 410 from the northeastern boundary to Cayuse and Chinook passes, and Highway 410 from there east to Yakima. The highway was expected to open May 21st but will likely be before or near the Memorial Day holiday weekend. It is the major route to the NP from Seattle. Otherwise, they have to use the Tacoma route on Highway 7 to Elbe and Highway 706 to the Nisqually entrance.

All of the rest of the roads and facilities are opening on schedule, which you can find on the map of current access or the latest NPS Tahoma spring newsletter (PDF).

So, if you plan a visit to the NP, be prepared for cold weather. It's still spring in the NP, cold and snow at the upper elevations, above 4,000 feet, and cool and possible rain in the rest of the NP. There will be some periods of sunny days into mid-late June as the consistent summer weather doesn't show up until late June and more so into July.

The facilities will slowly open through the Memorial Day holiday to the Indepdence Day (July 4th) holiday. The snowmelt, which started May 14th, will progress through June and into July with the higher elevations, at and below the 5,500 foot elevation, will be snow free in mid-July, and later through July at the higher elevations.

Enjoy your visit this spring and you're always welcome to send me e-mail for additional information, to ask questions or report problems with my photo guide.

Tuesday, May 4, 2010

May Reports

This is the view of Paradise the morning of May 4th.

Well, at long last the updates reports pages for Mt. Rainier NP photo guide. I apologize for the failures and delays, but life kept sticking itself in between this work from late March to now. It's still there but I've managed to get the Web pages done, if only initially. They'll be reviewed and updated again this week, as I'm known to make mistakes. But for now they're there now.

So what is there? Ok, the latest news, the conditions and access, and the monthy report Web pages. I also added the April reports for historical purposes (besides they were almost ready, just not uploaded).

So what's new for May? Well, the NP and the NPS transistions from winter to spring. The month starts with winter and under winter rules except the snowplay area has been closed for over a month. The month transistion to late spring as the snowmelt begins and the facilities open for the start of the visitors season from Memorial Day through Labor Day.

This transistion will continue through June and into July if the snow doesn't melt sufficiently to open the higher elevation roads and facilities, namely the White River road and campground and the road onward to Sunrise. These areas open late June to early July. Otherwise, almost everything opens from late May to late June.

The one signficant difference this year over previous years is that the open carrying of firearms is legal in the NP. This change is noted in the news, conditions and reports Web pages along with my opinion about it. Remember the guns can only be carried in open areas and not in facilities. Also the guns can not be unholstered or discharged (fired) anywhere in the NP at any time, even in self-defense.

In short, there is no reason to bring them to the NP and endanger everyone else with the open display of guns, especially considering the many of out-of-state and foreign visitors. The NP is not the place to scare people with guns simply to make a personal statement about your rights. Please keep your guns at home.

Anyway, good luck and please enjoy your visit.