Tuesday, March 29, 2011

Avalanche Dangers

The NPS is closing the road between Longmire and Paradise some days now due to the risk of avalanches along the road in places noted on the map (above), mostly the road west of Christine Falls at the hairpin turn to Christine Falls and the road from the Nisqually Bridge to Ricksecker Point, both where the road hugs the slope along Rampart Ridge and the ridge along Canyon Rim view point, respectively.

The closures will be easier during the week when there are the fewest visitors. If you go, be prepared for delays or closures and follow the NPS instructions when the road is often for your safety. Their job is to ensure your safety during your visit, so please listen and follow the instructions.

Tuesday, March 22, 2011

Old Books

I like searching and finding, and often buying, old publications, eg. documents, reports, books, maps, pamphlets, etc., on Mt. Rainier NP. I love finding good or better original print publications, and I now have a small collecton of them for my work and research on the early years (1890-1915) before and just after the NP designation and later years (1916 to 1940) after the creation of the National Park Service and incorporation of all then existing NP's into the NPS to World War II.

Of late though I'm finding a number of on-line used book resellers offering "Print on Demand" books, or so called books. There is one, paperbackshop-US out of Elk Grove, Illnois which is offering a number of old US government publications in this format, some of which I have or have later original print versions. This company is a US subsidiary of a UK company which sells books, etc. wholesale.

While I won't argue against them, as it's not illegal to resell copies of public doman documents, either as copier copies or digital file print copies, I would argue why buy one unless that's all you want, a copy for some basic purpose and don't mind if it's original or not or even say the quality of the reproduction.

But if it's not what you want, then consider other sources to find an original print copy. Almost all the publications they're offering are still available through used bookststores. Also, I have scanned a number of my original print copies into PDF's for my iPad and Acrobat Pro application, and I offer some of those for free through my Website to share with people. More will be if they're not already available free elsewhere.

Anyway, my point here, is the usual stuff, "Buyer beware."

Saturday, March 19, 2011

Highway 123

The NPS is reporting that highway 123, currently closed at mile post 0.4 from the highway 12 intersection just before the Summit Creek Bridge, has 11 trees (12" to 30" diameter) over the highway along the length of it to the NP boundary and in the NP. The highway currently has over 12" at the intersection with highway 12 to the NP entrance and over 36" at the Ohanapecosh Ranger Station.

This means that the highway won't open in the spring for sometime, until the seasonal snowmelt allows clearing the highway, the trees can be removed and the road can be checked to Cayuse Pass with highway 410 for avalanches and landslides and for any winter damage. This mean sometime mid-to-late April at the earliest and probably May.

You can get the latest information for the access and conditions in Mt. Rainier NP and at the Washington Department of Transportation Websites for Mountain Passes.

Friday, March 18, 2011

March News

The March reports for the news, access and conditions, and prospects has been on-line (from earlier this week). I apologize for being late, too much other things in life getting and keeping my attention. Life is like that whether we like it, plan for it or even want it. It happens.

That said, March is still winter with increasing snowpack and still cold temperatures and snow. Lots of snow still happening this year. Snow persists in all areas except the northwest quadrant (Carbon River and Mowich Lake). There is no or little snow until you're well into the NP. Otherwise, it's still snow and winter rules, and closed roads.

The only change is the snowplay area will close for the season Monday March 27th, leaving two weekends to enjoy it. Take care, the roads are still snowcovered with some days of ice, so drive carefully.