Wednesday, May 22, 2013

Updated Lakes

I have updated the Web pages for the lake in the NP with updates to the description and 3 additional lakes with official names. These three lakes are inaccessible from trails and are in the backcountry area, one near Mowich Lake and the other two in the upper Olallie Creek basin.

In addition I'm working on a description and map of the unnamed lakes in the NP in the 1973 report by the Washington State Department of Ecology listed in the information paragraph in the above Web pages.

There were 41 lakes identified and located in the report, a few of which are accessible from trails but most aren't. I haven't found any explanation why these were chosen among the many unnamed lakes in the NP as they range from glacial tarns to larger lakes.

The description and map for these will be on-line as soon as I can finish the work.

Saturday, May 18, 2013

Another Quick Update

I've decided to merge May and June reports together, so expect the monthly stuff next week and before the Memorial Day holiday. All said though some other news which merits mention.

First, both Cayuse and Chinook passes are open so highway 410 and 123 in and through the NP are open for travel but expect lots of snow once in the mid-to-upper elevations. The Stevens Canyon road isn't open yet, but expected to open before the Memorial Day holiday weekend.

The Paradise Inn opens May 22nd. The Jackson visitors center is open day from 10 am to 5 pm now through the Labor Day holiday weekend in September. The rest of the facilities at Paradise are open or will open soon.

The government sequester has closed the Ohanapecosh visitors center for this season. The campground there will close two week earlier in September. Cougar Rock Campground will open a month later, now scheduled for late June, and close two weeks early in September.

That's it for now. There's still snow at the mid-upper elevation, above 4,000 feet, as the snowmelt season will continue into June for the mid-elevations and July for the upper elevations. More on this in later posts as I update the snow Web pages for the 2012-13 season.

Monday, May 13, 2013

Wonderland Trail

Photo Tacoma News Tribune
Craig Hill, staff writer on the Tacoma News Tribune, is doing a series on the Wonderland Trail, which you can find the initial March 10th column here on getting campsite permits for the coming season. Additional articles are as follows.

March 17th, hiking the Wonderland Trail counter clockwise.

March 24th, preparation for hiking the Wonderland Trail.

March 31st, history of overuse and abuse of the Wonderland Trail.

April 14th, the ups and downs of the Wonderland Trail.

April 21st, the discrepancy over distance of the Wonderland Trail.

April 28th, about trekking poles for the Wonderland Trail.

May 5th, about boots and socks for hiking the Wonderland Trail.

May 12th, about losing the weight with your backpack.

This series is expected to last into May, so I'll post updates with links as I find them or you can search the Tacoma News Tribune Website for his columns or from their Mt. Rainier NP guide.

Wednesday, May 8, 2013

Quick May Update

I'm late with the reports for May and they'll likely be ready early next week at the earliest. I've had some medical appointments, health issues and other things in life get in the way the last two weeks. That said, I can add a few things which started changing in May.

For one the Jackson Visitors Center is open 7 days a week now from 10 am to 5 pm.

Highway 410 to Cayuse Pass and south to highway 123 is open. Highway 410 over Chinook Pass is scheduled to open the week before the Memorial Day holiday weekend, around May 21st according to the Washington Department of Transporation.

The snowpack has melted at the lower elevations, below 3,000 feet and is melting in the mid elevations, 3-5,000 feet but will take into June or July to fully melt. The upper elevations, above 5,000 feet as shown for the graph for Paradise above, snowpack is above normal and should be peaking soon.

This means trails be snow free at the lower elevations but decreasing snow in the mid elevations through May and into June. The snowmelt above 5,000 feet will likely last well into July this year from the depth so far, which means the trails there, especially the Wonderland trail, will see snow for awhile.

Anyway, that's it for now. More to come next week.