Listen for the mitten-slap of high fives echoing from Camp Muir, up at 10,080 feet on Mount Rainier.
Days are numbered for the ugly “black box,” a so-called temporary structure that for decades has served as a shelter for up to 36 climbers at the base camp on the mountain’s southeastern flank. About 500 climbers a day visit the camp during peak climbing season.
The National Parks Service has approved $700,000 in upgrades that will replace the black box and other non-historic structures at the camp. No worries: The camp’s scenic, rustic stone buildings will remain.
And climbers can breathe another sigh of relief, so to speak. Among new and improved structures to come in the next three to five years are something not found at the tip of every moraine: public toilets.