403 Forbidden


nginx
403 Forbidden

403 Forbidden


nginx
Follow us:
403 Forbidden

403 Forbidden


nginx

Northwest Traveler

Travel news, consumer advice and trip reports for the Northwest and beyond.

January 26, 2015 at 4:37 PM

Presto, change-o at Rainier’s Paradise, where it can be rainy or sunny, but without much snow

Rain poured down Friday on the almost-bare parking lot outside the visitor center at Paradise, in Mount Rainier National Park. (photo by Brian J. Cantwell / The Seattle Times)

Rain poured down Friday on the almost-bare parking lot outside the visitor center at Paradise, in Mount Rainier National Park. (photo by Brian J. Cantwell / The Seattle Times)

Just to prove what they say about how quickly conditions can change on Mount Rainier, here’s a comparison of what I saw on a drive up to Paradise on Friday, when it was pouring rain up there (right), versus what was showing this sunny Monday afternoon on the park’s webcam (below).

What it hasn’t been doing much on the mountain is snowing. As elsewhere in the Cascades this winter, Rainier is having a low-snow year.

This webcam view of Mount Rainier from Paradise was captured Monday afternoon. (National Park Service image)

This webcam view of Mount Rainier from Paradise was captured Monday afternoon. (National Park Service image)

“Lately we’ve been losing more snow than we’ve been gaining,” the park ranger told me as I passed through the Mount Rainier National Park entry gate on Friday. With the current warm front passing through, the freezing level has risen above the climber’s base camp at 10,188-foot Camp Muir.

Paradise, at 5,400 feet, once held the world record for measured snowfall in a single year — 1,122 inches over the winter of 1971-72. The average annual snowfall is 643 inches. As of my Friday visit, Paradise still didn’t have the 60 inches of snow on the ground required to open the snow-play area (with sufficient snow cover to protect the fragile alpine meadows).

From its trailhead off the road to Paradise, the Narada Falls Trail on Friday had low snow, and poor conditions for snowshoeing or skiing. (photo by Brian J. Cantwell / The Seattle Times)

From its trailhead off the road to Paradise, the Narada Falls Trail on Friday had low snow, and poor conditions for snowshoeing or skiing. (photo by Brian J. Cantwell / The Seattle Times)

There is enough snow to snowshoe at Paradise, but on Friday it was hard, compacted and icy, so conditions have been poor for recreation.

Despite Monday’s sunshine, never be complacent when you head up the mountain. Snow may return to Paradise by Tuesday night, according to the National Weather Service. To get a look at current conditions, see the park’s webcams.

 

Comments | More in Mount Rainier National Park, Mount Rainier National Park, national parks | Topics: Mount Rainier snow, Mount Rainier weather, Paradise snow

COMMENTS

No personal attacks or insults, no hate speech, no profanity. Please keep the conversation civil and help us moderate this thread by reporting any abuse. See our Commenting FAQ.



The opinions expressed in reader comments are those of the author only, and do not reflect the opinions of The Seattle Times.


403 Forbidden

403 Forbidden


nginx
403 Forbidden

403 Forbidden


nginx