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Topic: paradise

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January 14, 2014 at 4:08 PM

Mount Rainier’s snow-play area opens this weekend

Holiday-weekend revelers, rejoice. It’s time for tubing and sliding at Paradise. The snow-play hill at the Paradise area of Mount Rainier National Park finally has enough snow to open this Saturday, Jan. 18, according to the park’s Twitter feed. And there’s a bonus: Entry to the park is free on Monday, Jan. 20, in honor of…

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0 Comments | More in national parks, Parks, snow sports, weekend getaways | Topics: mount rainier national park, paradise, sledding area

January 7, 2014 at 4:56 PM

Low snow stymies snowshoers, Sno-Park users and sledders — but there’s hope

Will the snow-play hill at Paradise open soon? Even Mount Rainier has less snow than usual this year. (archive photo by Mike Siegel / The Seattle Times, 2006)

Here’s what the snow-play hill at Paradise looks like in a normal year. So far this winter, low snow levels have prevented it from opening. But a snowy week could solve that. (photo by Mike Siegel / The Seattle Times, 2006)

While the Polar Vortex screws with the rest of the nation, the Pacific Northwest continues the Great Snow Slump of 2013-’14. And it’s not just downhill skiers and the owners of the Summit at Snoqualmie who are tearing their hair out from under the ear flaps of their winter hats. Snowshoers and cross-country skiers, too, are starting to feel picked on because of the lack of snow on many of Washington’s mountains.

For example, The Mountaineers club has been forced to cancel this Saturday’s Winter Trails Day event, an annual free demonstration and tryout of snowshoes at the club’s Snoqualmie Pass campus.

“We have barely any snow at all and we have forecasted rain at Snoqualmie for the coming week and we just don’t have anything to snowshoe on,” bemoaned Tess Wendel, a member services representative for the club. The snowshoe event is part of a national event aimed at encouraging winter recreation.

Likewise, the Washington State Parks Sno-Park program is

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0 Comments | More in national parks, Northwest, snow sports, state parks, State Route 410, U.S. Forest Service | Topics: low snow, paradise, Sno-Parks

December 19, 2013 at 4:44 PM

Snoqualmie skiers’, Rainier sliders’ hopes ride on storms

EXPECT THIS: Friday will be the big snow day in the Cascades, forecasters say. (archive photo by Mike Siegel / The Seattle Times, 2012)

EXPECT THIS: Friday will be the big snow day in the Cascades, forecasters say. (archive photo by Mike Siegel / The Seattle Times, 2012)

It’s not a record late-opening for the Summit at Snoqualmie ski area, which has yet to operate this season. But it’s getting close to a record. You can bet resort managers are doing serious snow dancing — with extra whooping and hollering — in hopes that this incoming storm packs a wallop.

Western Washington’s early-December bout of bitter cold with bright sunshine for day’s on end didn’t help the meager snow totals at many ski areas, include Summit West, whose website on Thursday was reporting an accumulation of only 7 inches so far. Even Crystal Mountain reported only 9 inches at its base.

Paradise, at Mount Rainier, is also feeling the pinch: There’s not enough white stuff yet to open the popular snow-play area for the start of school vacation this weekend, rangers said Wednesday.

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0 Comments | More in Northwest, snow sports | Topics: mount rainier, paradise, snowstorm

March 21, 2013 at 9:46 AM

Spring has sprung, so they’re digging out at Mount Rainier

With the first day of spring — which was yesterday –  Mount Rainier National Park starts to awaken from winter, so to speak, just like its hibernating bears that have presumably been holed up for the winter in cozy dens (though in reality they’re probably drafty, drippy piles of fallen logs that reek of wet bear and moldy leaves, when you think about it).

Dream of summer: Here's a summertime view of hikers on a trail at Mount Rainier National Park. For now, much of the park is snowbound, but work is underway to open for the season.

Dream of summer: Here’s a summertime view of hikers on a trail at Mount Rainier National Park. For now, much of the park is snowbound, but work is underway to open for the season.

What’s it mean to us? From now on, the road to Paradise will open daily, continuing through the summer season, instead of closing Tuesdays and Wednesdays (to name one thing). And keep reading, for a complete calendar of opening dates and a whole shebang of information sources on the park.

Other changes and openings start to take effect in coming weeks, though most of the park is still covered in deep snow.  Paradise currently has 167 inches — almost 14 feet — of snow on the ground.

“Although it may be late June, mid-July, or even early August before the last remnants of snow finally leave the slopes of ‘The Mountain’,”

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0 Comments | Topics: mount rainier, mount rainier lodging, mount rainier national park