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twistedsteel

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About twistedsteel

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  1. Climbing Mt. Rainier?

    Definitely not "wisdom", but what the heck, here comes some more.... - Make sure your tent in anchored VERY WELL when you leave Muir or the Flats. Lots of cool stuff, full tents, found in the cracks above Muir and at the Flats. - It's a pain, but take your wands home with you. - CamelBacks = frozen water or soaked parkas. - Fifty-plus foot rope intervals between climbers above 12,000 means slow,slow travel and frustrated, frustrated fellow climbers.Same goes for getting on the Cleaver and travel on the DC. -Crampon compatibility w/boots should be done before Muir.(See Style Tips) -Real food, GOOD.... energy bars, BAD. -Down parkas w/hoods GOOD....down "sweaters" not so good - Take lots of pictures. It's a pain, but you'll appreciate it later.Take extra batteries. - Avoid seafood at local taverns/resturants during post climb dinners. Style Tips: -Shorts over longjohns....enough said. -White zinc oxide smeared all over face = good for clowns bad for climbers. -1975 Kelty frame packs are risky UNLESS your wearing wool and you've got a 95cm wood axe. -Motorcycle helmets = not so cool. Logger hard hats = cool. -Using Duct Tape to attach spikes to boots may work, but a definite fashion no-no. Hope this was helpful.
  2. Climbing Mt. Rainier?

    As another climbing season on Rainier draws near I would humbly like to offer a few suggestions to the throngs of folks looking to conquer its lofty peaks. I offer these pearls of wisdom not really as a result of much serious thought, but mostly as just an observer who has spent hundreds of days(7+yrs.) trudging up and down her icy flanks. Remember these are only my opinions. . . and are not endorsed by any commercial enterprises currently operating on the mountain. As I am no longer employed as a Rainier tour guide I accept full responsibility for any angry outbursts or hurt feelings these suggestions may cause. 1.GET IN SHAPE! If it takes you well over 5 hours to get to Camp Muir and your pack weighs less than 60lbs. spend the rest of your summer working on your stamina not clogging up the upper mountain. 2. If your thought is that you will make it to Muir and then just follow one of the guide services. . .think again. If you feel like you must follow a guide then HIRE ONE because your not ready to do it on your own. 3. While on the upper mountain if you must stop or take a break get OFF the climbing trail. If you see a faster party coming up behind you pull off the trail, when it is safe, and let them pass! 4. If you don't have the climbing skill to negotiate the Ingraham Icefall and the rockfall area under the Cleaver QUICKLY and WITHOUT STOPPING. . .practice in a safer spot THEN give Rainier a shot.(Practice working with fixed ropes and biners with gloves on and walking on rock with crampons) 5. While desending if you feel unsafe walking out of the climbing trail to go around a party that's still moving up, you need more cramponing practice. 6. We all know there are large guided groups on the mountain. PLAN for that and leave well ahead or behind the large groups. If you are running across the Cowlitz to leave before a group of 30 climbers you slept too long. 7. Lastly. . .PATIENCE. We're all up their to have a good time. A kind word goes a long way!
  3. Paradise winter parking info

    Just some comments/ observations on the current parking and access issues in the park. . . . During the past 9 years I have had the had the opportunity to spend hundreds of days working and playing in Mt. Rainier National Park. During this time I have grown increasingly concerned at the apparent "policy" that fewer visitors is a good thing. A good example of this is the whole parking issue at Paradise. Parking has always been a problem during the summer months.(Cars idling for hours at the front gate, arguements over parking spots, seeing the "No Parking at Paradise" sign flashing at Longmire,doing laps in the upper lot looking for a space, etc.) While the answers are not easy to come by it would be comforting to know someone is working on this problem. In fact the opposite is true. When the new construction is done we, the taxpayers, will have fewer total parking spaces. When I consider this issue along with the reduced access in the park. . . Westside Rd. "Closed Permanently" Carbon River Rd. "Closed Permanently?" Sunshine Point "Gone with no replacement planned". I really begin to wonder if park officials really want us visiting, camping, and driving in the park? Last winter during the epic flood situation the announcement was made that the park would be opening up to foot traffic on the weekends. The hope was that this would bring some visitors to the local shops and retailers. It was also said that hikers and snowshoers would be able to access some trails and the Westside Rd. Unfortunately, this lasted only one weekend. It was announced that the park wasn't prepared to handle the number of people on the road. Did they have a plan? Didn't they expect the public to come? The Pacific Northwest is growing rapidly and other government agencies do their best to accomodate the growth. Officials at the NPS don't seem to be making the same effort. They do, however,find the time and money to improve their facilities. I truly feel that if this were a priority solutions could be found. Here are a couple: What if the park bought a few acres of land outside the entrance, paved it and ran a shuttle service every 20 minutes? To encourage usage they could knock a couple bucks off of the entry fee. The Longmire shuttle, while a good effort, really doesn't go far enough. While this next idea might be laughed off the table I feel it should be a least considered. Why can't parking be increased at Paradise? I realize the number one priority of park officials is to protect the resource, but they already have acres of parking in the park why couldn't they add more? When you consider the actual size of Mt. Rainier National Park and compare it to the addition of 50-100 parking spaces I really don't see why it couldn't be considered. What is worse for the environment? The thousands of idling cars over the course of a summer or 50-100 new parking spots? As someone who continues to visit the park every couple of weeks I have to wrap this up by saying I am continually amazed at the dedication and commitment shown by NPS employees. My concern is with the erosion of the public's opportunities to visit one of the most amazing places in the world.
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