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Dylan Colon

Government Shutdown

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I'm wondering if anyone here has been in Mount Rainier National Park since the shutdown began. Assuming the situation in the other Washington out east does not change soon, my understanding from the park website is that while travel on the road above Longmire is prohibited, other travel is not. If someone wanted to access higher elevations, would skinning up the Nisqually drainage past the bridge be viable, or is this unsafe/prohibited terrain? I know people ski to the bridge from above, but I was wondering if anyone had any intel about the situation in the park, either first or second hand. I fully understand that the lack of staff makes everything in the park even more dangerous than is normal this time of year, and I have no plans, just interested in the legalities/possibilities of going there in the next several weeks.

Is it even possible to get backcountry camping or even climbing permits with the shutdown?

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Permits are self-issue in winter. Might be able to fill one out at Longmire. Either way, no one to enforce permits if there isn’t a way to self-issue. Best access is probably out of Longmire up the ridge towards Mildred point and into Van Trump. 

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So now that the shutdown is over, will  they re-open the road to Paradise?  Fortunately it hasn't snowed a bunch in the last 34 days but probably enough that they might consider leaving it closed until it melts out.

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I suspect they will open the road all the way. The website says they plan on resuming normal operations. My guess is they didn't have time to fully winterize the facilities for non-usage so they likely need to get up there to prevent damage.

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Probably get it open just in time for the pending shut down on February 15.

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Let's just not forget these people didn't get paid for a month, and risk not getting paid in the future. Not being able to get up to Paradise for the 74rd time isn't a big deal. 

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Yeah, I don't think the park staff is to blame. I've been responsible for clearing roads in the mountains and if they don't get addressed frequently, it's a major problem to get them opened up again.  I'm impressed that it looks like they'll get it opened up soon!  

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