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Mike_Gauthier

Park re-opening

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They pushed back the road opening to Longmire... "Probably in early May." No specific word on Paradise.

As far as I can tell, there is still quite a bit of road repair...

More on the blog ...

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Hey Gator,

 

This quote from your most recent blog entry piqued my curiosity:

 

As it turns out, climbers have been on the mountain too; a subtle revelation that is slowly leaking across the Puget Sound. It all started when a few local pilots noted larger teams on the Muir Snowfield and at Camp Muir while zooming by the peak?! Then there were rumors of guided clients, who made it to Ingraham Flats... (Seattle IS a small town you know). So the word is out, those who booked trips with a concessioned guide service for this spring, will be shuttled into the park like the visitors at the NPI in Longmire

 

If the road is washed out, how are these parties getting up to Pardise? It kinda bums me out that those that pay guide services get be on the mountain while the rest of us suffer through the mud season. But, I guess that's just jealousy rearing its ugly head.

 

BTW - Thanks for keeping us up to date.

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Same article states WR road due to open May 25th, DOT will determine opening for 410 sometime mid-April.

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Same article states WR road due to open May 25th, DOT will determine opening for 410 sometime mid-April.

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One could always plan a longer, more expedition-like climb now, hike the road in from the park's N boundary, in to WRCG, then into Glacier Basin, up the Emmons, or over St. Elmo's and on to Lib ridge. There used to be a time when perhaps the more hardcore would have thought this kind of attempt/process attractive.

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Hell yeah I like your kind of thinking mtngt. Myself and a couple buddies are actualy going to be doing this spring break. We'll be starting at the nysqually gate and end up at muir. Not enough time to summit... Its funny how people Whine about the park not opening when its perfectly fine to hike up...

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Hey Gator,

 

This quote from your most recent blog entry piqued my curiosity:

 

As it turns out, climbers have been on the mountain too; a subtle revelation that is slowly leaking across the Puget Sound. It all started when a few local pilots noted larger teams on the Muir Snowfield and at Camp Muir while zooming by the peak?! Then there were rumors of guided clients, who made it to Ingraham Flats... (Seattle IS a small town you know). So the word is out, those who booked trips with a concessioned guide service for this spring, will be shuttled into the park like the visitors at the NPI in Longmire

 

If the road is washed out, how are these parties getting up to Pardise? It kinda bums me out that those that pay guide services get be on the mountain while the rest of us suffer through the mud season. But, I guess that's just jealousy rearing its ugly head.

 

BTW - Thanks for keeping us up to date.

 

There was a reason why I put this on the blog, it was b/c I knew it would be something of a controversial issue to some people... I wanted to be forthcoming about something that I recognized would draw the ire of critically minded climbers. So I think that I know exactly what you're concerned about.

 

The issues around access to Rainier are made at a much higher level these days. That said, I do know that once the NPS decided to allow shuttled access to one concession (the National Park Inn) it wanted to be fair about access to other concessions (the guide services).

 

In addition, the local businesses are struggling to make ends meet this winter. Any amount of tourism, even limited guided tourism, is definitely welcomed. I won't speculate, but allowing, even a few visitors into the park means a great deal to the local economy. It also represents a geniune intent from the park to reopen itself.

 

Also, there is a great amount of interest and concern regarding the new guide services. In essence, the NPS would like to make sure that things go smoothly for the public, the park, and the NPS. Since the services have radios with NPS freqs, shuttles, and are partners (due to the contractual issues), it's not a gigantic leap to allow them limited access. Much like the contractors at Paradise, or the Inn in Longmire.

 

I see how this stings, but figured it would be better to discuss it openly now, rather than later.

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I see how this stings, but figured it would be better to discuss it openly now, rather than later.

 

Sting is a good description, to know that some groups are getting access to the south side that the rest of us don't currently have. However, I don't see any harm in it; rather the opposite. Anyone who supports MRNP remaining solvent, and who supports the cause of mountaineering on Rainier, should also support access to guided parties at this time, in my opinion. It's not as if their presence somehow keeps the rest of us away. Speaking for myself,it's mainly lack of time that limits my access this season, since I'd have to commit about a week to make a reasonable attempt from 410 or Ipsut, and definitely from the West Side Road, and I'm not willing to give myself a whole week away from family just to have fun in the mountains; but that's another story.

For those of you missing MRNP who might enjoy a more sedate visit with family, I highly recommend a stay at the National Park Inn. I took my son and his friend there in early March. We snowshoed a little, sat by the fire a lot and mostly just soaked up the peace of the place in its current limited-access condition.

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Ah, yes. Great job to the climbers.

 

But I want to know: Did they wait until Sunday at 10 am to hike out Nisqually Road? Hmmm??? Somehow I doubt it. So why is this stupid regulation in effect? Why not just let people hike that short distance next to the road if and when they're so inclined? Inquiring minds want to know!

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Why is the Westside Road having such limited open times? Because there's construction on it during other times?

 

 

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Why not just let people hike that short distance next to the road if and when they're so inclined? Inquiring minds want to know!

I have the same questions. After reading the blog and respecting the rules, I have stayed away from the park for the limited access restrictions.

 

I think a better rule would be (I realize I'm not in charge): if you have a permit (& paid all fees), and have passed the Ranger's review of your qualifications and equipment, you should be able to walk in from any Park entrance and travel your intended route any time. Just as if you were leaving Paradise. As Sky mentioned, I don't get the crazy "10am Sunday" time restrictions when one clearly isn't interfering in any construction activity.

 

Perhaps I am over-simplifying this? I'm sure I'm missing something. I really appreciate your blog Mike. Keep up the great work there. But hopefully you can add some clarity to this. Thanks :brew:

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If it's not entirely clear, I'll like to remind the cc board that I don't make the rules around here.

 

As for the summit team, I didn't speak directly with them. I suspect that they hiked in on Sunday (during "open house" hours) did the climb and "probably" came out, whenever they finished... whenever that happened to be? Perhaps it was after hours; perhaps it was mid day during the week; perhaps it was a week later during the next cycle of "open house" hours??? I don't know and I didn't inquire. "Perhaps" they were banking the theory that it's better to ask forgiveness than permission?

 

It's not about registering, fees, checking in, etc. The NPS just didn't want people walking the road with all the heavy truck traffic. Claro?

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It's not about registering, fees, checking in, etc.

 

I couldn't agree more heartily. That's not what it's all about!

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