CASCADES CONDITIONS REPORT 5/16/2024

Happy Friday follow climbers!

High pressure and fair weather dominated the PNW over the past week with temperatures in Seattle reaching 80 degrees. In the mountains warm temperatures, sunny skies, and calm winds allowed climbers all over the Cascades to take advantage of the nice weather. We had teams basking and rock climbing in the Cascade foothills, and we had teams soaking up the sun from the summits of volcanoes! In case you missed it, our teams also lucked out with clear skies for the Aurora Borealis over the weekend. Seeing the light show from the mountains made for a beautiful and moving experience.

As we move into the middle of the week we expect temperatures to drop. A cold front on Thursday will bring a chance of showers and gusty winds through the mountains. Snow levels will drop to around 3000 feet, but no heavy accumulations are expected. This upcoming weekend and next week show an unsettled weather pattern with a mixture of sunshine and precipitation.

Koma Kulshan (Mount Baker) & North Cascades

With last week’s fair weather, teams reached the summit of Koma Kulshan (Mt Baker) and other peaks in the North Cascades. The 6-day mountaineering course and Mt Baker ski descent both had 100% success climbing to the top of Mt Baker and the skiers enjoyed phenomenal ski conditions back to camp. Both road to access Mt Baker are almost melted out to the trailhead. Climbers can expect to walk in snow from the trailhead– at this time our climbers are using double boots for Mt Baker trips. In the heart of the North Cascades, the Cascade River Road to access Boston Basin is still closed due to snow. The National Park mentioned that the road might have seasonal damage and will need to be assessed and repaired before opening. The Cascade River Road is currently open to the Eldorado gate trailhead. In Washington Pass, there is still several feet of snow at the trailhead and in the mountains. Climbers will need to use mountain boots to access the peaks still at this time.

Tahoma (Mount Rainier)

With the warm weather the snow at Paradise has been melting and the annual snow stake is currently around 100”. Climbers are wearing double boots from the snow covered parking lot. We are still utilizing the winter route to access the Muir Snowfield. With the ample snow we do not anticipate using trail/approach shoes until the middle or end of June at this time. On the upper mountain (above Camp Muir), guide teams have finished establishing a route to the summit. Teams are attempting to climb daily basing out of high camp (Ingraham Flats). The route the summit is climbing the Disappointment Cleaver which is currently 95% snow covered. Above the top of the Cleaver, the route ascends straight up (standard route) and then traverses over towards the Emmons shoulder as it has in previous years. The route is direct and the path is getting more and more traffic. At 13,200 the route bends back towards the top of the Ingraham and then ascends up and left towards the summit rim. Currently no ladders are on the route.

Happy Climbing!

We provide a weekly conditions report. Stay tuned for next week’s update.

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Rainier/Cascades BLOG

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