• Mount Rainier peeks through clouds, viewed across subalpine wildflowers and glacial moraine.

    Mount Rainier

    National Park Washington

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Overdue Parties Prepared for Winter Conditions

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Date: January 17, 2012
Contact: Patti Wold, 360-569-6563

Two parties expected off the mountain over the last two days are overdue according to their original plans. A party of two planning to winter camp on the Muir Snowfield over the weekend was due out on Sunday, January 15. A second party of two climbers on a summit attempt was due back yesterday, January 16th. Both parties are equipped for camping in winter weather. Due to weather conditions it is expected that they are waiting out the weather before attempting their descents to Paradise.

A limited field search is underway, but putting searchers extensively on the mountain is not expected due to the risk involved including current severe weather, white out conditions and high avalanche danger.

With the severe weather conditions over the weekend it is expected that the parties would be overdue. Visitors to the upper mountain are advised to stop moving, dig in and wait for better weather during severe weather and white out conditions. There is a winter storm warning in effect through Wednesday evening. The storm is predicted to bring 24 - 42" of new snow to Paradise. The road to Paradise will remain closed at Longmire today.

Did You Know?

Northwest face of Mount Rainier and Emmons Glacier as seen from Sunrise.

Mount Rainier is the most heavily glaciated peak in the lower 48 states at 35 square miles of snow and ice with Emmons Glacier being the largest by surface area with 4.3 square miles of ice. The Emmons is best viewed from Sunrise on the NE side of the mountain.