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The Seventies
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Mt. Rainier Centennial Web Site

Record snowfall, time to move. 1970-1979


- The Paradise Meadow Restoration Plan begins with help from dozens of volunteers.

There is a Boy Scout Camporee held in the park.


- A world record snowfall of 1027 inches is recorded at Paradise.

Fred Harvey sells his Rainier National Park Co. concession interests to Government Services, Inc., a non-profit organization.


- A new world record of 1122 inches of snowfall is recorded at Paradise.

Rainier Mountaineering Inc. (RMI), run by Lou Whittaker and Jerry Lynch, begin a guide service and management of ski tows at Paradise.


- Improvements made to the National Park Inn (Longmire), the Paradise Inn, and the Sunrise picnic area. Night walks are instituted at Trail Of The Shadows (Longmire) and at Reflection Lakes. A New movie, "Fire and Ice," showing geologic history of Mount Rainier is shown at Sunrise Visitor Center.


- Total snowfall is measured 1,070.6", only slightly less than the previous record established two winters before. The glaciers are growing for a change.

Mount Rainier National Park Master Plan and Wilderness Plan public hearings are held in January. They are presented to Congress in December.

The gasoline shortage limits travel to park for the first half of 1974. Once gas lines are reduced, travel increases again and almost catches up to normal levels by the end of the year.


- There is no winter operation of a rope tow at Paradise. No bids are received for the first time since the late 1920s.

A vendor contract for sale of firewood (not cut within park) is tried at Cougar Rock Campground. There is a high demand from campers. The contract is authorized on a bigger scale for the next year.

Cougar Rock Campground is damaged by flooding in December.


- Congress approves Mount Rainier National Park Master Plan, but not Wilderness Plan. Considerable debate continue regarding the wilderness issue.

Two pet dogs are set free to romp (a no-no in a National Park) at Cowlitz Box Canyon. Freedom is not enjoyed long. In an exuberant chase one jumps over a railing into the canyon and the second follows. Their bodies couldn't be retrieved.


- There are over 2 million visitors to the park in a single year.

Only 33 more parties climb Mount Rainier than the previous year, but approximately 3,000 more back country permits are issued. Wilderness is considered attractive.

Construction for new park headquarters is underway at Tahoma Woods. Needed repairs to National Park Inn at Longmire begin.


- There has been 50 million visitors to Mount Rainier National Park since it is formed in 1899.

Three climbing parties are caught in avalanches during the year. No deaths.


- A Cessna crashes on the summit of Mount Rainier. No one is injured. Rescue is made the next day by helicopter. A helicopter also saves the lives of three climbers caught in a storm on the summit later in the year.

Willi Unsoeld, famous climber, and young partner die on the mountain.

It is the last year of operation for the gas station at Sunrise.

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