Friday, May 23, 2008

Spring training is underway

Our Conser- vation Corps is here and learning the ropes of working at Mount Rainier. They're still camping out at the Ashford Lions Hall, joined now by several native plant crews, yesterday spent much of their day pulling up invasive Scotch Broom from around the edge of the meadow behind the Hall, as part of the agreement for camping there. If you've ever done this on your own property, you know--it's hard work! That's one tenacious plant!

Meanwhile, we're coming up on Memorial Day weekend, with lots of closures still in effect all over the park. Some highlights:
  • Road crews have begun work in the Paradise picnic area, clearing snow for more parking. However, the Paradise Valley Road remains closed. Parking at Paradise will be extremely limited on busy weekends and holidays. Expect congestion and parking delays.
  • Stevens Canyon Road will be open to public traffic from the Paradise Road intersection to Snow Lake Trailhead by 12:00 noon on Friday, May 23, 2008. Rockslides and snowslides are continuing to occur in the canyon beyond this point.
  • Hwy 123/410 North/South through the park will be open to public traffic at 12:00 noon beginning Friday May 23, 2008. Hwy. 410 over Chinook Pass remains closed due to snow, and is anticipated to remain so until at least June 5.
  • Ohanapecosh Campground opens at 12:00 noon beginning Friday May 23, 2008. Limited sites will be available due to snow. The Grove of the Patriarchs will be accessible, but the water will not yet be turned on in the restrooms.
  • Road crews are shifting equipment to White River Road to begin clearing White River Campground and the road to Sunrise. WSDOT has already made some progress there, opening the road partway, but several miles of snow removal remain.
Another place to find updates on road conditions is the new Access and Roads Blog, maintained by the same helpful folks that keep the Mount Rainier Climbing Blog up to date. You can also find details about the conditions that are making this year's opening difficult on the National Parks Traveler website, which has articles about both Mount Rainier and Olympic National Parks.
In other news, here's an update on our draft interpretation training schedule; be sure and contact me or register through the Eventbrite calendar at the top of this page if you plan to attend any of the training days.

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