Thursday, July 29, 2010

C.A.M.P # 3

The third CAMP session was here and gone as quickly as the summertime. Each session has been a joy to be a part of which makes the time fly by. This CAMP session earned the distinction of being dealt several adventure mishaps that required a sense of humor. These external forces, however, were not going to dampen our spirits and we continued on with our trip. The first activity was Trail of the Shadows which is a great introduction to the history and flora and fauna of the park. After the hike it was time to return to the campsite and start preparations for dinner and the campfire. At campfire that night we performed some of my favorite songs: Shark Attack and Bear in tennis shoes. The featured dessert of banana boats was a resounding success.

On the second day we all made the drive up to Paradise to go on the Nisqually Vista Trail. I am pretty certain that this will be the last time we will see snow on the trail this summer, much to the disappointment of kids in the next two sessions. Our last stop was the popular Narada Falls which is the closest the campers got to a shower and always feels refreshing. The second night campfire was better than the first because I learned a new camp song called “Your Mama Don’t Wear No Socks”. S’mores were back again for dessert and it is always interesting to see each person’s way of roasting marshmallows. The next morning, before everyone packed up and went their separate ways we had a closing ceremony on the Carter Falls trail to speak about our favorite part of the trip.

Wednesday, July 28, 2010

Keep Wildlife Wild Weekend Reminder

This Saturday Keep Wildlife Wild Volunteers will be patrolling areas and handing out information from kiosks informing visitors of the dangers of feeding animals in the park.

Volunteers will receive a T-shirt to wear with the park’s new Keep Wildlife Wild logo and be stationed at kiosks located at Jackson Visitor Center, Narada Falls picnic area, Paradise picnic area, and Cougar Rock picnic area. Volunteer times are 11:00am - 1:00pm and 1:00pm - 3:00pm

Come out to join campaign to Keep Wildlife Wild and enjoy the festivities!

Anyone interested in participating as a volunteer should contact Alyssa Herr at (360) 569-2211 Ext: 3318

Check out the article on KWW Weekend recently featured in the Bellingham Herald at

Monday, July 26, 2010

Glacier Basin Reroute, Section 1, now open to public

The first section of the Glacier Basin Trail reroute has been completed and is now open to the public. This section of trail, approx. 1 mile in length, is an entirely new section of trail rerouted from a severely damaged section that occurred during the November flood event of 2006. A second secton of approx. 1500 ft. is currently being worked on which, when finished, will complete the Glacier Basin Trail reroute project that has been ongoing for 3 years. The park trail crew along with many, many groups of volunteers and contract trail workers from area corporations such as REI, civic groups, Scouts, Washington Trails Association, Student Conservation Association, Washington Conservation Corps, to name a few, have been working on this major reroute which is the largest trails project the park has seen in recent years.

The crews have done a spectacular job on this first section, building the trail through very rough, rocky terrain in some steep areas. First accounts of those who have a had a chance to walk this section of trail have expressed how much improved this section of trail is in terms of safety, grade, views, and walking surface. This reroute has been funded largely through the American Recovery and Reinvestment Act (ARRA). The park is anticiapting the late summer/early fall that a public event will be held to acknowledge the grand reopening of the Glacier Basin Trail along with the projected reopening of the Sunrise Visitor Center, which will be getting all new exhibits and having its floor refinished this summer. Stay tuned...

In the meantime, go try out the new section of the Glacier Basin Trail!

Deputy Supt. Randy King test drives one of the bridges on the new Glacier Basin Trail reroute.

Thursday, July 22, 2010

Citizen Science Update

This year’s much anticipated Citizen Science program will give volunteers the opportunity to explore and learn about many of the park’s isolated lakes and vernal pools. The study will be focused on locating, indentifying, and surveying various breeding habitats of the 14 amphibian species in the park with an emphasis on the Western Toad (Bufo boreas).

Some of the sites will require strenuous physical activity, however, volunteers of all fitness levels are encouraged to participate and will be scheduled accordingly. There is no previous experience necessary and all surveying equipment will be provided. Free camping is also available to all volunteers who wish to have extended stays.

The program will run from July 27 until late September and the weekly schedule will vary according to the availability of volunteers. Contact Christine Kempsell (Citizen Science Coordinator) for more information at Hope to see you in the field!

Friday, July 16, 2010

Rainier Hikes Camping & Volunteer Work 7/9-7/11

We just thought we share this wonderful first hand of account of the full Mount Rainier experience; Volunteering, glassading, marmots, back-country hikes and amazing lookouts!

Thanks Hikingqueen for sharing the great photos!

Thursday, July 15, 2010

The Second C.A.M.P of the Summer

Once again the clouds parted and the sun was out for our second CAMP session this past weekend on July 9-11. We hosted seven families at Cougar Rock Campground and a great turn of events was that most of the kids were in the same age range of four to seven years old. It was a lot of fun to see the kids get along so well and use their imagination to create their own world in the forest. Meanwhile the parents were gearing up for two days filled of adventure and new experiences. On the first day everyone went on an interpretive walk of the Trail of Shadows. Then it was back to the campsite for snacks and beginning the preparations for making chili. One of the best things about the CAMP experiences is how everyone pitches in and the meals become a real team effort. The night ended with roasting marshmallows and singing songs around the campfire.

The second day got off to a great start with scrambled eggs made by our talented cook Karalee. After breakfast, it was time to make lunches and pile into the van for the trip up to Paradise. Up at Paradise we went hiking along the Nisqually Vista Trail and the kids had so much fun playing in the snow. For the second time in a row at Reflection Lake an epic snowball fight took place. It was probably the last time we will be able to have a snowball fight there because the snow is melting fast. The last stop on our tour was the beautiful Narada Falls and the spray from the falls felt refreshing on a hot day. The last night of CAMP ended with roasting hot dogs and then marshmallows around the fire and being treated to a performance by our resident thespian Ranger Kevin Bacher. Seeing each family enjoy themselves so much at the park makes me appreciate this program even more.

Wednesday, July 14, 2010

Julia Pinnix Going Away Potluck

Julia Pinnix is moving to Alaska to take a new position. If you know Julia and would like to wish her farewell we are having a going away potluck on Tuesday, July 27 in the Ohanapecosh housing campfire circle at 7:30 pm. Bring a dish, your favorite beverage, and lots of good wishes. Plates and utensils will be provided.

Interpretive Skyscraper Saddle Hike

On Saturdays, July 17 through August 14, we are offering a full day hike from the Sunrise Visitor Center to Skyscraper Saddle. The hike is approximately 7 miles and is limited to a staff member, a meadow rover, and ten visitors.

If you would like to be a meadow rover assisting with this program, contact Sunrise Meadow Rover Coordinator George Penfield to sign up for a hike. George can be reached by calling the Sunrise Ranger Station at 360-663-2425, by leaving a message at 360-569-6048, or by emailing

August MRNPA Work Party!

The next Mount Rainier National Park Associates trails work party is coming up on Saturday, August 7th. Again w e will be working on the construction of the Glacier Basin Trail reroute. We will meet at the White River Campground parking lot at 8:30 AM on Saturday morning, and be ready to move out at 9:00 AM.

Bring work gloves, a hard hat if you have one, safety glasses, full rain gear (you never know if you will need it), your lunch, and PLENTY of fluids to drink.

The August work party is always followed by a potluck dinner in the campground and an overnight camp for those who wish to stay. It's a fun event, so plan on staying for potluck dinner even if you don't want to camp. Sunday we try to do a short hike together.
As usual we will try to get campsites both for Friday night, August 6th, and Saturday, August 7th. The camping is free for volunteers but we are required to put two tents per campsite. Some of the campsites are very small for two tents, so if you like a little more privacy, you can arrive early and pick a site and pay just like all the other campers. Be advised however that the campgrounds fill up quickly in August.

If you plan to attend this work party, please reply to John Titland ( and tell him that you are coming, how many volunteers you are bringing with you, and if you would like to camp.

There are safety gear rules for all MRNPA trail work volunteer work parties. (These rules apply to all trail workers.) Anyone using an aggressive tool - like a Pulaski, ax, shovel, etc., or anyone working near them, will be required to wear a hard hat and safety glasses. People working with or near a less aggressive tools will not be required (but will be encouraged) to wear a hard hat. Wearing safety glasses will be encouraged at all times. At this time we do not have a clear idea of how many volunteers will need hard hats. If you own a hard hat, please bring it along. We have a supply of hard hats for those volunteers who do not have one.

Safety glasses are a different issue! Not all safety glasses are comfortable for everyone and some will not fit over eye glasses. Because of cleanliness issues, some people don't like wearing safety glasses that have been worn by other people. For these reasons and probably many others, please purchase ( acquire, find, dig-up, whatever ) a pair of personal safety glasses that you will wear. The local hardware store is a good place to start shopping. A serviceable pair or safety glasses will cost about $10. And be advised that shatterproof eye glasses do not meet the requirement for safety glasses. Safety glasses all have side protection which eyeglasses do not.

Thursday, July 1, 2010

RAVEN Units to the Rescue!

Locked out? Car died? Do you need a band-air? At Mount Rainier there's no need to fear, when the Raven Units are near!

The Raven Units are here to provide assistance to our Law Enforcement Rangers during times of high visitation primarily in the Longmire & Paradise parking lots and the Cougar Rock Campground as part of the Volunteer Roadside Assistance Program.

Look for these volunteers helping out guests all summer long with needs.

Keep Wildlife Wild Day needs volunteers!

A small number of volunteers is needed on Saturday, July 31 to help with handing out information on wildlife feeding and patrolling areas where feeding occurs. Volunteers will be asked to stand at kiosks to hand out information on the park’s wildlife and the dangers of feeding animals in the park. Kiosks will be located at Jackson Visitor Center, Narada Falls picnic area, Paradise picnic area, and Cougar Rock picnic area.

Along with handing out information and talking to visitors, volunteers will be asked to watch for wildlife feeding and to haze animals which are approaching people to beg for food. Active hazing will help keep wildlife from obtaining food and set an example for visitors who may be tempted to feed.

Volunteer times: 11:00 a.m. – 1:00 p.m.

1:00 p.m. – 3:00 p.m.

Stations: JVC, Narada Falls picnic area, Paradise picnic area, and Cougar Rock picnic area.

Volunteers will be provided a T-shirt to wear with the park’s new Keep Wildlife Wild Logo. Come join the campaign to Keep Wildlife Wild! And enjoy the festivities of the day.

For more information, or to sign up to volunteer please contact Alyssa Herr (360) 569-2211 Ext: 3318