Muir Snowfield, as of February 21, 2006, it was 100% snow/ice covered. Actually it was very icy, crampons are recommended.
There are no reports for the Disappointment Cleaver route at this time. It looks as though the route does go, but climbers may prefer the Ingraham Direct.
Ingraham Direct, there is some ice going through Cathedral Gap, but nothing too daunting. Once past the Ingraham Flats, climbers have been ascending the right side of the glacier up to the top the Disappointment Cleaver. Though no teams have summited this route, it looks as though the route does go.
Gibraltar Ledges, a few climbers have reported STELLAR conditions on this classic Rainier winter route. They stated that the route has more snow and ice than normal. The traverse along the ledge, and chute were particular hard and icy. This makes for excellent climbing, but also increases the difficulty. Climbers should bring pickets AND a few ice screws.Gibraltar Chute, a team summited via this route on December 17th. A significant amount of ice-debris from the Nisqually Ice Cliff had to be crossed in order to reach the Chute; otherwise, the approach was straightforward. Excellent climbing conditions were found in the Chute itself - firm/icy snow with good crampon-ing allowed for quick progress. Ice coverage in the hourglass near 11,800 feet was thin. The ascent was direct from top of the Gibraltar Rock to the summit was direct.
Nisqually Icecliff, on Saturday a climber successfully climbed the route. This marked the first summit for Mount Rainier in 2006, and a rather significant achievement for the climber.Firm snow and ice were reported for much of the route. There were a number of difficult problems to negotiate. One section of the icecliff required commitment to both ice tools while traversing and climbing. Getting across the Bergshrund at the base of the cliff also required technical climbing. One notable comment was that slots, crevasses, and steep sections viewed from below, grew substantially in size once on scene.
After passing the technical sections in the Icecliff, ascend the upper Nisqually Glaciers to the crater rim and Columbia Crest. There were a number of open crevasses on the upper Nisqually and Ingraham glaciers. Despite the deep snowpack below 10K, there still seems to be some gapping crevasses up high.