General Backcountry and Mountaineering Information

There is roughly 80 inches of snow on the ground at Paradise (5,420 feet.) For a while there, the snow pack was melting fast, but cooler temps have slowed things down.

There have been a number of reported ascents on the upper mountain. Even though summer is around the corner, all backcountry travelers should expect, and prepare for, fierce and adverse weather and climbing conditions. Conditions may include high winds, heavy precipitation, low visibility, avalanche, difficult route finding and sub freezing temperatures.

The seasonal climbing rangers started the season. That said, all parties should be prepared to do their own route finding and avalanche hazard assessments.

Despite a considerable amount of snow accumulation at lower altitudes, climbers should be cautious of hidden crevasses while on the glaciers. Also, helmets are strongly recommended on all summit attempts! So is roping up on glaciated terrain.

All parties should carry the necessary clothing and equipment for winter weather conditions. Each person should have a shovel and the "ten essentials.”

Summiting Rainier in the winter is a matter of timing and endurance. Good weather and stable snow conditions are key for a safe climb.