Photos from this trip can be found here.
First time visiting Mount Rainier since summer 2013! My ice climbing trip on Chair Peak had been canceled at the last minute due to avalanche concerns, so I accepted the invite from the climb leader to go up the snowfield with his mentor group.
To everyone’s surprise, the 70% cloud coverage in the forecast turned into a nearly bluebird day. Even with the iffy forecast, lots of people still made it onto the field and took advantage of the nice weather. The mountain looked much alive and was now covered much more needed snow compared with last year’s low snow pack. Microspikes worked great for traction for a while until we started postholing, then switched to snowshoes.
We followed the main trail that had long been broken by early risers, and made our way up to Panorama Point before taking our first break. As always, on a nice day like this, views to the south didn’t disappoint! Where else can one see three or four volcanoes all at once?! The group took another long break higher up at 9000 feet I think, still haven’t yet checked my GPS track to confirm.
With our late start from the parking lot and with the gate closing at 5 PM, we made our turnaround time a 2 PM to head down the mountain.