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Author Topic: December 7, 2014, Paradise Environs  (Read 78140 times)
solwara
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December 7, 2014, Paradise Environs
« on: 12/07/14, 10:31 PM »

Headed up above Pan Point on short tour driven by desperation to start the season before the week's rain. Not the best turns of our lives, but our favorite sort of skiing: it exceeded expectations. A nasty rain crust in places, but fun turns above 6500' and where the mank had been mashed prior.







* rainier_1.jpg (53.8 KB, 640x425 - viewed 2710 times.)

* rainier_2.jpg (36.15 KB, 640x425 - viewed 2709 times.)
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kmcb
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Re: December 7, 2014, Paradise Environs
« Reply #1 on: 12/08/14, 07:59 AM »

What time did the gate open?  We drove down on Saturday morning in desperation only to be told they "hoped" to have the gate open by noon. 
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ND
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Re: December 7, 2014, Paradise Environs
« Reply #2 on: 12/08/14, 08:46 AM »

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kamtron
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Re: December 7, 2014, Paradise Environs
« Reply #3 on: 12/08/14, 09:45 AM »

Found in parking lot: M XL Stormtracker glove, pm me if it's yours. I have it in Seattle.
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Stairmaster
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Re: December 7, 2014, Paradise Environs
« Reply #4 on: 12/08/14, 10:51 AM »

This always baffles and frustrates me. I was down there on last weekend and it took them until 1030 to open the gate from Longmire. I understand they had to plow, but they were also closed all Saturday, but with no new snow why would it take them until 12 to open the gates?

Glad to see the OP got some nice turns in before the monsoon this week.
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flowing alpy
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Re: December 7, 2014, Paradise Environs
« Reply #5 on: 12/08/14, 10:59 AM »

because they can and will open those gates when they're good and ready, i suppose.
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Randy
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Re: December 7, 2014, Paradise Environs
« Reply #6 on: 12/08/14, 11:21 AM »

FWIW you may check the NPS Twiiter feed  https://twitter.com/MountRainierNPS

It says that the gate opened at 9 on Sunday.  ON Saturday the gate opened at 20 after 12

But remember more it snows and the better the potential for awesome skiing, the higher the likelyhood  that gate opening will be delayed or canceled.
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Stairmaster
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Re: December 7, 2014, Paradise Environs
« Reply #7 on: 12/08/14, 11:50 AM »

because they can and will open those gates when they're good and ready, i suppose.

It's pretty annoying and they seem to be really inconsistent about how they go about opening the gates. However, I do understand they are understaffed and have no budget, but what I don't appreciate is the dick-weasel park ranger cruising the Paradise parking lot with his lights on and blasting his siren at 4:50 to rush people out of the lot. If they opened the gate at on time I would be out by 2pm instead of 5. Don't rush me when you don't open the gates on time.
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Andrew Carey
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Re: December 7, 2014, Paradise Environs
« Reply #8 on: 12/08/14, 01:29 PM »

... However, I do understand they are understaffed and have no budget, b..

They have a large budget (large enough? who knows, you can't find the details; but large enough for lots of free weekends).
Understaffed? Not really.  I talked to the plow drivers year before last and they said they could have the road open by 9 a.m., no matter what the weather.  Enough LEOs?  Not in the mind of the (now departed) LEO supervisor.

The sufficiency of LEOs depends on how risky one views the environment.  Pierce County (where MRNP is) and Washington do not staff their roads with anywhere near the manpower.  And, what do the LEOs do?

Staffing is a matter of management planning and priorities.  Does the park need its own geomorphologist staff?  What do they actually do?  Do they need multiple widlife biologists?  What do they do?  Do they did revegetation specialists and a nursery?  What do they do?

I am not arguing that there should be no geomorphologists (or how many they need), or LEOs (or how many), or biologists (or how many) or botanists (or how many)--but how are priorities set given the large budget, 80% of gate receipts, massive volunteer effort, etc.

I believe they need a citizen advisory committe like every National Forest  has to review its planning and decisions.
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... want your own private skintrack? Better move to the yukon dude. (B'ham Allen, 2011).
...USA: government of the people by corporate proxies for business.

Andy Carey, Nisqually Park, 3500 feet below Paradise
dkl
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Re: December 7, 2014, Paradise Environs
« Reply #9 on: 12/08/14, 04:07 PM »

Apparently the Rainier NPS has been reading this thread. They just tweeted this: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=yVQmKB46MwY&feature=youtu.be
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JibberD
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Re: December 7, 2014, Paradise Environs
« Reply #10 on: 12/08/14, 06:31 PM »

Apparently the Rainier NPS has been reading this thread. They just tweeted this: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=yVQmKB46MwY&feature=youtu.be

That's a really well-made video. Thanks for the link.

Also, thanks for the Paradise trip report and photos.
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-Doug O
vogtski
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Re: December 7, 2014, Paradise Environs
« Reply #11 on: 12/08/14, 09:19 PM »

It's pretty annoying and they seem to be really inconsistent about how they go about opening the gates. However, I do understand they are understaffed and have no budget, but what I don't appreciate is the dick-weasel park ranger cruising the Paradise parking lot with his lights on and blasting his siren at 4:50 to rush people out of the lot. If they opened the gate at on time I would be out by 2pm instead of 5. Don't rush me when you don't open the gates on time.

Thanks for the report!

Last winter I had a Rainier LEO actually exit his vehicle to gruffly inform me when I returned to the lot that I had eighteen minutes to make it to the Longmire gate.  I managed to stifle a wise-ass reply that it would take as long as it took to drive the road safely   Wink

Does anybody else think their winter uniforms look like the commies in old Korean War movies?
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I feel like I'm diagonally parked in a parallel universe.
ND
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Re: December 7, 2014, Paradise Environs
« Reply #12 on: 12/09/14, 08:56 AM »

Well apparently my previous reply with a quote decided to display blank, interesting.  I'll leave out my novel about bankers hours.

I just wanted to say thank you to whoever set the skin track up pan point at a reasonable angle.  With the conga line an agro slip and slide angle would have been disastrous. 
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dkl
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Re: December 7, 2014, Paradise Environs
« Reply #13 on: 12/09/14, 09:29 AM »

I definitely agree about the skin track. It didn't hurt that those were the kindest snow conditions I've seen on that stretch (for skinning, not so much for the downsliding).
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flowing alpy
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Re: December 7, 2014, Paradise Environs
« Reply #14 on: 12/09/14, 01:15 PM »

i wish my buddy gator ran the place, if anyone is listening, at least we could trust what mike reported.
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Randy
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Re: December 7, 2014, Paradise Environs
« Reply #15 on: 12/09/14, 05:32 PM »

... Do they did revegetation specialists and a nursery?  What do they do?
...

That comment really takes the cake....

I recall what it was like in the park back in the "dust bowl" days of the '60s and '70s when there was a maze of social trails all over Paradise Park and at Sunrise.   The flower gardens around Paradise and Sunrise are in far better shape now.   That recovery didn't happen by magic.


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Andrew Carey
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Re: December 7, 2014, Paradise Environs
« Reply #16 on: 12/09/14, 05:49 PM »

That comment really takes the cake....


LOL.  I've been a revegetation specialist/ecological restoration specialist and I am fully familiar with the history of Mt. R and soil conservation efforts across the nation ... my comment was rhetorical--what does a revegetation specialist do--what does a teacher do--what does a physician do...the point being in allocation of park resources (budget, personnel, etc.) and in proposing park budgets one needs to ask how each function contributes to the legislatively mandated goals of the park and the objectives derived from those goals.  What do they do for the core mission of the park?  Is it less/more/equally important than what the snow plow drivers do?  Should access to the public be sacrificed to meet other objectives, and to what degree (percent of budget and to what extent the wishes of each specialty might be), and BTW, I've been a wildlife biologist too (and worked with threatened and endangered species) and I've worked with geomorphological issues and landscape management.  I'm talking about managing a complex organization, with multiple objectives, and with multiple functions each vying for very limited resources; priorities have to be set, judgements must be made, and not everyone will be fully satisfied. But you're welcome to the cake.
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... want your own private skintrack? Better move to the yukon dude. (B'ham Allen, 2011).
...USA: government of the people by corporate proxies for business.

Andy Carey, Nisqually Park, 3500 feet below Paradise
Chamois
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Re: December 7, 2014, Paradise Environs
« Reply #17 on: 12/10/14, 04:01 PM »

Well - as a practicing restoration ecologist with 30+ years experience - and having done a series of research/restoration projects (pro bono) up at Rainer, I'll chime in and say that yes, the revegetation program and staff have significantly contributed to the core Park mission, which includes the conservation of resources for the enjoyment of generations to come.

I'm also a BC skier and not that crazy about the gate management and share this concern with others.  But I don't see a need to denigrate valuable resource programs because of this, IMO, relatively limited problem.  Maybe that wasn't your intention - in printed word it does come across a bit flippant, however.
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Andrew Carey
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Re: December 7, 2014, Paradise Environs
« Reply #18 on: 12/10/14, 05:26 PM »

...But I don't see a need to denigrate valuable resource programs because of this, IMO, relatively limited problem.  Maybe that wasn't your intention - in printed word it does come across a bit flippant, however.

And I said: "Staffing is a matter of management planning and priorities.  Does the park need its own geomorphologist staff?  What do they actually do?  Do they need multiple widlife biologists?  What do they do?  Do they did revegetation specialists and a nursery?  What do they do?

I am not arguing that there should be no geomorphologists (or how many they need), or LEOs (or how many), or biologists (or how many) or botanists (or how many)--but how are priorities set given the large budget, 80% of gate receipts, massive volunteer effort, etc. "

Please note in the above quote I did not denigrate anyone.  I simply listed technical specialists in an order that many would find represents their importance to the park mission--but some might argue that LEOs are the most important for human safety, others might argue the LEOs have mainly a deterrent effect but the revegetation botanists directly work to meet the park mission preserving the park resources for future generations.

I tried a  bit of Socratic dialogue but it evidently just provoked knee-jerk reactions.  I guess we have gotten far from reasoned discussions in this country, preferring ad hominen attacks and deliberate misinterpretation/selective editing of what people say.

To make it perfectly clear: IMHO, we need to expand the revegetation program to cover moraines being rapidly uncovered by glaciers retreating due to human-cause warming.  I also believe we need an adequate snow plow staff to allow timely opening of the road to Paradise.  We also supervision to ensure the public is notified of openings/closings in a timely manner.  I don't know how many (more or fewer) LEOs are needed, or geomorphologists, etc.
« Last Edit: 12/10/14, 05:49 PM by Andrew Carey » Logged

... want your own private skintrack? Better move to the yukon dude. (B'ham Allen, 2011).
...USA: government of the people by corporate proxies for business.

Andy Carey, Nisqually Park, 3500 feet below Paradise
OldManDrew
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Re: December 7, 2014, Paradise Environs
« Reply #19 on: 12/10/14, 06:27 PM »



I am not arguing that there should be no geomorphologists (or how many they need), or LEOs (or how many), or biologists (or how many) or botanists (or how many)--but how are priorities set given the large budget, 80% of gate receipts, massive volunteer effort, etc. "

At least you put it in mostly bold so instead of appearing to argue, it looks like you are shouting. That's better. Than arguing.
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Skier of the Hood
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Re: December 7, 2014, Paradise Environs
« Reply #20 on: 12/10/14, 07:12 PM »

I think they need one more hydrologist/hydrogeologist (;

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"As we all know, the true driving force behind every early morning wake up is not necessarily safety, but the overpowering drive to be sitting on a patio by 1 pm, intoxicated, and spraying loudly about the morning's adventure."

-Andrew Wexler 2011
Andrew Carey
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Re: December 7, 2014, Paradise Environs
« Reply #21 on: 12/11/14, 09:32 AM »

At least you put it in mostly bold so instead of appearing to argue, it looks like you are shouting. That's better. Than arguing.

LOL.  The arguing evidently fell on deaf ears, so I quoted it and put it in italics and bold for the hard of hearing; shouting is ALL CAPS.

I think they need one more hydrologist/hydrogeologist (; 

The park has and has had access to some outstanding technical specialist.  For example Carolyn Dreidger (USGS) who did extensive work in the park and published it; Pat Pringle (WA Div. Geology) et al, with their marvelous guide to the geology of Mt. Rainier, and a set of Forest Service researchers who worked on fish and hydrology (and still do I believe).  In addition, the park contracted with the premier consuting firm on river management which did and analysis and report to the park on how to deal with the very pressing problem of Tahoma Creek and the Tahoma Creek Bridge.  I hope they pursue those recommendations ASAP; perhaps the new culvert at the Westside Road is part of a response to that report.  Failure/inability to deal with hydrology problem led to shutdowns of the park, closure of some access, and loss of the only year-round campground at Sunshine Point.

The park has had help on other fundamental aspects of its ecology.  FS researcher Jerry Franklin and Bill Moir described the plant communities of Mt. Rainier; I coordinated teams of researchers and graduate students who described the plant, amphibian, reptile, bird, and mammal communities of the forests of Mt. Rainier.  Other USGS and FS researchers have worked on the spotted owls, marbled murrelets, mustelids tailed frogs; WDF&W is collaborating to reintroduce fishers.

The park gets technical advice, for example, from USGS (who recently did hydrology surveys) and the Corps of Engineer (levees to protect access roads), along with Pierce County Surface Water Management specialists.

The park gets assistance from National Parks and Conservation Association (lobbying among other things0; I was a member for years, need to joing again), Washington Trails Association (i'm a member), Nisqually Land Trust (buys land to protect the viewshed going to park; I've donated $$ and expertise), Citizens for the Upper Nisqually (lobbied for funds to renovate the levee that protects the access road and for research on ecological restoratiion of the river; I'm a Director), and many other organizations.

don't want to leave anyone out but the list is long and, of course, not fully known to me.
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... want your own private skintrack? Better move to the yukon dude. (B'ham Allen, 2011).
...USA: government of the people by corporate proxies for business.

Andy Carey, Nisqually Park, 3500 feet below Paradise
Skier of the Hood
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Re: December 7, 2014, Paradise Environs
« Reply #22 on: 12/11/14, 10:33 AM »

Sorry that was ment as a joke, as in they should hire one more aka me (;
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"As we all know, the true driving force behind every early morning wake up is not necessarily safety, but the overpowering drive to be sitting on a patio by 1 pm, intoxicated, and spraying loudly about the morning's adventure."

-Andrew Wexler 2011
Andrew Carey
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Re: December 7, 2014, Paradise Environs
« Reply #23 on: 12/11/14, 10:59 AM »

Sorry that was ment as a joke, as in they should hire one more aka me (;

I assumed as much :-)

But I forgot one person important to the TAY community, my former friend, colleague, and Avalanche Hall of Fame, Sue Ferguson, who did her thesis work on avalanche terrain around Paradise Sue Ferguson author's page

From NWAC:Sue Ann Ferguson, affectionately known at the NWAC as Dr. Sue or “Sue from the U”, lettered in skiing at the University of Oregon, received a BS in physics from the University of Massachusetts, and PhD. in Geophysics and Atmospheric Sciences from the University of Washington.  Her working career included forecasting avalanches and fire weather in Alaska, a stint in Utah as Program Manager of the UAFC from 1984-86, and a very important time as avalanche meteorologist at the NWAC from 1986-1992.  Sue was most recently team leader of the USDA Forest Service, Atmosphere and Fire Interactions Research and Engineering (AirFire) team at the Pacific Wildland Fire Sciences Laboratory in Seattle. Sue's love of sports and the outdoors kept her active all of her life.  In addition to academic contributions in snow science, mountain weather, global climate change, and fire weather, she published instructional books on glaciers and avalanches, The Avalanche Review newspaper, and several satirical cartoons in various newspapers, as well as performing minor parts in a few plays.  Behind all of her accomplishments was a most wonderful, sharing and caring person, and all of those who knew her miss Sue greatly after her untimely death from cancer in December of 2005.
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... want your own private skintrack? Better move to the yukon dude. (B'ham Allen, 2011).
...USA: government of the people by corporate proxies for business.

Andy Carey, Nisqually Park, 3500 feet below Paradise
drescj
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Re: December 7, 2014, Paradise Environs
« Reply #24 on: 12/12/14, 08:15 AM »

Has the twitter feed been any more reliable this year? I was told by Randy King last season that the park was going to make a better effort with the feed for this year, but I am out of the country so I can't say if that has been the case.

I think if the park made a better effort at providing timely and accurate information it would really improve people's perception of the park's road management. As of last year, the twitter feed was haphazardly updated, and when it was updated the accuracy was approximately that of a Magic 8 ball.

I did notice that at the end of the video, they say "We'll see you here", she's at the Longmire gate and not at Paradise.
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