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Author Topic: Best guess Paradise access Friday the 30th?  (Read 1392 times)
dkoelle
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Best guess Paradise access Friday the 30th?
« on: 12/28/16, 12:01 PM »

I note a sunny plowed empty parking lot Wed at noon.  Would any of our experienced Paradise skiers care to predict (given the weather and other variables) what road access might be like for Friday?  Can I be reminded of whatever websites or phone lines are available?  Thanks.
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Amar Andalkar
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Re: Best guess Paradise access Friday the 30th?
« Reply #1 on: 12/28/16, 03:31 PM »

Road info is on Twitter: https://twitter.com/MountRainierNPS

I used to call the phone line for road info, but haven't in a couple of years since their Twitter feed superseded it.

In general, the road has been opening on time at 9am most days with no snow to plow.
With several inches new snow to plow, usually 10am, but sometimes 9am.
With a foot of new, 11am or noon, assuming the snow has stopped falling. Like today Dec 28, road opened just after noon with cars arriving by 12:30pm, even as parking lot plowing was still underway past noon:


On days with a Winter Storm Warning and ongoing heavy snowfall (like yesterday Dec 27), the road is unlikely to open.

So based on the current forecast for the 30th, 10am is most likely, but maybe 11am or noon if it snows a lot, with a small chance of 9am if it doesn't snow much.

However, there's always a chance the road might not open at all due to unforeseen circumstances: a staffing issue (not enough law enforcement rangers to meet minimum requirements), or a search and rescue in progress. This almost happened on Christmas Day, as of 8am the road was not expected to open at all due to a search and rescue, but luckily the lost snowshoer was found just after 8am, and the road opened at 9:45am.

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vogtski
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Re: Best guess Paradise access Friday the 30th?
« Reply #2 on: 12/28/16, 05:45 PM »

It might not be necessary to wait OR beat the gate.  For the first time in several winters, there is skiable snow coverage all the way down to Longmire.  The Wonderland trail footlog across the Nisqually River near Cougar Rock is in great condition.  With enough headlamp batteries, Paradise or the Tatoosh are accessible 24/7 for Neanderthoid skimo racers who don't mind five miles of packed and glazed snowshoe trench on the return.   Grin
« Last Edit: 12/28/16, 09:28 PM by vogtski » Logged

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runcle
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Re: Best guess Paradise access Friday the 30th?
« Reply #3 on: 12/28/16, 06:34 PM »

Thanks Gary! I'm thinking of ski/skate expedition your way as soon as Tacoma Narrows freezes over!
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Robie
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Re: Best guess Paradise access Friday the 30th?
« Reply #4 on: 12/30/16, 05:30 PM »

gate opened at 9am sharp today.
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pipedream
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Re: Best guess Paradise access Friday the 30th?
« Reply #5 on: 12/30/16, 08:26 PM »

It might not be necessary to wait OR beat the gate.  For the first time in several winters, there is skiable snow coverage all the way down to Longmire.  The Wonderland trail footlog across the Nisqually River near Cougar Rock is in great condition.  With enough headlamp batteries, Paradise or the Tatoosh are accessible 24/7 for Neanderthoid skimo racers who don't mind five miles of packed and glazed snowshoe trench on the return.   Grin
Interesting... I was under the impression that when the gate at Longmire is closed, you are not supposed to access the terrain typically accessed from Paradise. At least, that was the case during the gov't shutdown a few falls ago
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Amar Andalkar
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Re: Best guess Paradise access Friday the 30th?
« Reply #6 on: 12/30/16, 09:05 PM »

Interesting... I was under the impression that when the gate at Longmire is closed, you are not supposed to access the terrain typically accessed from Paradise. At least, that was the case during the gov't shutdown a few falls ago

No, that's not true at all. Let me try to clarify.

During the government shutdown, all national parks (and many other federal lands and facilities) were closed to all public entry. You were not allowed to (legally) set foot within any part of any national park during that shutdown, with a few minor exceptions. Such as driving along state and US highways that happen to pass through national parks was permitted, e.g. US 101 through Olympic NP and SR 410 through MRNP, but you were not legally allowed to exit your vehicle and walk around. People were actually hassled by law enforcement and even ticketed in Olympic NP for doing just that along US 101 during the shutdown, there were articles in the newspapers about that absurd situation and it was on the TV news too.

So that has nothing to do with accessing the (otherwise fully and completely open) Mount Rainier National Park during the daily gate closure periods. A sign on the Longmire gate does, however, state that hiking or skiing or other travel along the closed road is not permitted, for obvious public safety reasons during plowing operations. But you may freely access Paradise, and any other location in the park, from Longmire via any other route, or from any other park entrance via any route. (Obviously such access may be difficult or impractical at most times by most routes, however.)


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