Category Archives: Washington

Heavy Snows Reopen Northwest Ski Resorts for First Time Since January

Nearly two feet of snow in the past two weeks have opened Northwest Ski Resorts for the first time since mid-January in this year’s record low snow. Ironically March 31 is the last date that Snotel traditionally measures snowpack. The snow depth at the Mount Hood Station jumped from about 37 inches on March 23rd to 60 inches yesterday. But that’s still only 31 percent of average which is normally more than 100 inches this time of year.

Exhibit Shows 82 X’s Where Indians Signed Away Rainier and Hood in 1855 Point Elliott Treaty

The HeraldNet reports an exhibit at the Mukilteo Light Station shows the actual 1855 Point Elliott Treaty signed with 82 “X” mark signatures from Indian Chiefs in which they gave Mount Hood and Mount Rainier to the white men. The exhibit is at Mukilteo’s Point Elliott which is where it is believed to have been signed (although some reports indicate it could have been closer to the mouth of the Snohomish River, where a major native village stood in 1855, in what is now Everett).
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Only 3 Feet of Snow Remains at Paradise in Record Dry Year

There have been a lot of articles about the record low snowpack on Rainier and the Pacific Northwest including Hood while California is having near record excess snowpack (leading to a very rare blossoming Death Valley). AP notes the snowpack spectacularly dwarfs that last record low in 1977. For instance, the record low water content at Stampede Pass was 11.1 inches. It is now 2.5 inches. At Paradise less than 3 feet of snow remained on the meadows, with some spots having only a few inches. Normally, Paradise has 15 to 20 feet of snow in late winter.

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Number of Rainier Climbers Decreased For Fourth Year in Row

The Rainier climbing report for 2004 is out. It notes that registed climbers on Rainier have decreased each year since its high of 13,114 in 2000 to 9,251 in 2004. The overwhelming number (5,400 went up Disappointment Cleaver) while 1,700 went up Emmons. The other routes were numbered in the hundreds. There was nearly a 54% summit percentage success rate (higher than the 46% success rate in 2000).
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