Tag Archives: Mt. Rainier

Official Trailer: The Next 15 Minutes

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Book trailers are all the rage. Everybody’s doing them. So of course, I jumped on the bandwagon. Thanks to my videographer friend Burt Traub, who put this little ditty together. What do you think?

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Weekly High-Five Report: Check out these awesome videos

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Amy Christenson over at Expand Outdoors shared this great Ira Glass story about the challenge of getting through mediocrity. She calls it Wisdom for Beginners, and I love her attitude. It’s okay not to excel at first. In fact it’s part of the process. According to Ira, one must get through loads of really bad first drafts (or days on the beginner slopes, or falling on your mountain bike) before you can find success. High-five Ira and high-five Amy for sharing this!

According to Mountain Magazine, this next video is “a little slice of awesome”, detailing a helicopter rescue on Mt. Rainier. I couldn’t agree more. High-five to this steady pilot. Impressive indeed.

Loss and Gain on the Slopes

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Living and working at a ski area can teach much about loss (and gain).  After a disappointing week of fluctuating snow levels (read the dreaded “r” word: rain), the weather finally turned yesterday. 

I have to admit it: I was feeling a little sorry for myself.  The window of my car was smashed in last week and my computer stolen.  I felt violated.  Then it rained at Crystal.  And it wasn’t just a light sprinkle–more like a deluge.  Let’s just say it rainied so hard the animals were pairing up. 

Riding the foggy chairlift yesterday morning, I tucked my chin into my parka and sighed.  This was not my beautiful life. 

Then a few hours later, the thick fog began to break up.  Hiking the Throne, clearing the rime from the ropeline, I looked around and smiled.  The clouds thinned a little and I felt lighter.  The whiteness of the snow almost contrasted to the new almost-blue of the sky. 

That’s the thing about life.  It doesn’t always snow, the sun doesn’t always shine.  Sometimes it rains.  Sometimes bad news sets up around us like avalanche debris.  The key, I’m finding, is to look up when the sun shines against the clouds.  Yesterday, my step-daughter told me that she wants to be a ski patroller when she grows up.  She said she wanted to have a cool job, like me.  It was a special moment, and I’ve found myself repeating it to others.  She thinks I’m cool!

Then on sweep I saw the silver lining.  I mean, the real silvery shimmery lining of the clouds as they lifted around the bulk of Mt. Rainier. 

It was a reminder to appreciate every, every moment.  A very clear reminder.

Mt. Rainier’s Rain Shadow

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Mt. Rainier is taking it for the team.  For the Crystal Mountain team, that is.

In the past 24 hours, Paradise has seen twice the amount of moisture we have, and most of that has been rain. Yesterday, it snowed gloriously at the ski area, staying cold until happy hour. We picked up 7 inches of snow before the temperatures spiked.  That’s when the wind shifted around and Mt. Rainier blocked us from the worst of the storm. Notice the first graph from Paradise. Between 1400 and 1900, it rained (see temperature fourth from left) nearly 1.5 inches. Then check the second graph from Crystal. It didn’t switch to rain until 1700 hours, after which we only picked up .4 inches of rain.

     Date    Time    Temp Wind Speeds/Dir Hrly/24 Hr H2o
Paradise, Mt. Rainier:
     12 12   400    40    22    36   275   .05  2.41
     12 12   300    40    23    36   276   .07  2.36
     12 12   200    41    23    38   271   .06  2.29
     12 12   100    41    24    37   272   .06  2.23
     12 12     0    41    24    37   269   .06  2.17
     12 11  2300    40    20    43   271   .06  2.11
     12 11  2200    39    14    23   260   .09  2.05
     12 11  2100    39    18    30   268    .1  1.96
     12 11  2000    37    18    26   268   .12  1.86
     12 11  1900    36    19    30   265   .24  1.74
     12 11  1800    35    17    26   264   .11   1.5
     12 11  1700    33    13    26   266   .24  1.39
     12 11  1600    33     5    11   247   .25  1.15
     12 11  1500    32     2     7   121   .22    .9
     12 11  1400    32     4     9   358   .26   .68    

 Crystal Mountain Ski Area:

 12 12   400    37    41    68   241   .01  1.41
 12 12   300    36    47    79   264     0   1.4
 12 12   200    37    40    68   257     0   1.4
 12 12   100    36    39    67   243   .03   1.4
 12 12     0    36    41    72   234   .01  1.37
 12 11  2300    37    45    73   254     0  1.36
 12 11  2200    36    41    58   213   .01  1.36
 12 11  2100    37    34    51   224   .05  1.35
 12 11  2000    35    27    63   229   .08   1.3
 12 11  1900    35    24    60   256   .05  1.22
 12 11  1800    33    27    66   283   .11  1.17
 12 11  1700    31    25    43   259   .14  1.06
 12 11  1600    29    30    50   213   .13   .92
 12 11  1500    25    25    42   168   .17   .79
 12 11  1400    24    22    44   153   .19   .62

The news was even worse for the other ski areas that saw upwards of 4 inches of rain in the past 24 hours.  It’s nice to know that Mt. Rainier is watching over us.