Mount Rainier

We’ve been a little water-logged and chilly here in the Pacific Northwest. Even so, on the first really nice, sunny day we got, did we stay home and enjoy the warmth? Nope. Instead we headed for one of our favorite local places. Mount Rainier, the tallest peak in the Cascade Range. It may seem silly to leave 60 degrees Fahrenheit warmth and head for the 24 degrees it was at Paradise, a traveler’s mecca at an elevation of 5400 feet above sea-level. Maybe it was crazy, but it was a beautiful drive, a beautiful walk, and a relaxing day.

mtrainier6(photo compliments of Doug Benedetti)

So I thought, in amongst some pictures of the mountain (not all taken in the same visit), I’d give you a few facts about it.

Height:  14,410 feet above sea level (4,392 meters). It’s the highest mountain in Washington State and the 21st in the world.

mtrainier3(Taken from the visitor center at 5400 feet, looking at the peak.)

In 1792 Brittish Capt. George Vancouver named Mount Rainier after a friend, Rear Admiral Peter Rainier. The Native American name for the mountain is “Tahoma” which means…Well, I found a lot of definitions for Tahoma and I’m not sure which one is right. The one I like best is “mother of waters”. I’ve also heard that it means  “great white mountain” and “the mountain that was God”.

It is considered an active volcano. It’s last eruption was approximately 150 years ago. It spawns 6 major rivers (Nisqually, Puyallup, Cowlitz, White, and Carbon rivers). And it has 25 named glaciers on it, the longest and thickest being the Carbon Glacier, 5.7 miles long and 700 feet thick.

mtrainier2Jim Whitaker, the first American to conquer Everest (1963) trained on Mount Rainier.

In the winter, you can sled, ski, and snowshoe. In the summer, the sub-alpine wildflower meadows are awesome hikes. mtrainier5

Each year thousands of people climb, or try to climb Mount Rainier. The last year I could find data for was 2010, when 10,643 tried and 4,920 successfully completed the climb.

And here in the Pacific Northwest, the saying, however corny, is that if you can see the mountain, it’s not raining. If you can’t, it is or is about to rain. Duh! 🙂

But oh, what a view!


21 responses to “Mount Rainier

  1. Beautiful!!! Not a bad view to have everyday!

  2. conniefischer

    That is certainly a lovely view. Not sure if I could handle the cold though. However, if you can, you are very lucky to see such beauty every day!

  3. awesome post. Love the pics!! And I had heard that saying about the rain, LOL!

  4. I’ve spent my whole life in the Pacific NW and sometimes take this beautiful mountain for granted. Thanks for reminding how lucky we are to have it our backyards.

  5. What a fabulous view, Laurie. Breathtaking. You are indeed very lucky to live in such a magnificent place.

  6. Wow, gorgeous! I lived in the west,first Idaho for about a year and a half,(I could see some of the Grand Tetons out of my bedroom window), then about 11 years in the Denver area,(I could see glaciers from my bedroom window where I lived the longest.One house had Pike’s Peak out the front door). Since we lived in the western part of the area, we’ d head straight up ,(and I do mean straight UP),I-70 and hit the mts. every chance we got.Enjoy them; I miss them.

    • I have to imagine (having never been there) that the Denver area rivals our mountain. And Pike’s Peak out the front door? I LOVE that movie (being a Pierce Brosnan fan back to the time when he lost out on Bond before he got the chance to be 007.) I’ll admit the view trumps the actor, but…:)

  7. Enjoyed your blog and pictures, Laurie! Thanks for the factoids on a beautiful mountain.

  8. Valerie J. Patterson

    Wow! What an incredible view! Really enjoyed the pictures. How fantastic for you to be so close to something so magnificent.I would make that trip as often as possible. 😛

    • I don’t make the drive as often as I wish. However, when I’m headed home from town, there’s a bend in the road and, after I round that corner, the mountain is there and larger than life. It always makes me smile.

      • Valerie J. Patterson

        That would be awesome! To see that just simply by rounding the bend! It’s things like your mountain that remind me how small I am in comparison to the whole world. 😛

  9. Wow, stunning photographs. I fell in love with mountains a few years back when I took my mother to Austria for a summer holiday, and now want to see more. There’s something majestic, magical and beautiful about them. Great post!

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