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.
(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.
(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.
Jim 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.
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!