Mountain Monday: Snowshoe On Mount Rainier

Happy Lunar New Year!

Any additional comments on lunar new year from me will be in some other post. I spent all my energy cleaning the house and hosting hot pot Saturday for it, no more juice left for an obligatory entry here for now. Instead, here’s one that started as a video and grew into some commentary below.****

On Sunday, I helped lead a group of people snowshoe up Paradise Point on Mount Rainier. It was for Cynthia‘s birthday, with some snowshoe newbies, so I wanted to optimized the chances of a good experience:


Friends interested in snowshoeing
Snowshoes (or rental reservations for newbies) and winter snowsport layers*
10 winter essentials per REI
Mountain & snow-ready transport (on hand: Zipcar reservation)
Optional: hiking poles, gaiters**, camera



1. Check levels of experience of group and identify threshold for drive time (this time: 3 hour max) to determine areas in reach.

Washington Trails Association: Snowshoe Hikes for Everyone
Parentmap for Family-Friendly Options

2. Look up avalanche risk on NorthWest Avalance Center (NWAC).

3. Compare weather with relevant snowshoe trails, read recent trail reports for trail conditions.

4. Set plan to meet (8am, Sunday morning), pack gear, pack lunch, sleep, wake up, and head out!

5. Arrive at trailhead.

6. Optional but recommended if available: talk with forestry service experts on trail conditions to consider.

7. Strap snowshoes in, tromp as far as you desire, snack on the way, and have fun!

Today’s Activity Rating
Novelty Rating: 5 of 5
There were so many mountains visible I couldn’t name them!

Likelihood of Repeat: 100% I <3 snow! Wheee! Have I mentioned I love a hint of the fierce, terrible-terrifying side of Nature? Well, I do.
Lessons Learned: there are people in the world aftaid of heights so bad whose knees may buckle, but they may still make it to the top of an epic incline!

If you have fancy winter gloves with a zipper up top to a tiny pocket, that’s for hand warmer packets!***

a pano on the way to pano point, perfect clouds!

*If you go to Mt. Rainier’s Henry Jackson Visitor Center, they rent snowshoes on site.

**Gaiters are great, but plastic bags between non-waterproof hiking shoes and hiking socks, with snowpants, will do fine too. I love my cheaper gaiters from Amazon. They did not pay me to say that.

***not condoms, lol.

****What does this have to do with food, and the Wong way? Well, it’s the other side of the food equation: active living.

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