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Mount Rainier snowplay area will not open today, likely this weekend

Post by Jeff Mayor / The News Tribune on Dec. 21, 2012 at 9:17 am with No Comments »
December 22, 2012 11:21 am
A snowcat used to create paths and grooms sled runs can be seen working this morning near the Henry M. Jackson Memorial Visitor Center in a webcam image. Park crews were to begin grooming the runs at the snowplay area today. (Mount Rainier National Park)

UPDATE (11 a.m., 12/22): Mount Rainier National Park is reporting that the gate to Paradise at Longmire is open and the snowplay area is open. Tire chains or 4WD/AWD required.

The snowplay area at Paradise will not open today as scheduled.

Following a series of storms in the last week, Mount Rainier National Park road crews have been working this week to remove fallen trees and clear snow from park roads and parking lots. They are today beginning to groom the runs at Paradise.

More than 50 inches of snow has fallen at Paradise in the last week, leaving current snow levels at 123 inches.

A park spokeswoman this morning said the goal is to open the sledding area this weekend, but could not say if crews could complete the work done today so the area could open Saturday.

The gate to Paradise at Longmire is projected to open by 10:30 a.m. Drivers are reminded that all vehicles are required to carry chains.

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