Mount Rainier National Park in western Washington State preserves some of the best of nature’s scenic treasures. Described as an Arctic island in a temperate sea of coniferous forest, Mount Rainier is the tallest volcano in the Cascade Range and the largest single-peak glacial system in the contiguous United States. The Mount Rainier National Park calendar captures the park in all of its seasonal beauty through words and photographs by Ronald G. Warfield.
This 2023 monthly wall calendar features: Large blocks for notes | Superb printing quality | Heavy 100-pound paper | Deluxe 11- by 14-inch size
Mount Rainier locations featured in this edition include:
• Frozen fog (rime) and wind-blown snow festoon a grove of subalpine fir and mountain hemlock beside the Skyline Trail above Alta Vista. Winter holds sway from November through May while world record snowfalls transform the scene into a crystalline fairyland
• Winds flowing over The Mountain create standing wave patterns in the air current similar to a stream of water
deflected upward by a boulder. As moist air rises to clear The Mountain, water vapor condenses into a lens-shaped cloud.
• Branches of mountain hemlocks bend under the weight of deep snowpacks, sloughing the heaviest loads.
Short stiff branches of subalpine firs amass prodigious cloaks of snow. Frozen fog (called rime) adds a crystalline surface that captures even more snow on branches and needles.
• When we enter the Ohanapecosh Valley, we arrive in an old-growth forest cathedral that only a century ago extended from the base of Mount Rainier to the shores of Puget Sound. Douglas-fir, western redcedar, and western hemlock dominate the canopy.
• Mount Rainier sits squarely in the range
of waterfalls–The Cascades. Comet Falls plummets in a 320-foot narrow spray of mist that resembles the tail of a comet splashing to Earth. Early-season hikers on the 1.6-mile Van Trump Park Trail find avalanche chutes, a steep snow-covered trail, and a dangerous stream crossing.
• Subalpine meadows encircle The Mountain in a 93-mile floral wreath in the subalpine zone between 5000 and 7000 feet in elevation. Flower connoisseurs seeking respite from the crowds at Paradise ascend beyond Comet Falls to the flower-filled meadow named for one of the first two summiteers of Mount Rainier, Philemon B. Van Trump.
• Geology buffs find glacial polish and striations on bedrock, roche moutonée, and boulders among glacial till where glacier ice used to be. Now western anemone (mouse-on-a-stick seedheads), subalpine lupine, and magenta paintbrush cover the ground and extend Paradise Meadow into the deglacierized landscape.
• Devotees of Mount Rainier’s floral displays remark that there are only two seasons at Paradise – winter and August. A late melt-out of record snowfalls compresses the flowering season into a few short weeks as masses of subalpine lupine, magenta paintbrush, and Sitka valerian bloom alongside American bistort and the fuzzy seed-heads of western anemone.
• Reflection Lakes occupy shallow basins atop deposits left when a debris avalanche swept down from Mount Rainier about 7000 years ago. Time and regrowth of the subalpine forest have softened this once devastated scene into one of transcendent beauty.
Published by Tide-mark Press © 2023