Mount Rainier – FAQ’s About The Mountain

Mount Rainier over Tacoma, Washington, USA.

Image via Wikipedia

For all those who want to know about the actual mountain – which mountain? – Mount Rainier dumklutz, anyway, here are some more interesting facts about the mountain.

How Tall Is Mount Rainier?

Officially speaking the mountain looms 14,410 feet above sea level.

How Old Is The Mountain?

It’s only a baby in “mountain years” at a mere 500,000 years old. Some of it’s neighbors which Mount Rainier peers down on in the Cascade Range are closer to 12 million years old.

More current news and information on the Mount Rainier National Park Facebook page.

Climbing Mount Rainier – How Many People Do It?

Of course, the number does vary from year to year, so all I can tell you is that during 2010 there were 10,643 attempts to climb Mount Rainier, of which 4,920 people were successful in reaching the summit, which means . . . hang on, calculator alert . . . around 46.4% of the attempts made it (you thought I was gonna’ do a subtraction didn’t you . . . go on, check it out).

Mount Rainier Is A Volcano – But Is It Active?

Active? I should say so, according to geologists Mount Rainier is “episodically active” – that’s a big word (geologists use big words) – anyway, in plain terms what this means is that it will erupt again even though it’s pretty quiet at the moment.

Is A Visit To Mount Rainier Really Safe?

Well, if you mean is it as safe as crossing the road in front of a bus then the answer has to be yes, it’s safe, but researchers now believe that Mount Rainier is more active than was previously thought. Visitors to Mount Rainier, as well as the staff do need to keep their wits about them, be aware and be prepared. It’s always a good idea to check out the latest information about Mount Rainier before you visit, including places like the campgrounds which are themselves vulnerable to many geologic hazards.  Mud flows and glacial flooding can happen at any time without any warning, which can cause damage to roads and campgrounds as well as any people who happen to get in the way.

Not to mention the risk of avalanches.

When Was The Last Volcanic Eruption of Mount Rainier?

Very recently in geological terms, but quite a long time ago as far as most people are concerned. The last eruption of Mount Rainier is estimated to have been between 1820 and 1894, at least 14 eruptions were reported around this time, but some of these eruptions could easily have been dust clouds from the rockfalls, and not real eruptions at all.

Mount Rainier Always Looks Nice & Snowy, but How Much Snow And Ice Is There?

It’s not surprising that it looks “nice and snowy”, because Mount Rainier has more than 35 square miles of permanent snow and ice. The largest surface area is at Mount Rainier Emmons Glacier, an amazing 4.3 square miles, but the longest stretch is at Carbon Glacier which is 5.7 miles, as well as being the thickest, an incredible 700 feet thick.

That doesn’t look so “nice and snowy” does it, more like “horrid and dirty” . . .


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