Weather or Not, Here We Come!
When John Muir was exploring the wild, he relied on the seasons, clouds, and his gut instinct to mull over the conditions he’d face. Lewis and Clark did the same. These days, we have the science of meteorology at our fingertips. Detailed weather information is a mere keystroke away.
Weather and avalanche conditions dictate where I do my training hikes. On a glorious sky-blue day, I’ll head high in the hills. On a day with elevated avalanche conditions, I’ll trudge up Mt. Si or Tiger Mountain. These are areas protected by trees, lower elevation, and well-traveled main routes.
The best websites for up-to-the-second weather information are:
- Mount Rainier National Park
- NOAA – National Weather Service Forecast Office
- The Weather Channel
- KOMO 4
If you are climbing Mt. Everest, the forecaster trusted by high altitude mountain guides is Michael Fagin from Redmond, Washington. He spent years providing forecasts for local northwest climbing groups. More than a decade ago he fine-tuned the art of predicting weather in high altitude environments. You can sign up for his services for a fee.
Mountain guides (yours included) always make the final call on whether a team starts for the summit or hangs back in the tents. Having quality weather predictions is a convenient advancement over how Sir Edmund Hillary made his decision to start climbing that momentous day, back in May 1953.