October 17, 2012

All Park Trails Now Open. Hikers climbing above treeline are advised to be prepared for winter conditions including snow, ice and below freezing temps. Rescue or assistance may be more that 24 hours.

During the transition time between summer and fall, hiking in the Park can be both beautiful and risky.  Hikers should be fully equipped for winter conditions as weather is very changeable and higher elevation areas in the Park can quickly change from sunny and comfortable to sleet, snow, freezing rain and high winds.  Hikers should be prepared for winter conditions and as always, hikers should set a turn around time at the trail head, and remember that the true destination for any hike is a safe return to the campsite or car in the parking lot. The Park is primarily a wilderness and hikers should be properly equipped for a wilderness environmenr and be prepared to self-rescue in the case of incidents or mishaps. 
A cell phone is a great piece of emergency equipment, but in most of the Park terrain, there is no tower coverage and cell phones will not work.  If your cell phone is turned on while in the Park, it will use its power reserves searching in vain for a tower and when you really need it, it will be drained of power and dead.  Our best recommendation is to turn your cell phone off in the wilderness of the Park and stow it safely in your pack so that it is charged and available in the case of an emergency above treeline when you really need it.  There is no guarantee that your cell phone will find a tower, even above treeline, but if it does and you need our help, a cell phone can save hours by telling us where you are and what you need.