National Geographic : 1963 May
KODACHROME(C) N.G .S . Short cut to the crest: an icy wall between rock ramparts. In 1962 the author and a com panion became the first to scale this face of Nis qually Glacier (center). Defying incipient ava lanches, they climbed by moonlight. Rainier Makes Its Own Weather, Forcing Clouds to Drop Their Moisture Warm air can carry more moisture than cold air, and when water-laden Pacific winds sweep up Rainier's slopes, they cool and drop part of their burden, as illustrated in the painting: 1-Rain pours down from clouds below 1,500 feet on Rainier's southwest slopes. 2 - Snow starts between 1,500 and 2,200 feet, but at ground level it turns to slush. 3-Dense, wet snow between 3,500 and 7,000 feet blankets Rainier's midsection-more than 83 feet in a season at Paradise Ranger Station. Above 7,000 feet, it tapers off. 4-Cold, dry air above the 11,000-foot cloud level carries little moisture. But violent storms may drive vapor masses across the peak. 5-Inland slopes receive less snow because the 706 clouds have spent most of their content.