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Climbing fee up a buck

5:44 am November 8th, 2012

Mount Rainier National Park‘s climbing cost recovery fee will be increased by one dollar for 2013.
The increase applies to youth and adult passes. Adult passes for those 25 and older will be adjusted to $44 and youth passes for those 24 and under will go to $31, effective Dec. 1 this year.
The fees currently are $43 and $30, respectively.
Park officials said the special-use fee supports climbing management and services on Mount Rainier. The fee was first implemented in 1995 and was last increased in 2011 following a series of public meetings in Seattle, Tacoma and Ashford. Minor shortfalls in fees collected, as well as inflation over the past two years necessitate the nominal fee increase in 2013, officials said.
Each year, about 10,500 people climb the mountain. The fee offsets some of the costs involved in managing and supporting climbing. All funds generated by the fee are used to support climbing and climber services, including:
• Keeping the mountain clean by processing and removing over two tons of human waste from the high camps and other climbing-related locations, and promoting “Leave no Trace” practices.
• Staffing the mountain with experienced seasonal and permanent climbing rangers to manage, supervise, and staff the high camps, contact and brief climbers, and perform patrols on the different climbing routes, as well as perform rescues on the upper mountain and provide emergency medical services.
• Staffing the climbing information centers at Paradise and White River to register climbers, share route and weather condition reports, update the web-based climbing blog, and answer climbing-related questions on the phone, by e-mail and in person.
More information is available from Stefan Lofgren, mountaineering district ranger, at 360-569-6642.

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