Your hosts for the occasion will be Volunteer Program Manager Kevin Bacher (aka K2D2) and Volunteer Coordinator Crow (aka Hoppingcrow). We'll also be joined by our brand new Centennial Volunteer Ambassador Intern, Ian Harvey, fresh off the road from New England!
This year's projects will include the following:
- Setting up platform tents
- Sorting out tent platforms
- General site maintenance
- Painting and re-roofing the fire boxes near the Community Building
Safety: As with all volunteer events, safety is our highest priority. We will conduct a safety briefing at the beginning of the project, and provide you with hard hats and gloves. You are welcome to bring your own personal safety equipment if you have it.
Weather Alternatives: The CITO will proceed rain or shine, though poor weather may abbreviate our efforts. The campground is currently snow-free. Here's a link to a current weather forecast for the Mountain.
Time and place: Meet at the posted coordinates (the campground hosts' residence at the back of the Community Building at the north end of the Longmire Campground) at 9:30 AM on Saturday, June 13. To find the project location, turn at the Longmire Museum and drive across the historic wooden suspension bridge.
Camping: The Longmire Campground is a perfect location for spending the night (at no charge for volunteers). The platform tents should be available, and tents and small RVs (ideally 24 feet max) are welcome. There are no hookups, but you'll have access to hot showers in the bath house. Please RSVP if you plan to camp, and let us know what kind of site you need.
Food and Clothing: Long pants, boots, and work gloves are recommended (we'll provide gloves if you don't have your own). Bring rain gear and layers depending on weather. We'll provide hard hats and tools. Bring water, a sack lunch, and snacks. Temperatures can drop into the 30s at night, so bring hats, gloves, and warm clothes if you plan to camp.
Raffle: As in previous years, we will have a small "swag" raffle over the lunch break. Donations of swag items are welcome! Contact me in advance if you have anything to share.
Entrance Fee: The park entrance fee is $20 for a one-week family pass, though this is always waived for working volunteers. Identify yourself as a volunteer working on the Longmire Campground project and the rangers at the gate will wave you through.
The Centennial GeoTour: This year's event is scheduled to correspond with the kickoff of a major geocaching event: the Visit Rainier Centennial GeoTour! Our volunteer project should be finished by early afternoon. From here, it's a short drive down the road to N 46° 45.469 W 122° 01.838, where the Visit Rainier Centennial GeoTour Kickoff event (GC5T8CD) begins at 3:00. At 4:00, the GeoTour goes "live" with 25 brand new geocaches placed at locations around Mount Rainier (including a few Earth Caches within the national park). Find all 25 and complete a GeoTour passport to receive a custom pathtag! 25 more caches will be released in October 2015, and another 25 each in June and October of 2016, for a total of 100 geocaches to celebrate the 100th anniversary of the National Park Service. Finding each set of 25 caches will earn you a separate pathtag, and finding all 100 will earn you a commemorative geocoin! Join us to be part of the excitement, and register your attendance separately at that event page.
The GeoTour web page can be found here on Geocaching.com, and here on Visit Rainier, where you can also download the GeoTour Passport.
Other opportunities: To learn more about Mount Rainier, visit the park website or the Rainier Volunteers Blog, where you'll find many other opportunities to volunteer throughout the summer. Other opportunities that are tailor-made for geocachers include citizen science projects monitoring amphibians, butterflies, and plants.
And, of course, many great geocaches are available locally, including several virtuals and earth caches in the park and traditionals, multis, and puzzle caches just outside the park boundary. Bring your GPSr and come prepared!
Thanks for helping out! Join us to get some good work done, meet new geofriends, and CITO The Mountain!
History and Background: The genesis of this project began in November 2006, when heavy rainfall caused damaging floods throughout the park. In September 2007, Team Misguided organized the first annual Mount Rainier Recovery CITO Event, which received positive feedback from park staff as well as local press coverage. The crew built trails, removed debris, and did some replanting. In June 2008, hydnsek organized a great sequel, another Mount Rainier CITO, this time helping to shovel out the Cougar Rock Campground, which was buried by a record spring snowpack. Their amazing work allowed the campground to open two weeks earlier than it would have otherwise. In 2009, another heavy snow year, geocachers at the CITO The Mountain event dug out campsites at the Longmire Volunteer Campground and set up platform tents for volunteers to use through the summer. Participants in CITO 2010 cleaned up storm debris and, again, set up platform tents for the summer. CITO the Mountain 2011, 2012, 2013, and 2014 included similar projects.
Organizing the event is K2D2, a local geocacher who also happens to be the Volunteer and Outreach Program Manager at Mount Rainier National Park. As in years past, we'll be staging in the historic Longmire Campground, tucked away in the forest on the south side of the Nisqually River at Longmire. This site served as a public campground for more than 30 years before closing in the late 1960s when the more modern and more easily accessible Cougar Rock Campground opened. In 2009, thanks to the help of geocachers and other volunteers, the campground reopened for use by volunteers and other special groups. Its 31 individual sites, two group sites, and half-dozen platform tents are used throughout the summer by volunteers and other working park partners as a base of operations while working in the park. It even has a bath house with showers--the only public showers in the park, but only available to volunteers!