The travel lady comes clean

May 5, 2004
Outside Magazine
Week of June 27-July 4, 1996
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The travel lady comes clean
Question: My question is, how do you get to be an online travel expert, and are there others who help you with answers and consulting? Also, one short question about Mount Rainier. They've started collecting climbing fees since last year. Can I purchase that permit before I get to the ranger station? Thanks.

Peter Keum
Seattle, WA
[email protected]

Your humble Adventure Adviser
Adventure Adviser: Well, Peter, it's been a long road (sniff, sniff) and it hasn't always been easy, but getting to where I am now (I'm getting choked up here), probably had a lot to do with good timing, a healthy dose of travel genes, and yes, an unquenchable thirst for knowledge that keeps me questing ever higher for purer and truer travel insights.

I could never do it all alone. There have been countless kind souls along the way who have offered a shoulder to cry on when things were tough, or who have shared laughs over coffee in the cantina. There have even been those sage few who have provided me with little pearls of their own travel wisdom to add to my own bottomless reservoir of facts and factoids. I extend a heartfelt thanks to all these invaluable people--you know who you are--for all you've done.

It's been a wonderful year, full of many fond memories, and it's with pleasure that I accept the award for ... What? Oh, wrong speech. Back to what I was saying ... Even though I am the Travel Lady, the Wizard of Wandering, the Globe-trotting Guru, I can't take all the credit. Before I answer your questions every week, I talk to local experts for the real say-so, pick my cohorts' brains for swell suggestions and ideas, and ransack our immense library here at Outside magazine.

So, onto the question at hand: Unfortunately, you must purchase the $15 climbing permit on the day of your ascent, in person at any of the park's ranger stations or visitor centers. They're available on a first-come, first-served basis, so if the high camp you want to stay at en route to the summit fills before you get your permit, you'll need to choose another route or camp, or delay your climb.

Most ranger stations open at 6 a.m. on Fridays and Saturdays and 8 a.m. the rest of the week, so plan on getting there early to beat the crowds. For more details, call the climbing rangers at Mount Rainier National Park at 360-569-2211, ext. 2314.

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