Professor Emeritus Pat Pringle of Centralia College and colleagues led a 3-day trip to the Mount Rainer area to see the geology of this fantastic mountain and its geologic and environmental effects on the surrounding region. Participants provided their own transportation and lodging (in Ashford and Packwood); we provided field trip log, a published guidebooks, experts on specific aspects of the geology and geomorphology, and a chance to see one of Washington’s three active volcanoes.
The trip started at 11 am Friday at Mud Mountain Dam Park south of Enumclaw. We made a CCW circumnavigation of Mt. Rainer and ended up on the northeast side on Sunday afternoon, east of Enumclaw. Rain and socked in that day, but good wx for the first two days. Many of the stops were roadside, but we took several 1-2 mile hikes with 300-500 feet of elevation change. A good time was had by all, and a true value at $50 each.
For more info, you can download the preliminary field trip route and schedule by clicking here. In addition, Pat published a guide to this area that will serve as a more comprehensive resource. Pdfs of the various chapters of the Roadside Geology of Mount Rainier National Park and vicinity, Information Circular 107 (IC-107) as well as pdfs of other publications can be downloaded via links in the Washington Geological Survey’s online catalog.
Go to this link, and then go down to the WGS publications catalog link. This catalog gets updated regularly. Suggestion, it may be easier to download the book as individual chapers, because the entire book is >300 MB.
Pat Pringle is a highly regarded geologist who has studied throughout western Washington and is the author of roadside geology guides to Mount Rainier and Mount St. Helens. He is a frequent speaker and field trip leader for the QGS. He retired as a Emeritus from Centralia College in 2017. Here is his bio from there:
I am Professor Emeritus of Earth Science at Centralia College, Washington and was Professor of Earth Science from 2005–2017. From 1990–2005 I was Research Geologist, WADNR Div. of Geology and Earth Sciences (now Washington Geological Survey), and from 1982–1990 was with US Geological Survey Cascades Volcano Observatory in the volcanic hazards program. My main areas of study are volcanoes, earthquakes, landslides, and debris flows, which I study using radiocarbon and tree-ring analysis to establish the history of past geologic events. My publications include books on the roadside geology of Mounts St. Helens and Rainier as well as published papers and reports; the Mount Rainier book won the Geoscience Information Society’s “Best Guidebook Award” for 2009, presented at the Geological Society of America’s Annual Meeting that year.
Professionally my goals are to be in an informed instructor of earth sciences who will hopefully inspire students. I also want to continue my research and research collaborations on the recent geologic history of volcanoes, earthquakes, and landslides in the Pacific Northwest using field investigations of and radiocarbon dating and dendrochronology of subfossil trees. Getting undergraduates involved in doing research that investigates recent geologic and environmental history is an important part of that equation! (Updated Oct. 2021)