As the time nears for many of you to venture up to Table Mountain, here are just a few reminders and tips for both the seasoned attendee and the new-comer.
When checking the forecasts, always bear in mind that because of our 6,000 foot elevation, temperatures on-site average about 20 degrees cooler than what is forecast for Ellensburg. Forecasts from the major web weather sites are fairly good; you can get a more site-specific forecast from NOAA but I’ve typically found their forecast to be, uhm, geared to erring on the side of being pessimistic
Pack and be prepared for cool and even cold weather for the nights. High elevation also means higher UV exposure, so sunscreen would be a wise addition to your supplies as well. As the old Table Mountain adage goes: “Plan for all kinds of weather. Pack until you feel silly. Then pack some more.”
Reports are that there is still snow lurking in the deeply shaded areas, so expect bugs to be present. Bring the insect repellant.
There’s no rush – the mountain isn’t going anywhere! Once you’re on the Forest Service road coming out of Reecer Creek Canyon, drive with due caution on the one-lane road. Be on the lookout for downhill traffic. Use the turnouts as needed. Once you transition onto the dirt section of the road, keep your speed down to avoid kicking up a dust cloud behind you. Be aware of the condition of the road: there are bound to be areas of washboard, deep ruts, rocks, and other conditions that will test the limits of your vehicle’s suspension.
Once you make the turn onto the Lion Rock Road entering the site, keep your speed down to a crawl. There have been deep ruts in the area just past the turn-in through the tree-line. Going slow will keep the dust to a minimum, which makes everyone happy. Be on the lookout for one of our Parking Staff – they will greet you and direct you where to pull over to park and enter the Registration Tent.
The Registration Tent will officially open mid-day Wednesday. If you’re on-site prior to that time, check in when it opens and get your registration materials. The Registration Tent closes at 8pm every night. Attendees arriving after 8pm will not be allowed to park on-site and asked to park outside the event area. Plan your travel time accordingly.
On-Site Registration will be available as space and capacity allows. The earlier you arrive, the better chance of you getting in and a good spot (not that there are many bad spots on the mountain!).
Cell Phone Coverage:
Coverage from the major carriers is spotty on the mountain and can also depend on your phone. There is no “magic spot” for coverage, although traveling up to Lion Rock seems to work for most people. Generally you need a good line-of-site to the valley where the cell towers are to get coverage. Wandering around with your cell phone in hand searching for signal is a good way to meet new people though!
Any further updates on registration, RV parking capacity, or other information will be totally dependent on cell phone data coverage availability once we’re on the mountain.
Travel safe, and we’ll see you on the Mountain!!
-The TMSPA Staff