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Cowlitz Chimneys facts for kids

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Cowlitz Chimneys
North Cowlitz Chimney seen from State Route 123, Mount Rainier National Park.jpg
North Cowlitz Chimney seen from State Route 123
Highest point
Elevation 7,605 ft (2,318 m)
Prominence 965 ft (294 m)
Isolation 4.84 mi (7.79 km)
Parent peak Little Tahoma Peak (11,138 ft)
Geography
Location Mount Rainier National Park
Pierce County, Washington, U.S.
Parent range Cascades
Topo map USGS Chinook Pass
Type of rock Rhyolite
Climbing
First ascent 1915 by The Mountaineers
Easiest route Scrambling class 3

Cowlitz Chimneys are a group of four rhyolite towers located in Mount Rainier National Park in Pierce County of Washington state. As part of the Cascade Range, the Cowlitz Chimneys are situated southwest of Tamanos Mountain and east of Banshee Peak, all of which are visible from the Sunrise Historic District. The Sarvant Glacier is set on the north aspect of these remnants of a volcanic plug. Cowlitz is the name of several geographical features in Mount Rainier National Park, as well as the state of Washington. The name appeared as early as the Lewis and Clark journals of 1805 when it was written as "Cowliskee" and has the Chinook Jargon meaning of "capturing the medicine spirit".

  • Main (South) Cowlitz Chimney - 7,605 ft
  • Central Cowlitz Chimney - 7,421 ft
  • North Cowlitz Chimney - 7,015 ft
  • Third Cowlitz Chimney - 6,640+ ft

Climate

Sunrise Area, Cowlitz Chinmeys
Cowlitz Chimneys

The Cowlitz Chimneys are located in the marine west coast climate zone of western North America. Most weather fronts originate in the Pacific Ocean, and travel northeast toward the Cascade Mountains. As fronts approach, they are forced upward by the peaks of the Cascade Range (Orographic lift), causing them to drop their moisture in the form of rain or snowfall onto the Cascades. As a result, the west side of the Cascades experiences high precipitation, especially during the winter months in the form of snowfall. During winter months, weather is usually cloudy, but, due to high pressure systems over the Pacific Ocean that intensify during summer months, there is often little or no cloud cover during the summer. Because of maritime influence, snow tends to be wet and heavy, resulting in high avalanche danger. Precipitation runoff from Cowlitz Chimneys drains into the Cowlitz River.

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