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New Mount Rainier Webcam Now Online
Credit: National Park Service.

Want to see the view from the top of Washington state's Mount Rainier, one of the most threatening volcanoes in the world?

Put down your climbing gear and head online to a new webcam that is now live. The webcam is at Camp Muir, near the top of Mount Rainier National Park, reports the National Parks Traveler. The camera is 10,080 feet (3,072 meters) up the mountain, about 4,000 feet (1,200 m) shy of the summit.

The camera could be a great tool for climbers looking to scout conditions near the mountaintop. The webcam also will be used by the National Weather Service to forecast the weather and advise pilots and the public. The camera is also expected to aid scientists that want to study snowmelt, glaciers and air quality.

Of course, how well the camera works will also depend on the elements. The top of the mountain is often hidden in clouds. "It will be common when there are clouds and/or blowing snow that the camera will rime and the images will show only white," park officials told the Traveler.

"This is expected to be the case for much of the winter. There is not enough power at Camp Muir to operate any heating elements that could keep the camera shedding rime ice."

Mount Rainier, which attracts thousands of climbers every year, has been especially active lately, though not volcanically. Rare summer avalanches have been captured on video on the mountain's snow-capped peaks.

Check out the action on Rainier at www.nps.gov/webcams-mora/muir.jpg.