Weekend Avalanche Warnings
Northwest Weather and Avalanche Center (NWAC), which is closed for the season, felt it necessary to issue special warning reports advising that snow and weather conditions this weekend are not favorable for snow travel.
Warm weather + clear skies + mountains = hikers getting out to explore our mountains.
Warm weather + clear skies + mountains + lots of snow = ripe conditions for avalanche activity.
Several bureaus are issuing warnings of moderate to severe avalanche potential in all areas of the Cascades for this coming weekend.
Climbers aren't the only explorers who need to know avalanche conditions. Slides can travel great distances, so hikers who enjoy lower portions of our mountains can also be at risk. Avalanches and cornices know no boundaries, and the only law they follow is that of gravity. Exposed, south-facing slopes are especially prone to avalanche activity during this time of year.
A popular Mother's Day tradition, hordes of climbers make for the south side of Mount St. Helens to climb to the rim dressed in... well, dresses. The Gifford Pinchot National Forest has posted a warning that avalanche conditions on Mount St. Helens is "extreme." They are offering refunds for climbing permits for those wishing to avoid the current conditions.
Avalanches have already claimed several lives in Washington's Cascades this year.
Be safe. Be smart.