Naches Peak showing wet slab, east aspect, 6300 feet. by John Stimberis on June 08 2010.

Very dangerous avalanche conditions

Northwest Weather and Avalanche Center

Very dangerous avalanche conditions at higher elevations in the Cascades and Olympics this weekend, particularly on the volcanoes above 8,000 ft

SEATTLE, Wash., June 10, 2010—The Northwest Weather and Avalanche Center warns of extremely high avalanche danger this weekend in the Cascades and Olympic mountains.

Heavy late spring snowfall last week combined with expected sunshine and warm weather at high elevations will create the very dangerous conditions this weekend, especially in terrain above 8,000 feet on volcanoes. Hikers should particularly avoid Mt. Hood, Mt. Rainier, Mt. Adams, Mt. St. Helens, Glacier Peak and Mt. Baker. “It is dangerous now, but we expect it to get worse this weekend with the warm temperatures and highest freezing levels since last summer,” said Kenny Kramer, avalanche meteorologist.

Two to eight inches of rain has produced at least four to six feet of snow above 8,000 feet with less amounts down to about 7,000 feet. Below the snow line the rain has created saturated and weak snow conditions.

Intermittently strong winds have moved surface snow to enhance the danger on northeast through southeast facing slopes. This unusually large late season snowpack accumulation has already resulted in last weekend’s avalanche accident on Mt Rainier.

“When the danger is this high, we recommend the public stay away from avalanche terrain. There is very little downside to changing your plans, especially when injury or worse is the alternative,” said Kramer.

Go to www.nwac.us for updated information.
Follow the Northwest Weather and Avalanche Center on www.twitter/nwacus.

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