Snow Falling In The Cascades Raises Avalanche Concerns

SNOQUALMIE, Wash. (AP) — Snow is falling on Snoqualmie Pass and a Winter Weather Advisory was issued across the mountain passes in western Washington.

Up to eight inches of snow forecasted in the Cascades—good news for the ski resorts including The Summit at Snoqualmie, which is open for two more weeks. However, the April snowfall could cause a tricky situation for anyone trying to travel in the mountains, KCPQ reported.

Sgt. Jason Stanley, supervisor for the King County Sheriff’s Office Search and Rescue Unit, said the new snow falling on top of what’s already on the ground has the team monitoring the risks of an avalanche.

“The conditions up in the mountains are still dangerous. There’s a ton of snow in the pass right now,” said Stanley. “We’ve had several instances this year of massive snowfall along with heating and cooling can create avalanche conditions."

He said they had “some pretty incredible avalanches already this year” and they've been fortunate that no one was in the avalanche path at the time.

Despite it being April, Stanley said current weather conditions are shaping up to be just as dangerous as the winter season.

“If someone gets caught up in the avalanche and conditions are still very high and dangerous, we’re not going to send volunteer searchers up there to look. You might get a helicopter flyover, but that’s not going to rescue anybody,” he said.

Stanley is urging all mountain hikers to make a safety plan before their visit.