Winter has made a strong come back the past few days at Mount Rainier National Park. The series of frontal systems impacting the area are forecast to continue for the next several days as well, leaving up to 2 feet of snow in the Paradise area by Monday! It is not time to put away the skis or snowboards just yet!
|Snow Profile results from Alta Vista 3-12-16|
All of that said, the forecast for the next several days includes a winter weather advisory, with significant snowfall amounts and moderate winds. What does all of this mean? Well, tomorrow, Sunday the 13th, the avalanche danger rating is moving to high for the near and above tree line zones. A high avalanche danger day means that natural avalanches are likely, and human triggered avalanches are very likely. Much of the problem over the coming days will likely be storm slab avalanches and wind slab avalanches on aspects that are leeward to the prevailing wind direction. All of this information may seem like a bit of "doom and gloom", but fear not, good skiing and snow shoeing can be had even on high avalanche danger days with proper terrain selection and careful travel.
So pack those winter clothes, map/compass/gps, skis or board as well as your avalanche rescue gear and come on up for some winter fun while it lasts! Spring is just around the corner, and soon will be the days where we are all dreaming of powder skiing. So come take advantage of this seemingly endless winter here at Mt. Rainier!