avalanche

Ted S. Warren / AP Photo

 

As snow continues to pound the region's ski resorts, plenty of skiers are expected to hit the slopes. But with the increased snowpack comes the risk of avalanches.

Ted S. Warren / AP Photo

Two cross-country skiers from the Seattle area died and two others were injured Tuesday in an avalanche in the southern Wallowa Mountains in eastern Oregon, according to the Baker County sheriff.

The skiers were part of an eight-member group on a guided tour when the avalanche hit. After a dry period, the Northwest is seeing heavy snow, which has increased the avalanche danger across the region.

Mike Danisiewicz / National Park Service

The conditions that led to fatal avalanches in the Washington Cascades could get worse this week. Three expert skiers died near Stevens Pass on Sunday and a snowboarder died in a separate avalanche near Snoqualmie.

Mark Moore is the director of the Northwest Weather and Avalanche Center. He says a crystalline layer of frost prevented new snow from bonding with the bottom layers. He estimates that led to hundreds if not thousands of avalanches in remote areas over the weekend.

Did you get snow? Some areas of western Washington did. Today's forecast calls for morning rain with some sun breaks today, highs near 50, and cool temperatures again tonight. 

In headlines this morning:

  • Avalanches Hit Snoqualmie Pass, I-90
  • Protesters Camp Out at State Capitol
  • House Rejects Republican Budget Plan

 

Avalanches Injure Skiers, Temporarily Close I-90

Nine people were rescued Wednesday after being caught in two separate avalanches near Snoqualmie Pass. In one incident, an avalanche hit a group of skiers who were in a backcountry area just below the summit of the pass.