Weather conditions over the past two weeks have been relatively stable with many sunny days and very little precipitation. The forecast is calling for more stable weather over the weekend with a low pressure and unsettled weather moving in early next week. With the trend of sunny days, solar warming in steep terrain is still the primary avalanche concern. Point release is easily triggered and will run the length of the slope. If your going into the backcountry this weekend assess conditions carefully and manage your terrain.
|Skiers in the Tatoosh with The Castle and Mount Rainier in the background|
The last two weeks have brought more new snow and sunny weather to Mount Rainier. Recent storms totals in the Tatoosh area was 1.5 feet with 2 feet or more in the surrounding Paradise area.
|April Pin Wheels|
Ski quality in the Tatoosh on solar aspects was wet and supportable, shady aspects were variable with a supportable crust surface throughout. Allow extra time to access the terrain as the Stevens Canyon road is still closed. The last two days have been sunny and warm with the forecast calling for sunny and warm weather through the weekend. Snow test pits over the last week have shown stable results in the lower and mid pack with surface snow instability and solar warming being the primary concern in the upper pack. Be sure to check the NWAC avalanche forecast before going for a tour. Sunny slopes 35 degrees and steeper were producing point release loose wet avalanches. Timing will be critical when skiing these solar aspects as we rapidly move into spring and warmer days.