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Avalanches risks are high in Oregon Cascades

A recently released report explains why those partaking in snow sports should be careful


According to a report released by AccuWeather.com on Friday, March 7, despite our reprieve this weekend from recent story weather, the threat for avalanches is still immediate.

The western and eastern slopes of the Cascades here in Oregon are one of the areas most at risk for avalanches, along with the Cascades and the Olympic Mountains in Washington. The threat is said to last all the way into Monday, March 10, as the combination of new snow, above-freezing temperatures and recent rain have an affect on the terrain in the mountain.

The report stated, “The most serious avalanche concern will come from Loose Wet avalanches, which occur when water is running through the snowpack due to rain or melting, and it is released at or below a trigger point.”

Avalanches could impact areas above, near and below the tree line. Those who partake in backcountry skiing or hiking are advised that avalanches can occur with little or no warning.

Although risk is still possible, mainstream ski and snowboard areas are less likely to experience avalanches due to their use of avalanche mitigation techniques.