King County Search and Rescue crews train for avalanche response 

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The Northwest Avalanche Center says the danger is “considerable" in the Cascades, the Olympic Mountains, and our two most used passes: Snoqualmie and Stevens.

Earlier in the week, state officials closed Snoqualmie pass, only allowing cars to drive across in stages.

Volunteers with King County Search and Rescue trained this week on avalanche responses.

“People find themselves in tough situations,” said  Josh Gerstman.

For the last 22 years, Gerstman has worked with search and rescue.

On Saturday, he and several other volunteers worked with Pro Guiding Service on avalanche preparedness.

Gerstman says within the month of February, the Snoqualmie Pass has gotten about 80 inches of snow. That snow is packed on top of itself, and if it sits on a slope of 30 degrees it’s possible it will slide, Gerstman says.

“We’re in a situation where avalanche danger is considerable,” he said.

Gerstman anyone considering any sort of hiking or activity in the back country needs to have an avalanche beacon, a pro pole, and a shovel. He says these are the cornerstones of avalanche safety, and if you don’t know what these items are it’s a good idea to wait until the snow melts.

He says whether it’s hiking or even just driving through the Cascades it’s smart to be aware and informed.

The Northwest Avalanche Center provides updated information on problem spots and risks.

You can find that information at this link.

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