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Ski areas issue powder alerts, avalanche danger “considerable,” Rainier’s road to Paradise closed

Post by Craig Hill / The News Tribune on Jan. 16, 2012 at 7:15 am with No Comments »
January 16, 2012 7:29 am

While snow is making the three-day weekend a challenge for many motorists, it’s a treat for skiers and snowboarders. Although one popular snow destination, Mount Rainier’s Paradise, is closed today.

Crystal Mountain issued a powder alert this morning with 7 inches of fresh snow. The state’s largest ski area has received 19 inches of new snow in the last 48 hours.

White Pass is also prepping for a powder day with six inches of new snow and 17 inches in the past 48 hours. The Summit at Snoqualmie has four inches of new snow and Stevens Pass has five inches.

Ski areas are reminding skiers and snowboarders to practice deep snow safety. For backcountry travelers, the Northwest Weather and Avalanche Center’s is warning that avalanche danger today above 5,000 is “considerable.”

Paradise and its popular snowplay area are closed to the public today as searchers prepare for a third day of looking for a Tacoma man lost in the area. Yong Chun Kim, 66, fell down a steep slope while snowshoeing above Paradise on Saturday. He planned to meet up with his team farther than the trail rather than climb back up the slope. The search was launched at 3 p.m. Saturday. The park said the road is closed above Longmire to prevent visitors from interfering with the search and to allow the park to focus more resources on the search.

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