Your Connection To Jazz, Blues and NPR News
Play Live Radio
Next Up:
Available On Air Stations

Cold spring means above-average snow in Cascade Mountains

Crystal Mountain
With about average snowpack this spring, Crystal Mountain ski area has extended its season twice and will be open through June 12.

SNOQUALMIE PASS, Wash. (AP) — Above-average mountain snow heading into June is creating a unique situation in the Cascade Mountains for people looking to adventure.

It could be some time before trails appear and the ground dries out. Snowpack measurements are still well over 100 percent for this time of year for most of the state, according to the U.S. Department of Agriculture.

The Leavenworth Wilderness and Climbing Rangers traveled into the Enchantments over Memorial Day weekend and said measurements at the bottom were around 3 feet (.9 meters) and snow on Asgard Pass measured at 8 feet (2.4 meters), KING5 reported.

“Do not come here to do the through-hike expecting summer conditions until well into the summer months,” rangers wrote on Facebook.

They found two lost hikers in whiteout conditions.

“Without a map, no method of boiling water, soaked shoes, and cotton pants. The individuals had to spend an unexpected night out supported by two rangers. Please plan ahead and come prepared. It is not responsible to put rangers or search and rescue members in danger for your poor judgment and decision making,” rangers said.

The snow-covered terrane means a rare, extended season at Crystal Mountain.

“That mid and upper mountain area is still fully packed with snow,” said Emma Brice.

Related Content
  • Despite a cool and wet spring, the Washington Department of Ecology has extended a drought emergency declaration for watersheds in eight eastern Washington counties effective June 1. Under Thursday's declaration, five watersheds spanning parts of Spokane, Lincoln, Grant, Adams, Whitman, Stevens, Okanogan and Pend Oreille counties will remain in “drought emergency” status.
  • Mushroom hunters return to foraging with springtime morels. You can look for mushrooms in the Pacific Northwest throughout the seasons, searching for boletes in summer and chanterelles in fall. The Forest Service suggests only picking two-thirds of what you find to allow spores to seed for future mushrooms and leave food for wildlife.