Record snowfall has increased the risk of avalanches in the Cascades Mountains this weekend. 

The Northwest Avalanche Center reports that the recent snowfall in the Mountain Loop area fell at warmer temperatures than the older snow beneath it did, which creates a dangerous "strong over weak" situation. 

Farther north in the Mount Baker area, the record snowfall has stressed the snowpack and even more is expected. 

If you still plan on venturing into the mountains this weekend, make sure you have the 10 essentials: 

1. Map

2. Compass

3. Water and a way to purify it

4. Extra food

5. Rain gear and extra clothing

6. Fire starter and matches

7. First aid kit

8. Knife

9. Flashlight and extra batteries

10. Sunscreen and sunglasses

You should carry the 10 essentials with you or in your car whenever you’re going to the mountains, but they are especially important if traveling in an area with an avalanche threat.

What you need if travelling in avalanche terrain:

  • Beacon
  • Probe
  • Shovel 

Before you go into the mountains you should check the weather forecast prior to your trip and tell someone where you are going and when you plan to return. And, if you can reschedule your weekend trip, you should.

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