An active weather pattern is finally bringing significant snow to the Cascades, and most of our ski resorts have opened for the first time this season.
However, it may be too much of a good thing.
Avalanche season has begun. An Avalanche Warning for western slopes of the Cascades from the Canadian border to the Skagit River - including Mount Baker - is in effect until 6 p.m. Tuesday.
The avalanche danger will be high on Tuesday and backcountry travel is not recommended, according to the National Weather Service.
Additional heavy snow is loading a considerably weak layer which may trigger large and destructive slides.
Ski resorts do avalanche mitigation limiting the risk of slides within resort boundaries. Most of the danger is in the backcountry, and travel there is not recommended.
The start of avalanche season means many hiking trails are becoming dangerous to travel. Before venturing into the backcountry, make sure you're checking conditions.
To find the most up-to-date information regarding avalanche conditions, head to www.nwac.us. It's the Northwest Avalanche Center, and it provides everything from current conditions to avalanche and mountain weather forecasts.