The park has been receiving new snow over the past few days. NPS Rangers traveled to Edith Creek Basin and Alta Vista area to assess the condition of the new and existing snowpack. Rangers were looking for weak and poor bonded layers in the snowpack where backcountry travelers could trigger an avalanche. The video was taken from a test pit on a 26 degree slope on an easterly aspect near Alta Vista. The results show a storm slab that releases easily with minimal effort.
NWAC has raised the danger scale to high (RED) on all aspects at all elevations. The bottom line for backcountry travel at Mount Rainier is that very dangerous avalanche conditions are expected on Wednesday and Thursday this week. Travel in avalanche terrain is not recommended.