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Lassen Volcanic National Park Visitors Advised of High Avalanche Danger.

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Date: March 1, 2007
Contact: John Roth, (530) 595-4444, ext. 5150

Lassen Volcanic National Park Visitors Advised of High Avalanche Danger.

Recent storms in the Lassen Volcanic National Park and surrounding regions have brought several feet of new snow which has significantly increased the potential for avalanches in the park.

Since December 26th, 2006, the park has received very little snow. The base layer was subjected to freezing temperatures, creating a virtual “ice layer” which is an efficient sliding surface for new layers of snow. By this morning, 44 inches of new snow accumulated on top of this icy layer, which increased our avalanche danger to extreme.

Avalanches occur in the park throughout the winter, but avalanche hazards increase significantly after a large snowstorm. “Winter is a beautiful time to explore and discover the park’s wonders,” said Superintendent Mary G. Martin. “But we care about the well being of our visitors and want them to be safe when experiencing the park.”

Visitors should consider visiting the Manzanita Lake area, which traditionally experiences lower avalanche hazards. Visitors are encouraged to be prepared when traveling in the mountains during winter. Wear proper clothing, carry emergency supplies of food, water, blankets, and first aid kits; tire chains should be in our vehicle whenever you travel in the mountainous areas. Backcountry travelers should have specialized knowledge of winter survival, and be prepared to render aid to fellow travelers if necessary. At a minimum, they should travel with avalanche beacons, probe poles and shovels and sign the backcountry register posted at the Southwest Information Station or at the Manzanita Lake Entrance Station. Rangers assess and post updated avalanche information at the Southwest Information Station, the Loomis Ranger Station at Manzanita Lake and on the website at http://www.nps.gov/lavo.

For more information, please contact the Park at (530) 595-4444 or for TDD at (530)595-3480, Monday through Friday, except holidays, from 8:00 a.m. to 4:30 p.m. -NPS-

Did You Know?

View of devastated area from Main Park Road.

The 29 mile Main Park Road was constructed between 1925 and 1931, just 10 years after Lassen Peak erupted. Near Lassen Peak the road reaches 8512 feet, making it the highest road in the Cascade Mountains. It is not unusual for 40 feet of snow to accumulate on the road near Lake Helen.