Forest Service: High avalanche risk at St. Helens

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LONGVIEW, Wash. (AP) — As the highway to Mount St. Helens reopens this weekend, the Forest Service is warning of “very high” avalanche risk for people thinking of climbing the volcano.

The Daily News (http://is.gd/jjoeSi ) reports the Forest Service said Friday it is offering refunds for climbing permits to those who decide not to risk an ascent.

Mother’s Day weekend is typically a busy climbing weekend at the volcano in part because it precedes the anniversary of the volcano’s eruption on May 18, 1980.

Ken Sandusky, a spokesman for the Gifford Pinchot National Forest, says no major avalanches have been reported, but equipment that monitors snow conditions shows the risk of significant avalanches is high.

A climbing ranger will be on the mountain to update climbers on conditions and hazard information will be posted.

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Information from: The Daily News, http://www.tdn.com