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Quick Washington State Mountain Safety Tips

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Quick Washington State Mountain Safety Tips

Mount Baker in Bellingham

© Ian T. Coble / Getty Images

You never know when our highway passes will be shutdown because of inclement weather. In order to be prepared always check Washington State Passes, Washington pass cameras, and our mountain Web sites for updates before venturing out.

  • Anyone driving to a mountain must have tire chains in case they are needed on the passes. Usually our passes post signs when chains are needed and if you don't have them you'll wish you did.
  • Be sure to have blankets, food, a shovel, and a safety kit in your vehicle for emergencies.
  • Weather on Washington State's mountains can turn on a dime. Remember you're on a mountain. Use common sense when dressing for the mountains. Wear layers made of polypropylene for wicking and proper waterproof snow gear. Invest in a baklava to keep your head and neck warm too.
  • If you plan to venture off the beaten path on the snow trails be sure to check with the mountain for safety tips and avalanche updates and always tell someone where you'll be.
  • Wear a whistle on your jacket for emergencies, preferably attached near your head. So if your arms get pinned down (especially in an avalanche) you can reach it with your mouth in an emergency. Yelling for help is not only a waste of energy it is likely no one will hear you. A high pitched whistle can help get your emergency heard.
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