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Seattle News

Forest Service Warns Hikers about Deadly Snow Holes

Just one snow hole on Aasgard Pass in the Enchantments has killed three in the past six years.

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Officials in the Alpine Lakes Wilderness have updated trail signs and posted rangers at the trailhead to warn hikers about a deadly hazard on Aasgard Pass: gaps in the early-season snowpack that can swallow people whole. The holes form when spring melt weakens the snow above it until a piece gives way, creating a hidden hole. Three people have died in the same snow hole above Colchuck Lake in the Enchantments area since 2011, most recently a 19-year-old hiker last June.