Winter weather pounds the mountain passes

Heavy snow and rain has hammered the Cascade mountain passes for days, making travel a challenge.

Darrell Cherry and Beverly Dietz visited Snoqualmie Pass on Monday. They encountered slick roads but said they were experienced enough to handle that and keeping watch for other drivers.

"People going too fast and sliding around," said Cherry, adding another piece of advice for drivers daring the mountain ranges: "Give yourself lots of room."

"This place is beautiful, said Daniel Kimani who said he also wanted a taste of winter snow.  

He lives in Kent but said wanted to escape cabin fever with a day trip to Leavenworth.

"I found out there’s a lot of snow out of here," he said.

The weather has been a winter paradise for the past few days for those who love the snow, but danger grows on the hillsides. Temperatures have been fluctuating around freezing and that means a high risk of avalanche above the tree line.

Those who braved the rain in the valley and made it up to the pass were treated to a spectacle of snow-covered wonder.

But Kimani’s Leavenworth dreams were dashed when he recognized he did not arrive prepared and was forced to cut his adventure short.

"I have to go back to Seattle," he said, describing the roads as slippery and dangerous. Also, he says he wasn’t sure his vehicle could travel the distance to Chelan County.

"I don’t have a four-wheel drive car," Kimani said.

The winter storm could dump as much as 15-inches of snow above 3,000 feet Monday night.  

Travelers were urged to pack an emergency kit containing a flashlight, food, water and a blanket.