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DateNameLocationNew SnowWindsSky/CloudsLayersRecent Avalanche ActivityObservations/Assessments
14-APR-2015JeffN-NW 4,500ftHeavy precip at sea-levelLikely surface hoar layer that released naturally during this last storm cycle, since the high peaks received plenty of heavy precipitation. Very high consequence if this was skier triggered. Looking up the Kicking Horse drainage from the Haines Highway, noticed a long horizontal crown at roughly 4,500ft on a NW aspect, 3-5ft deep, propagated onto adjacent slopes ~200ft wide. Keep an eye out for mellow North facing features subject to wide-spread pockets of surface hoar. This slide ripped out on seemingly "mellow" 25+ degree alpine terrain. Be weary of trigger points and seek safe zones. Look for more natural activity.

DateNameLocationNew SnowWindsSky/CloudsLayersRecent Avalanche ActivityObservations/Assessments
05-APR-2015g-ramrainy hollow, haines pass0lightsunny/partly cloudyPersistant buried surface hoar is still present in the upper levels of the snowpack. It is covered with a slab which is between 1 and 3 feet of snow depending on aspect and topography. This layer is still very sensitive to human triggers on cold NE, N, and NW aspects as well as other slopes like deep gullies and couloirs which are shaded from the sun for most of the day. Furthermore, we saw another crop of surface hoar forming in protected areas which could get buried or blown down depending on how this storm moves in. We remote triggered a fairly large cornice while traversing behind a ridge. The cornice fell some distance away and fell over a steep rocky slope before and triggered a very small slab. Shortly after, while skiing a very low angle (20 degrees) N facing glacier run @ approx 5000ft, the third skier to cross the slope triggered a slab, 300m wide and 1m deep which propagated upslope to a maximum angle of 35 degrees and ran about 300m. The bed surface was harder wind buff with obvious signs of buried surface hoar. Click the link to see the photo of the cornice fall and skier triggered avalanche Click HereThe low angle of the slide, the size, the depth and the tendancy for upslope propigation are all cause for concern. We were skiing in an area within about a mile of where we found sensitive avalanche conditions a week prior (see obs). Warm temps still have not warmed the snowpack on the north/sun protected aspects and the buried surface hoar is not rounding out very quickly. Also, with more moisture moving in this week, there is increasingly more snow to make dangerous deep slab avalanche conditions possible and there are still shallow areas which are sensitive to human triggers. Reports from deeper in the range indicate much more snow has fallen and this layer could be buried much deeper and hence less sensitive to human triggers. In these areas, be very cautious of shallow snow on the edges of potential avalanche slopes where human triggering could be more likely. It may also be wise to consider the terrain below any slopes you plan to ski. Avoiding skiing above cliffs and terrain traps on nw-ne aspects and sun protected slopes may not be a terrible idea. Other aspects have varying degrees of sun affect but have exibited a seemingly stable snowpack, provided you stay away from wet slides on south aspects in the heat of the day.

DateNameLocationNew SnowWindsSky/CloudsLayersRecent Avalanche ActivityObservations/Assessments
30-MAR-2015g-ramrainy hollow, haines pass15cm to 40cmlightovercast to clearElevations lower than 3500 feet were warming and some slopes (especially lower elevations) have gone isothermal. Also, S, SW, SE aspects at higher elevations were warming. Protected N, NE, NW aspects were still holding cold snow above 3500 ft. The last week of storms deposited between 15 and 40 cm of new snow over top of what had been a very stable snowpack. In some areas such as steep rollovers and protected N, NW and NE aspects, as well as some other locations, sneaky layers of buried surface hoar were present on the new snow/old snow interfaceWe triggered two small to medium sized (15-30cm deep, 30m wide) soft slab avalanches after cutting two cornices onto steep 40ish degree northwest facing convex slopes. They ran about 400ft down and a ways out onto the flats. Both slid on a layer of buried surface hoar on the new snow/old snow interface. One slide propagated up to 75m wide over a steep rollover halfway downslope. All other aspects exhibited good stability. Also, south aspects should obviously be avoided due to the potential for wet slides on lower/mid elevationsUnpredictable pockets of surface hoar on slopes that were protected from the wind and/or sun during last weeks high pressure spell were subsequently buried by a weeks worth of precipitation were very sensitive to human triggers yesterday. This layer will likely be quite persistent for the foreseeable future and could become increasingly deep and dangerous as more moisture moves in.

DateNameLocationNew SnowWindsSky/CloudsLayersRecent Avalanche ActivityObservations/Assessments
28-MAR-2015JeffThree-Guardsmen 10cmSwirlingmostly cloudy Noticeable hardpack under a meter of new snow at the car varying in depth as we went up. There were a few crusts and layers in the top 40cm of snow that were variable depending on where we went. Faceting was observed in shallow areas and near rock outcrops. Slough-avalanches! Basically the top 10cm was enough to rocket down slopes exceeding 30 degrees. Need to practice smart travel technique and minimize exposing multiple members of a party. Also, on decent anticipate your slough and make sure you and your partners are not in the way. Due to several changing, yet apparent layers in the upper snowpack, practice extreme caution when choosing slopes in avalanche terrain. There is a chance a light slough could step further down in the snowpack and produce a larger scale avalanche. Be safe!

DateNameLocationNew SnowWindsSky/CloudsLayersRecent Avalanche ActivityObservations/Assessments
11-MAR-2015Erik StevensKashagnak Area, East aspect8moderate, N2/8Happy with the midpack, which felt solid. The exception being the freshly transported top 20cm, which was sliding freely on slopes 30+ degrees. Poses little danger in protected areas, but on any wind effected slopes this top slab could be dangerous. none observedWe were able to trigger a few shooting cracks in that top 20cm of snow, but propagation was mostly absent on our wind-protected slope. Watch for variablility, as some areas are surely unstable with the fresh wind loading.

DateNameLocationNew SnowWindsSky/CloudsLayersRecent Avalanche ActivityObservations/Assessments
06-MAR-2015pedroGuardsman N0light5/80-15, F, stellars whole and broken, pockets of wind affect but mostly consistent. Turned to a stiff supportable crust as the aspect got sunnier. 15-20, P, wind crust. 20-21, F, facets. our layer of concern was bonded ok to the overlying snow. Released with energy but not cleanly: CT17Q2, CT24Q2, ECTNP. 21-155, 4F-F, rounds going to facets at the ground. None recentSouth winds were just starting to blow. 3/7/15 light snow with moderate winds just starting to transport.

DateNameLocationNew SnowWindsSky/CloudsLayersRecent Avalanche ActivityObservations/Assessments
02-15-2015g-ramwest nadahini glacier6-18"lightsunny/increasing cloudsLower snowpack very hard windpack. Upper 8-18" of medium density snow fell in the last storm and seemed fairly well bonded to lower layers. Snow out of main pass seemed fairly protected from the wind during previous storm.A large cornice fall on the steep north aspect of Nadahini peak (2000m) triggered a deep fresh windslab avalanche during the last storm. Also, storm snow on a nw lee slope at a similar elevation had slid, 6"-1' thick slab, 300m wide.Extreme wind events for the past few weeks seemed to reset the lower snowpack. Ground facets were no longer active except in very shallow spots at low elevations. Upper elevations showed evidence of instability in wind loaded locations (mostly N,NW,NE aspects) near ridgetops. All other aspects exhibited good stability and very skiable snow.

DateNameLocationNew SnowWindsSky/CloudsLayersRecent Avalanche ActivityObservations/Assessments
26-JAN-2015JeffPass15cm underfootmoderate NclearDug a snowpit about 1,500ft from the road, east of Haines pass proper ~4500ft. Found a 299cm snowpack! Dug a meter down and ran CT21, CT24 both Q2 failing around 65cm on a storm layer. ECTP25 failed on a 55cm storm layer at Q3. Mostly consolidated, 1-4F hardness. Severe & delayed whumphing, especially noticeable in areas where the snowpack was shallow. at 5,000ft felt a whumph and heard a shooting crack. Moments later a slide became visible nearly a mile away and 1,000ft above our group of 5 on a S-SW slope. An oval about 150 yards wide propagated running nearly 700 ft, D3/R3. Crown estimated 1-5ft, running on ground and facets thin to deep back to thin. We were well out of harms way but had considered the slope that slid a viable route option. In the layers underneath where the pit we dug was a new snow/ old snow interface. I believe this was the layer wumphing occurred at. Solar Radiation was also a factor at the heat of the day (~11:00am) may have had something to do with the sensitivity of the slab. Bagged the plan to venture further or onto the aspect that slid, found fresh turns down below. Give it some time after the storm!

DateNameLocationNew SnowWindsSky/CloudsLayersRecent Avalanche ActivityObservations/Assessments
28-DEC-2014Erik StevensNadahini area2light, NclearFound about 15cm of weak facets at the ground, below a pencil-hard crust. Above the crust was settled recent storm snow.Some small size 1-2 recent windslabs ran on steep rollovers the last few daysThere is still some good soft powder in the bushes and lower wind-protected slopes. Not as much recent wind affect as I expected.

DateNameLocationNew SnowWindsSky/CloudsLayersRecent Avalanche ActivityObservations/Assessments
17-DEC-2014JeffNadahini; Pass18" - 24"WeakPartly sunny with cloudsDug a quick hand pit at ~4,000ft on a NE aspect. Found about two feet of semi-consolidated storm snow on top of a 3-4" pencil hard crust, with ~6-10" of facets mixed with rounds to the ground. A lot of serious whumping right in the flats from the car. Jumped on mini-cornices, with results and even delayed propagation. Group remotely triggered one of these cornices which ran to the ground.Shallow, scary, deep slab! A scenerio on more exposed terrain may be multiple riders hitting the same slope before propogating a significant slide, especially if the trigger is heavier, like a snowmachine. Best case scenerio is we get more snow to pummel those weak layers during another avy cycle!!

DateNameLocationNew SnowWindsSky/CloudsLayersRecent Avalanche ActivityObservations/Assessments
04-DEC-2014g-rampass0-15weakhigh overcastGenerally hard wind packed snow on all aspects and elevations. Low density windblown accumulation in gullies and protected areas from a few inches to a foot and a half make for a nice skiable surface.widespread small windslabs only at highway elevation on cross loaded gullies failed on surface hoar which was seen in the valley bottom previous to storm. No natural avalanches seen at higher elevations but wind loaded gullies with 15+ inches of low density snow over variable hard surfaces (windboard/sun crust(south)) had stiff pockets with potential for windslab avalanches with human trigger. Was able to trigger small stiff windslab over slippery hard layer in protected steep gully wall.should be interesting to see what happens after this next storm. Pretty classic shallow continental snow pack setting up in the pass. A couple layers to keep an eye on, namely recent pockets of low density snow overlying hard layers. Surface hoar not observed much above valley bottoms during previous outings, consistent with small collapses down low. PS. I'm gonna win one of those hoodies.

DateNameLocationNew SnowWindsSky/CloudsLayersRecent Avalanche ActivityObservations/Assessments
March 14th -16thErik StevensTakhin Ridge~6"light, variablemostly cloudyBelow 3500 feet: Top meter of snow consisted of dense soft slab with two discernable interfaces within it, one at 15cm down, another at 60cm down. Ice crust 1m down with 3cm of small-grained facets atop it. No failures on compression or extended column tests. The 1m deep layer did fail with shovel shearing, the failure plane was rated a Q3 shear.Only two small pockets of deep slab (both R1D2), both of which were likely sympathetic step-downs from lots of debris coming down over them. They were located in the middle paths of large avalanche chutes, estimated angle around 35 degrees. N aspects.Snow on some slopes was very stable with hardly any sluffing even on steep slopes.


Disclaimer: Use the data on this website at your own discretion as part of a thorough evaluation of the avalanche hazard in the field. Remember that conditions vary greatly from place to place and hour to hour, so evaluate the snow you find locally, and compare it to what you read on this website. We are not responsible for how you use the information contained on this site, and assume no liability for its use. Remember, information is no substitute for experience. Educate yourself in avalanche safety. The information on this website is not sufficient for completely safe backcountry decision making. Use at your own risk.