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DateNameLocationNew SnowWindsSky/CloudsLayersRecent Avalanche ActivityObservations/Assessments
24-MAR-2016Grahamrainy hollow0nonepartly cloudyMarch 14th buried surface hoar layer was found in a number of protected shady/north aspects, between 2" and 8" down. On 03/21 this layer was reactive to human triggers in the rainy hollow zone. On 03/22 we found this layer 4" down and very intact on a colder/shady high elevation bowl between 3 guardsmen and Glave peak. This layer failed repeatedly while cutting the back of a column in a snow pit. As the week progressed, the temperatures climbed significantly throughout the region and seemed to have rounded out this layer extremely quickly, probably due to its proximity to the surface. By 03-24, we could still find this layer on shady/north aspects but were unable to propagate any failures on multiple ECT's or slope tests. It may be possible to find this layer still intact on very cold, high elevation shady north aspects, but otherwise seems unlikely in this zone. If you are on a suspect slope, probably not a bad idea to dig in and investigate, especially with the new snow that's foretasted to fall this week as consequences could be greater. Snowpack below this layer and on E and W aspects was as solid as it gets. South aspects were sliding naturally due to sun. The pass stayed partly cloudy and cooler than other places this week and has yet to undergo a major spring shed. Watch out next time it heats up. Shallow skier and snowmachine triggered avalanches on the buried surface hoar were witnessed as recent as 03-22Snowpack seems significantly more stable in the pass than elsewhere in the region, largely because it received less snow over the march 14 buried surface hoar. We found generally stable avalanche conditions in the pass this past week. As per usual, avoid shallow windswept areas near rocks where ground facets could be closer to the surface.

DateNameLocationNew SnowWindsSky/CloudsLayersRecent Avalanche ActivityObservations/Assessments
10-MAR-2016Joey SlowikSouth Glave Peak4"weak from the NWclearTwo reactive layers one at 40cm and one at 60cm. New snow (10cm) on a denser layer of wind packed snow. New snow shifted after 5 hand taps. Column eventually fractured at the 40cm layer after two shoulder taps. Fracture was complete but layer wasn't too reactive. Four more shoulder taps compressed the column and the 60cm layer also fractured, again not too reactive. ECT broke on similar hits but column did not propagate. Wind deposited snow below 20cm or so very dense.Skier caused avalanche in the area on the 5th. Skier dropped in and traversed under a cornice which caused a slab of wind deposited snow about 30 ft wide and 1-2ft thick to release. Skier remained on top and extracted himself after sliding maybe 80ft uninjured.

DateNameLocationNew SnowWindsSky/CloudsLayersRecent Avalanche ActivityObservations/Assessments
26-FEB-2016Kanaan BauslerHaines Pass12-18"light and variablemostly overcastVisited three very different snowpacks on the Canadian side of the border from Monday Feb 22 - Friday Feb 26. Monday at Nadahini, found a 150cm snowpack with a significant buried surface hoar layer 50cm down. Weak and touchy, sudden planar shears on CT and ECTs. Tuesday went to Kusawak and found a much firmer and deeper snowpack. Less faceted than Nadahini, more wind packed rounds. But also had a buried surface hoar layer 70cm down in a 350cm snowpack. Less reactive in tests but still a significant weak layer. Wednesday-Friday skied the Five-Mile Creek tree zone, found faceted melt layers from earlier February thaws and the clear period Feb 15-17. These were creating slippery bed surfaces and melt-freeze sandwich weak layers. More resistant planar shears in tests but lots of easy wet slabs and sluffs as the new snow loaded them. Small pockets going naturally and skier-triggered with all the new heavy humid snow loading around 5-mile creek. Kicked off wind slabs up on Nadahini and Kuwasak mountains, mostly on north aspects.Significant weak layers in all three snowpacks. Heard and felt whoomphs and collapsing underfoot every day. We kept to lower angle, smaller terrain in all three locations.

DateNameLocationNew SnowWindsSky/CloudsLayersRecent Avalanche ActivityObservations/Assessments
23-FEB-2016Takshanuk BoyBowl on South side Takshanuk, 2.5 miles NW as raven flys from the top of TukgahgoFrom 10 to 20cm, wind compressedNW 10-15kts1/2 cirrus coverNoticed settling on the south facing wind slab we travelled on in the valley bottom between 3200 to 3600ft, ski pole probing suggested large basal facets under this wind slab. At 4000ft headed SE up an approximate 35o slope towards a small pass, dug a full pit at 4200ft down 2m, main layer of concern was quickly identified at 1m down an approximate 2cm buried surface hoar layer. It failed on CT30+3boot slams but propagated Q1 on a very hard bed surface with a well consolidated 1M slab. This suggested some bridging over the weak layer but very high consequence outcomes if it failed, we reassessed our route and headed towards a SW aspect and dug full pit again at 4200ft. Found buried surface hoar layer at 70cm down, failed at CT30+1boot, Q1, showed slightly more overall strength with a softer bed surface, still not enough to instill much confidence. Skied lower angle shots. End of day skied a 250ft shot with a south aspect which we had not assessed, let loose 2 glide avalanches that ran the full 250ft, see incident report for more information. It was assumed this was the wind slab on top of basal facets we had noticed in the valley bottom, though we did not ascend to investigate. No one was caught or injured.Old buried sluff avalanches visible and some new sluffing with start zones on steeper aspects of 4600ft. No noticeable crowns.

DateNameLocationNew SnowWindsSky/CloudsLayersRecent Avalanche ActivityObservations/Assessments
14-FEB-2016Joey SlowikThree Guardsmen Lake0weak northerlyovercastUpper meter of wind deposited snow with several distinct layers. One at 15cm, then 25cm, then 60cm, then 85cm. At 1 meter snow shifted to old snow graupel down to 1.5 m. Column broke at the 25cm layer after 5 arm falls and 2 taps. Shear test also easily broke the column at the 25cm layer by just inserting the shovel. After the 25cm brake column broke at the 1m snow change layer. Rutschblock test failed at the 25cm layer with just the weight of a skier stepping onto it.Small sluffs slides out of Three Guardsmen couloirs.

DateNameLocationNew SnowWindsSky/CloudsLayersRecent Avalanche ActivityObservations/Assessments
30-JAN-2016Joey SlowikOld Faithful above treeline1001/5Pit only about 1.5m but only two definite layers. New snow on a firm somewhat crusty layer and a consolidated firm snowpack below. New snow was adhering to lower layer well. Did not separate under shovel test.Large slab avalanche off Old Faithful to north. Slab slide on old wind snow layer which was just above ground. Slide began below cornice facing the river. Slab about 1m thick, D3, R4 size. Ran to just below tree line in path. Slide happened on either the 28th or 29th.

DateNameLocationNew SnowWindsSky/CloudsLayersRecent Avalanche ActivityObservations/Assessments
30-JAN-2016Erik StevensThree-guardsmen arealight, NW7/8Storm snow layers are thick and deep. There seems to be a widespread weaker storm layer about 15cm thick, roughly 30-60cm deep. Lots of whumpfs on this layer as it settles under human weight. In high-alpine windy regions where snowpack is thin, 3mm depth hoar at the ground. Several recent slides ran to the ground on depth hoar. Other slides of storm snow were 30-90cm deep. Mostly D2 in size. Generally sketchy out there. Other groups report lots of whumpfing.

DateNameLocationNew SnowWindsSky/CloudsLayersRecent Avalanche ActivityObservations/Assessments
24-JAN-2016Jeff Moski5-Mile Creek 12"S moderatecloudyIdentified storm layers totaling around 2 ft from the day prior at 3,000 ft. Settled and heavy. Noticed crowns along the roadside from the overnight snow. Didn't see any obvious red flags while out. No conclusive pit results to report. Moderate winds compacted exposed southerly slopes causing a slab to form. Text book "Soft slab."

DateNameLocationNew SnowWindsSky/CloudsLayersRecent Avalanche ActivityObservations/Assessments
13-JAN-2016Joey SlowikOld Faithful50 cm03/450 cm new wet snow on a thin layer. New snow packed and adhered to old snow well. Shovel test took significant force (10 fist slams) to breaking point at thin layer. Shear test broke column off at base of pit (~140cm) with no breaks in-between. However, Rutschblock test cleaved the new snow layer as a slab.NoneVery warm.

DateNameLocationNew SnowWindsSky/CloudsLayersRecent Avalanche ActivityObservations/Assessments
03-JAN-2016Thom ElyNadahini12 - 18N 5 - 10Clear12 - 18" wind slab on top of hoar frost layer2 skiers set off a large slide originating from the top of the south facing slope below the south peak that ran onto the flats between the peaks. They triggered it from the flats below the slope on approach and had turned back to the ridge after hearing whumping and were in a safe zone when it slid. Lower slopes above the green shack are wind blown but stable. Stay off the upper slopes and the peak face until things consolidate and bond.

DateNameLocationNew SnowWindsSky/CloudsLayersRecent Avalanche ActivityObservations/Assessments
03-JAN-2016Thom Ely3 Guardsman12N 5Clear12 - 18" wind slab from recent storm on W slope facing the road. Layer below has hoar frost crystals. On approach to the N ridge we set off a slab avalanche originating from the W slope below the ridge on a 30 degree angle. It ran for 200' with a crown depth of 12" and accumulation of 5'. Lots of whumping as we started up the slope which set off the slide.

DateNameLocationNew SnowWindsSky/CloudsLayersRecent Avalanche ActivityObservations/Assessments
03-JAN-2016Joey Slowik5 Mile creek area, sunny side.000Snowpack at treeline about 120cm deep. Top 30cm of wetter dense snow with light sun/wind crust on top. 30-60cm a consolidated old snow layer with a thin crust. 60-80cm another consolidated old snow layer. 80-120cm loose sugar layer around the willows. Top 30cm layer fractured easily with two-three shoved taps. Once the top layer was removed the 30-60cm layer sheared easily with only an additional tap. Layer below solid no fractures.Several old short slides where cornices broke but under new snow layer. Large new slide on Mount McDonell east side. Several fractures and large slabs.

DateNameLocationNew SnowWindsSky/CloudsLayersRecent Avalanche ActivityObservations/Assessments
24-DEC-2015Erik StevensLutak Zone, treeline6light, N0New snow is rightside-up, but 60cm deep is a 3mm surface hoar layer. ECTN on this layer with a Q1 shear. Stomp test found this layer easy to trigger with human weight.none observedWinds weren't bad at all. No Active wind loading observed. Stability is fair, but watch out for those isolated surface hoar pockets!

DateNameLocationNew SnowWindsSky/CloudsLayersRecent Avalanche ActivityObservations/Assessments
22-NOV-2015Kanaan BauslerNadahini East behind Green Shack25cmWest ModerateOVC > BKNFacets throughout the bottom 50cm of a 75cm total snowpack. Ground up to 30cm is just pure facets (.75-1.5mm), lots of air space between the sugar, HOLLOW. Deep and light, all layers are Fist hardness with only differentiation coming from insignificant settling and wind events. Temperature gradient in the bottom 10cm from -2.5C at the ground to -3.5C at 10. Naturals all along Nadahini North face above the bowl/pass. One HS-N-R2-D2 about halfway up the slope behind the Green Shack en route to the bowl. As we were skinning past it the snowpack collapsed below us, very loud WHOOMPF. At the short peak ~6000ft elevation at the end of the bowl/pass to the glacier we triggered another WHOOMPF and a 20m crack that initiated an HS-F-R1-D1 avalanche. Fragile facets up there with an energetic wind slab that propagates easily.ECTX x2 CT17 @ 50cm from ground Q3 BRK

DateNameLocationNew SnowWindsSky/CloudsLayersRecent Avalanche ActivityObservations/Assessments
17-NOV-2015Jeff MoskiNorth Aspect above treeline15 cmcalm partly cloudyDug a pit near treeline and noticed a few different interfaces. Snowpack depth was 205 cm. Top 15 cm was the new snow. At 40 cm there was a compact 1 finger "mid-pack". Down 105 cm there was a pencil hard ice crust. Compression tests failed at top 15cm fairly easily CT8. All else was hard to propagate. Q2 shears when I pried on column with shovel. Isolated pockets of "wind" soft slab exist at higher elevation. Careful on unsuspecting rollovers in the trees and such terrain traps. At higher elevations with noticeable wind effect, human triggered soft slabs were likely. Mitigate by choosing terrain wisely and practice safe travel technique. Great snow!

DateNameLocationNew SnowWindsSky/CloudsLayersRecent Avalanche ActivityObservations/Assessments
31-OCT-2015Erik StevensNadahini areanorthwest, lightovercastSurface is mostly rime crust, with pockets of softer wind-affected snow in gullies. Overall snow depth above 4500ft is about 30-60cm. Snowpack is various rime crusts and dense wind slabs, with pencil-hard ice crust near 15cm down. Facets just starting to form below the crust near the ground.none besides small loose slides in couloirs and below cliffsGood skiing to be had above 5000ft!


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.