We received some recent reports of fresh natural and human triggered wind slab avalanches to size 2 or 3, over the last few days. These were occurring on slopes that are lee to the northwest winds that blew over the last several days, where active wind loading was occurring.
Above: Human-Triggered D1.5 hard slab avalanche on the Chilkat Pass, from 12-23-2018. E aspect, crown was about 1 foot deep.
Isolated D2-D3 naturals ran during the storm last week, on wind loaded and cross loaded aspects. Crown depths were around 1 meter, running on facets above a rain crust.
Natural D3 avalanche from the big storm last week. Chilkat Pass zone, cross-loaded NE aspect at ~4500ft. 2018-12-21
Saturday should be mostly cloudy with light winds. Sunday will bring light but increasing snowfall, becoming heavy overnight. Monday-Tuesday will feature two strong and wet storms bringing heavy accumulations and snow levels rising to near 3000ft. Total new precipitation amounts of 2-3" are likely by Wednesday.
( *star means meteorological estimate )
If you get out riding, please send in an observation!
Do a rescue practice with your partners. Always carry a beacon, shovel, and probe, and KNOW HOW TO USE THEM. Come to our FREE backcountry skills workshop on January 10th (see flyer below).
Practice good risk management, which means only expose one person at a time to slopes 30 degrees and steeper, make group communication and unanimous decision making a priority, and choose your terrain wisely: eliminating unnecessary exposure and planning out your safe zones and escape routes.
Human-triggered wind slab avalanches will be likely on wind-loaded alpine slopes this weekend. Use extra caution.
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