Problem #1: Wind Slab
Location: ALL aspects, especially cross-loaded slopes/gullies, at and above treeline. Strong winds out of the Northwest over the 24th-26th loaded lee aspects with wind slabs of varying thickness and reactivity. Then, over the 27th-28th, strong south winds came in and redistributed new storm snow into fresh slabs on opposite aspects. Gullies and cross-loaded slopes loaded up during BOTH wind events, and tender wind slabs may be 30-80cm thick. Pockets of CONSIDERABLE danger will be possible in these areas. Any recent wind slabs will be cold and bonding may be relatively poor. Wind slab can be identified by dense, cohesive snow, cracking, and a hollow or drum like feel. Look for wind slab in top and cross loaded terrain like below ridge lines and along gullies. These avalanches could lure riders well onto the slab before failing and could be surprisingly large. Stick to wind-protected areas where the surface snow is still soft and fluffy.
No recent avalanche activity has been reported for this zone. Look for evidence of any fresh wind slab avalanches that may have occurred over the last few days, and avoid those aspects.
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 isolated wind-loaded alpine slopes this weekend. Use extra caution to avoid these areas.
Forgot your password?
Lost your password? Please enter your email address. You will receive mail with link to set new password.
Back to login