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
A quick but strong burst of snowfall is expected Thursday, with increasing southerly winds and snow levels rising to near 1000ft by evening. 3-6″ of new snow is expected. Friday will bring cooling temps and an end to the snow. Another shot of light snow is likely Saturday evening. Sunday-Tuesday will bring in a pattern change, with a strong and wet storm that could bring heavy accumulations and rising snow levels.
( *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.
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