11/15: Natural avalanche observed in Loveland Basin on a South aspect, down the ridge from Tones Temple. This slide was triggered by recent NE wind loading and failed at the ground. SS-N-R1-D2-G
Our area has received a couple of storms in early November that have started to build our snowpack. Outflow winds began on 11/15 and are in the process of stripping and redistributing this new snow onto lee aspects and low spots like gullies. Expect outflow wind to increase early this week to near 70 mph. At this point the next chance for snow appears to be next weekend…
Early Season conditions exist on Thompson Pass. A thin snowpack has yet to cover up many hazards such as rocks, rivers and crevasses. The current snowpack depth is 13” at the Thompson Pass DOT, and 33” at Nicks 4500’. Our area received a storm 11/8-9 with Thompson Pass reporting 16” of new snow, after a brief break we’ve received additional accumulations 11/11-12.
As our snowpack grows, it’s important to keep in mind that a thin/weak snowpack can’t adjust as quickly, or as well to dramatic weather changes like a late winter/spring snowpack can. These changes include: More than 6” of new snow within 24 hours, wind that transports snow, rapid warming and rain on snow.
Use caution if traveling in or below avalanche terrain. Seeing natural avalanches, shooting cracks in the snow, or collapsing in the snowpack are all sure signs of instability.
Avalanche forecasts will begin for the 20/21 season soon.
Your observations are valuable! If you have been out recreating in the mountains leave an observation.
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