Above 2,500ft Moderate
1,500 to 2,500ft Moderate
Below 1,500ft Low
Degrees of Avalanche Danger ?
Avalanche Problem #1: Wind Slab
Above 1500ft we have a meter+ of recent snow settling from the last week. North winds will be increasing and blowing the new snow onto lee slopes (southwest – southeast aspects), and loading up gullies on east and west aspects. There may be pockets of CONSIDERABLE danger below ridgelines and anywhere wind loading is active. Avoid this danger by sticking to wind protected slopes.
Also keep an eye on the upper layers of recent storm snow. They are settling and bonding, but in steep areas these storm slabs may still be reactive. Hand shears, test pits, and test slopes/ski cuts will help you assess the strength of these layers.
Recent Avalanche Activity
There were isolated areas of wet and dry loose slides coming down from steep/cliffy terrain, mainly on sun-affected slopes. None of this activity was large, and occurred during warm temperatures earlier this week.
Snowfall totals from the 12th-19th are around 60-82″ above 1500ft (highest amounts in the Lutak zone, with less towards the Pass). Below that level was mostly rain. South winds were strong throughout, and there were brief periods of rain up to 2500ft.
Friday-Saturday will be mostly clear, with moderate north winds and mountain temperatures in the single digits. Sunday will bring increasing clouds and snow by evening with 4-8″ accumulations that night. The week ahead looks warm and wet with snow levels around 1000-2000ft.
Additional Info & Media
2017 New Year’s resolution – develop backcountry habits to LIVE TO RIDE ANOTHER DAY:
- everyone in my riding group has a functioning beacon, probe, and shovel (& floatpack)
- my group chooses to avoid slopes with rocky trigger points
- my group chooses to avoid slopes with terrain traps; cliffs, gullies, and creek ravines
- my group agrees that one rider on a steep slope at a time is what we do
- my group gathers out of harm’s way, beyond the run-out
- my group reviews our day – where could we have triggered a slide? how can we improve our plan?