Above 2,500ft Moderate
1,500 to 2,500ft Moderate
Below 1,500ft Low
Degrees of Avalanche Danger ?
Last week’s storm snow is settled, but cold temperatures have prevented it from fully bonding. We’re still getting active failures with moderate strength in snowpit tests. Weaknesses around 20 and 40cm deep bear watching. The failures are occurring on planar crystals that are decomposing and rounding.
We also had a brief wind event last Friday. North winds loaded fresh slabs on to south aspects and cross-loaded east and west aspects. Avoid these areas where recent slabs sit at the top of the snowpack. In general, the upper snowpack consists of mostly hard slabs resting on top of each other. They still need a little more time to bond together.
Recent Avalanche Activity
The last reported avalanche activity occurred during the last storm cycle, about a week ago. Size 2 and 3 avalanches within the new storm snow were common on all aspects in all zones. A few slides to size 4 occurred.
Thursday night will bring the beginning of a major pattern change. Get out and enjoy the snow this weekend, because next week is looking very warm and rainy with snow levels up to 4000-5000ft!
The good news is, it’s going to dump this weekend. Light snow starts Friday morning, with 4-12″ likely by Saturday morning. The main event comes in Saturday-Saturday night, when an additional 12-24″ may fall. The path of the Low is a little uncertain right now, but current indications are that snow levels will stay at sea level for the majority of the event, and only rise briefly on Sunday. Think snow!!!
It has been mostly clear with light-moderate north winds since the 1st. Alpine temperatures have been steady between 10-25F.
January 27th-28th brought 3-4″ of precipitation, with snow levels near 1500ft. This added up to 2-3 feet of wet snow at treeline. South winds were very strong, 30-60mph.
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?