Spring is upon us. The last HPAC avalanche advisory of the season will be Sat., April 14th. Keep those observations coming. We will continue to monitor and publish observations throughout the spring season.
Above 3,500ft Low
2,500 to 3,500ft Low
Below 2,500ft Low
Degrees of Avalanche Danger ?
Avalanche conditions are generally safe, and the danger is LOW . Watch for unstable, wet snow, on isolated terrain features. The hazard for wet avalanches could increase this afternoon and into Sunday if the sun pops out and temperatures reach toward 40°F at 3000′. Avoid steep sunny aspects with direct solar in the afternoon.
WET LOOSE AVALANCHE PROBLEM
A Low Avalanche Hazard exists for Wet-Loose avalanches on steep SE>SW aspects today. Expect sluffs to be D1-D1.5 and small in size. Instability exists in portions of terrain and will be stubborn to trigger.
Last week’s snow was magnificent and enjoyed by many at HP. Although we are currently in a period of generally good stability, identifying and mapping weaknesses in the snowpack is a crucial component to long-term safe travel and riding in avalanche terrain. Persistent weak layers still exist in the snowpack, but are currently unreactive, and could still be future problems as the snowpack warms up later in the spring. As temperatures increase, so will avalanche activity. Wet avalanches are predictable and avoidable. See pit HERE.
Timing is everything. If the surface snow starts to feel like mush, you can squeeze water out of a snowball, and observe roller balls on similar aspects around you- It’s time to get off of and out from under similar slopes.
Check out the Gallatin Nat’l Forest Avalanche center’s video of wet-loose avalanches HERE. This is a similar set-up to Hatcher Pass with weak facets comprising much of the snowpack.
Recent Avalanche Activity
A handful of wet-loose sluffs were reported this week.
No slab avalanches were observed or reported this week.
Many bed surfaces from old slab avalanches from the 3/19 cycle are melting out fast.
Lasts weeks amazing powder is a little harder to find. Moderate winds this week gusted E 16-33 forming wind slabs 2-6″ thick. Conditions range from wind board, sun crusts, supportable and breakable crusts, faceted powder, and everything in between.
This week’s weather at 3550′:
Temps averaged 20ºF, with a low of 8ºF and a high of 38ºF.
No new snow this week.
Overnight at 3550′:
Temps averaged 25° F.
No new snow overnight.
This week’s weather at 4500′:
Temps averaged 17ºF, with a low of 3ºF and a high of 31ºF.
Winds averaged E 7 mph, max E 19 mph . Gusts averaged E 12 mph, max gusts E 33 mph.
Overnight at 4500′:
Temps averaged 21ºF overnight.
Winds averaged 5 mph overnight, with a max gust NE 9 mph.
NWS recreational forecast for Hatcher Pass here
NWS point forecast here
State Parks snow report here
NOAA March weather highlights here
Additional Info & Media
Expect the avalanche hazard to remain the same through the weekend. Rising temperatures could increase the avalanche danger for wet avalanches.
NWS is calling for temps 35º at 3000′. Winds E 0-8 mph.