Above 2,500ft Considerable
1,500 to 2,500ft Low
Below 1,500ft Low
Degrees of Avalanche Danger ?
Problem #1: Storm Snow
Around 1″ of precipitation has fallen in this zone in the last 48 hours. The freezing level averaged around 3500ft. Above this elevation, there is 8-12″ of heavy wet new snow sitting over a very weak old snow surface consisting of surface facets on a slick rain crust.
Bonding of the new snow to this old surface is expected to be poor. Human-triggered avalanches are likely today on all aspects steeper than 28 degrees. Any slides will be within the new snow, 20-30cm deep. In wind loaded terrain, especially north aspects and cross-loaded gullies, slabs could be 30-60cm thick.
Above 3500ft, snow depths generally range from 30-130cm. In the deeper areas, we have a well-bonded midpack frozen solidly to the ground. It hasn’t been terribly cold so far this year, so facetting between rain crusts has been minor so far. One exception is in high wind-swept areas where the snow is only about 30cm deep. In these areas, there are weak 2-3mm facets at the ground.
Recent Avalanche Activity
The last reported avalanche activity is from the rain-on-snow event on the 18-19th. D1-D3 wet loose and wet slabs came down from the most wind loaded north aspects above 4,000ft. Most of this activity was in the Lutak and Transitional zones where there was more snowpack and more rain.
We had a very wet October, with snow levels about 1,000ft above average, near 3500ft. Above that level there was good accumulation, with almost nothing below it. This trend has continued into November.
|Snow Depth [in]||Last 24-hr Snow/SWE [in]||Last 3-days Snow/SWE [in]||Today’s Freezing Level [ft]||Today’s Winds||Next 24-hr Snow/SWE|
Mount Ripinsky @ treeline
|8″||0″ / 1.00||5″ / 1.70||3000||calm||0″/ 0.10 *|
Flower Mountain @ treeline
|11″||0″ / 0.45||6″ / 0.70||3000||calm||0″/ 0.10 *|
Chilkat Pass @ 3,100ft
|6″||0″ / 0.45||4″ / 0.70||3000||calm||0″/ 0.00 *|
( *star means meteorological estimate )
Additional Info & Media
If you get out riding, please send in an observation!
Start the season with fresh batteries in your beacon, and do a rescue practice with your partners. Always carry a beacon, shovel, and probe, and KNOW HOW TO USE THEM.
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.