Large natural avalanches will be possible Monday-Tuesday. Avoid even the lower runout zones near the valley floors.
Above 2,500ft High
1,500 to 2,500ft High
Below 1,500ft Considerable
Degrees of Avalanche Danger ?
Heavy rain/snow today will exacerbate the avalanche problem. Continued heavy loading and strong winds will mean widespread natural avalanches. Saturday’s storm snow is a solid meter thick, and up to 2 meters in wind loaded areas. There is simply a TON of new unbonded snow ready to move around. With warming, rain, and heavy snow some avalanches could be large.
Observations Sunday were of widespread whumphing and recent natural avalanches. Saturday’s snow is upside-down (weak at the bottom) and still settling.
All avalanche terrain should be avoided today. Be careful in steep open trees as well. Slab avalanches will still be likely in areas of sparse trees. Be mindful of terrain traps where a slide can pile up deep. Avoid lower runout zones where large avalanches may reach during times of heavy precipitation/wind loading.
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.
A near constant barrage of warmth and moisture has begun Sunday night. Precip. will be heavy again Monday, with snow levels rising as high as 3,500-4,000ft. 2″ of additional precipitation is expected by Monday night. South winds will be moderate to strong. Tuesday brings more of the same with slightly lower snow levels around 2000ft.
A very strong storm hit Saturday, with extremely heavy snowfall rates that reached 5″/hr. Total snowfall over the mountains was around 3 feet. South winds were strong.
Friday brought 4-10″ of dry, cold, low-density snow and light winds. Temperatures rose fast early Saturday morning, from around 12F to around 25F in the alpine.
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?