Above 2,500ft Considerable
1,500 to 2,500ft Considerable
Below 1,500ft Low
Degrees of Avalanche Danger ?
Problem #1: Storm Snow
Location: All aspects 28 degrees and steeper, above 2,000ft. Several inches of new snow combined with strong south winds will lead to storm snow concerns. The new/old snow interface will be crusty/icy on sun-exposed aspects, and facetted/weak on shady north aspects. Bonding of the new snow to this old surface is expected to be poor. The new snow will be prone to forming soft slabs (up to 60cm thick in wind-loaded areas) that may propagate across slopes given the slick bed surface. Look for signs of wind loading (drifts, rounded wind pillows, cornices, etc), and avoid these areas. If you sense hollow, slabby, or cohesive surface snow it would be a good idea to find safer, less wind-affected terrain to ride. Hand shears, small test slopes, and cautious ski cuts will be good ways to evaluate and manage this danger in the field.
Problem #2: Loose Snow
Location: All aspects 40 degrees and steeper, above 2,000ft. The new snow is not going to bond well. Sensitive fresh wind slabs will exist on wind-affected slopes, and wind protected areas will be prone to loose-snow sluffs that will build and become more dangerous as they move downhill. These sluffs could move fast in steep terrain.
Recent Avalanche Activity
Isolated natural wet-loose avalanches have been occurring over the last week, in the afternoon hours on steep, rocky South through West aspects. These slides have been mostly size 1-2 so far.
6-12″ of wet snow fell above 2,000ft Thursday (highest amounts in the Lutak Zone and lowest at the Pass). South winds were moderate-strong. A few short breaks in the precipitation are likely Friday, but light rain/snow will generally continue off-and-on through Saturday. Another strong front is likely Sunday, with snow levels near 1,500ft.
|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
|62″||5″ / 0.50||13″ / 1.00||1,500||light, S||2″/ 0.20 *|
Flower Mountain @ treeline
|42″||1″ / 0.10||11″ / 0.60||1,500||light, SE||1″/ 0.10*|
Chilkat Pass @ 3,500ft
|20″*||1″ / 0.10 *||6″ / 0.40*||1,000||light, SE||1″/ 0.10 *|
( *star means meteorological estimate )
Additional Info & Media
If you get out on the snow, send in your observations!