Virginia Lakes MidStorm Loose Dry Avalanches

Location Name: 
Virginia Lakes indicator slopes
Region: 
Other Area
Date and time of avalanche (best estimate if unknown): 
Thu, 01/25/2018 - 01:59
Location Map: 


Red Flags: 
Recent avalanche activity
Recent loading by new snow, wind, or rain

Observation made by: Avalanche Specialist
Avalanche Observations
Avalanche Type: 
Loose/Point-Release
Slope: 
42degrees
Trigger type: 
Natural
Aspect: 
Northeast
Weak Layer: 
Storm Snow
Avalanche Width: 
75ft.
Terrain: 
Above Treeline
Elevation: 
10 420ft.
Bed Surface: 
Storm Snow
Avalanche Length: 
450ft.
Number of similar avalanches: 
5-10
Did the avalanche hit a building, vehicle, or structure?: 
No
More detailed information about the avalanche: 

Multiple Natural Loose-Dry Avalanches occured mid-storm. The north facing avalanche paths above Red Lake off Olsen Peak are great indicator slopes, as they are prone to avalanche, especially with West & Southwest cross-loading winds. There is no doubt that the high Southwest winds are creating wind slabs in the alpine on North through Northeast aspects. Skiers in the area were not traveling to ridgeline & found relatively stable snow near treeline. 

Avalanche Photos: 
Weather Observations
Blowing Snow: 
Yes
Cloud Cover: 
25% of the sky covered by clouds
Air temperature: 
Below Freezing
Wind Speed: 
Strong
Precipitation: 
None
Air temperature trend: 
Cooling
Wind Direction: 
Southwest
Accumulation rate: 
None
More detailed information about the weather: 

Nearly 6-8" of fresh snow fell last night on the Virginia Lakes proper, 7-9" near treeline on leeward aspects. South - Southwest aspects are very wind scoured with no snow collected. Cold dry Stellar snow grains have accumulated in areas not harshly effected by the wind & sun. Wind deposits of 18" were found. Sun with patches of clouds. Valley winds were around 20mph, ridgetop gusts over 50mph. Photos show blowing snow & clouds indicative of high winds aloft.