On Wednesday and Saturday, warm temperatures and sunny skies will quickly heat up the snow surface leading to the potential of loose wet avalanches on E-SE-S-SW-W facing slopes, late morning to late afternoon, respectively. Though these will most likely be small, enough snow could be entrained to push someone off their sled and could be dangerous in high consequence terrain. Stay off of slopes steeper than 35 degrees where rollerballs and pinwheels are present.
On Thursday, strong SW winds will impact the BWRA as a quick moving front comes through. Though not much dry loose snow is available for transport, any available snow will load NW-N-NE-E facing slopes leading to isolated wind slab pockets. We already saw a small human triggered wind slab avalanche in Voodoo Bowl earlier this week so the potential of triggering one of these on slopes steeper than 35 degrees will be possible. On Friday, strong winds will switch to the N/NE and will load atypical slopes with a SE-S-SW-W facing aspect.
Large overhanging cornices are present in numerous locations across the BWRA. A few have already collapsed including one in Leavitt Bowl. These are unpredictable and can break back much further than expected. The best strategy is avoidance and limiting the amount of time below these features. If traveling on ridge lines, keep a wide berth and stay away from the edge of cornices.
On Tuesday, generally stable conditions were observed in the BWRA with cold morning temperatures limiting and delaying the amount of heating during the day. A variety of snow surfaces were observed including sun crusts, supportable wind boards, and dry unconsolidated snow on steep northerly facing slopes. A small human triggered wind slab avalanche was observed in Voodoo Bowl, which likely released on Monday.
As of 7 am on Wednesday, temperatures are already well above freezing in the BWRA with clear skies. Temps will rise into the mid to upper 40's though clouds will increase this afternoon out ahead of a quick moving storm. On Thursday, the storm will bring strong SW winds and a few inches of snow. As the storm departs winds will switch to the N/NE on Friday with gusts still reaching 50-60 mph. High pressure builds in over the weekend with sunny skies and well above freezing temperatures.
This snowpack summary applies only to backcountry areas in the Bridgeport Winter Recreation Area. Click here for a map of the area. This snowpack summary describes general avalanche conditions and local variations always occur. This snowpack summary expires in 48 hours unless otherwise noted. The information in this snowpack summary is provided by the USDA Forest Service who is solely responsible for its content.
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