Strong winds with the arrival of our last precipitation have scattered our new snow & formed wind slabs. Some deposits were found to be 18" deep & primarily reside on Northeast to Eastern aspects at & above treeline. It is possible to trigger these wind slabs with the weight of a human, especially with their snowmobile, in & below avalanche terrain. Slopes above 35 degrees on these NE thru E aspects are deep & will present the most likely place to find propagating wind slabs.
Faceted weak layers still exist buried within the snowpack & will present trouble for travelers if found. The structure of our snowpack has continued to keep facet/crust combos since we have been putting out observations this season. Lately failure in these layers has been relatively unnoticeable but the possibility still remains that avalanches could occur at these interfaces. Our snowpack is thickest on North through East aspects at & above treeline & it is also where instabilities exist.
As the sun increases its intensity across mountain aspects look for loose wet avalanches to occur. Pay close attention to where the sun is relative to the slope you plan to ride. With temperatures rising for the next few days & freezing temperatures at night, look for places in the shade to find soft snow & avoid steep terrain traps that have been heated up. Loose wet avalanches like to start around warm objects or areas with abrupt terrain changes.
A new 6 to 10 inches fell on Wednesday night into Thursday & was heavily effected by the strong Southwest & West winds. Loading of new snow, as deep as 18", has formed wind slabs on leeward aspects that range from supportable to unsupportable as you travel. Above treeline on windward aspects, most or all of the new snow has been blown to deposits elsewhere. A persistent slab problem does still exist, although not nearly as reactive as earlier in the season. When we recieve rapid warm-up of temperatures & direct solar radiation expect loose wet avalanche activitey. If you travel today, & especially if it is your first ride of the season, dig around & get an understanding of the snowpack. Don't guess!
Great splitboarding was had in the Virginia Lakes area on mellow terrain near treeline. Wind slabs were found to be soft & unsupportable on Northeast aspects. Half a dozen or more R1D1 loose dry avalanches occured mid-storm & were pretty minor.
|0600 temperature:||25 deg. F.|
|Max. temperature in the last 24 hours:||35 deg. F.|
|Average wind direction during the last 24 hours:||Southwest|
|Average wind speed during the last 24 hours:||mph|
|Maximum wind gust in the last 24 hours:||mph|
|New snowfall in the last 24 hours:||0 inches|
|Total snow depth:||24 inches|
Blocking High Pressure has entered our area & will remain for the next week or two.... No new snow to report. Temperatures will be in the mid thirtys today with below freezing temps at night. Minor clouds & partly sunny skies will dominate.
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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