Advisory – Past Fifteen Days

Avalanche Advisory for Saturday, February 25, 2017

Our snowpack has been warming for over 72 hours. Springtime hazards are emerging and will likely play a larger role than the avalanche hazard today. Pay particular attention to icefall, glide cracks and undermined snow.

Avalanche Advisory for Friday, February 24, 2017

Skier triggered wet-loose avalanches will be the primary avalanche problem today though other emerging spring hazards will pose an equal or greater danger. Loose but heavy sluffs of snow kicked up by a skier can be challenging to deal with at times so be mindful of this hazard, especially if venturing into areas with a sunny aspect or an area that’s not been ridden recently. Though the prolonged heat wave has generally allowed weaker layers in our snowpack to settle and bond, wet slab avalanches are a greater possibility today as water travels deeper into the snowpack. The Lip waterfall often flows onto an ice layer within the snowpack resulting in a wet slab avalanche during early spring thaws with rain. Today’s record warmth and rain in the afternoon will increase the potential for this sort of avalanche activity in our forecast area.

Avalanche Advisory for February 23, 2017

Skier triggered wet-loose avalanches will be the primary avalanche problem today though other emerging spring hazards will pose an equal or greater danger. Loose but heavy sluffs of snow kicked up by a skier can be challenging to deal with at times so be mindful of this hazard, especially if venturing into areas with a sunny aspect or a previously unskied area. Several warm days have allowed our snow to adapt to the heating through settlement of the layers of snow, making a deeper wet slab avalanche only a very remote possibility.

Avalanche Advisory for Wednesday, February 22, 2017

As the day progresses, the chance of a human-triggered wind slab will decrease as the snowpack warms, however this will increase the chances of a wet slab. Pockets of wind slab are isolated and are identifiable by their smooth appearance; they are primarily in the steeper terrain and in lee areas of NW winds. Areas of greatest concern for a wet slab today would be areas that have not seen much traffic and will bear the brunt of the sunshine today. The Sluice fits this category well and also has the added objective hazard of icefall potential today. With warming temperatures, it doesn’t have to be spring to have springtime hazards.

Avalanche Advisory for Tuesday, February 21, 2017

Pockets of Wind Slab exist in our terrain and will provide the primary avalanche problem for the day. These pockets can be identified by their smooth appearance and are found in lee areas of NW winds. The likelihood of triggering these pockets is small and will decrease further through the day as settlement occurs. With clear skies and ample sunshine today, south facing aspects will soften and may present the problems with loose wet sluff management. This sluff can act like concrete, slow moving and hard to escape once entrained in it. Worth keeping in mind is the large wind slab that formed after our latest avalanche cycle last week. It will likely take more than a human to trigger this slab. The potential trigger out there today could be icefall. With temperatures warming, this possibility should be discussed.

Avalanche Advisory for Monday, February 20, 2017

Our snow pack has refrozen on southern aspect which had seen some softening over the weekend. After prolonged NW winds in the 50-80 mph range, some snow was still being transported into our start zones in a limited way yesterday afternoon. Around a half inch of new snow added to the total amount available last night. Small pockets of soft wind slab will be the primary avalanche problem. Reloaded lee areas in the Sluice through Chute area following our last avalanche cycle is the area of most concern for larger, lingering wind slab. Though unlikely to be triggered by a skier or climber due to the strength and bridging power of these slabs, this would be larger than the pockets of new soft wind slab on the surface.

Avalanche Advisory for Sunday, February 19, 2017

Today, the avalanche problem will differ depending on the slope aspect. The likeliest hazard today will be Wet Loose avalanches. These will remain a threat until the snowpack refreezes tonight. Slopes of most concern for wet loose will be S and SE facing slopes such as Lobster Claw, Right Gully, and Sluice. Other slopes may have the potential for wet loose depending on how long temperatures remain warm. Wet Slabs may come into play today if the warm temperatures penetrate deep enough into the snowpack or if thinner slabs are encountered. Again, this is most likely on S facing slopes. Areas that remained in the shade yesterday and have more recently started to warm still harbor characteristics of Wind Slab. While less likely that these would be triggered by a human than a wet loose slide, the size and destructiveness of a wind slab avalanche today would be far greater.

Avalanche Advisory for Saturday, February 18, 2017

Wind slabs that developed over the past 48 hours will be the primary stability concern today. These will be firm and stubborn in most areas.  Beware of smooth areas of wind slab in the steepest areas or in any convex area you might find. Though these wind slabs will be tough to trigger, it is not too much of a reach to imagine someone finding the right thin spot in steep terrain. While an active avalanche cycle ripped out the soft weak failure layer in most of our larger forecast areas, most slopes have not yet been tested by climbers or skiers so don’t forget to dig and poke around when entering the terrain.

Avalanche Advisory for Saturday, February 18, 2017

Wind slabs that developed over the past 48 hours will be the primary stability concern today. These will be firm and stubborn in most areas. Beware of smooth areas of wind slab in the steepest areas or in any convex area you might find. Though these wind slabs will be tough to trigger, it is not too much of a reach to imagine someone finding the right thin spot in steep terrain. While an active avalanche cycle ripped out the soft weak failure layer in most of our larger forecast areas, most slopes have not yet been tested by climbers or skiers so don’t forget to dig and poke around when entering the terrain.

Avalanche Advisory for Friday, February 17, 2017

This advisory expires at Midnight. Huntington Ravine has MODERATE avalanche danger today. All forecast areas in Huntington Ravine have Moderate avalanche danger. Natural avalanches are unlikely and human-triggered avalanches are possible. Heightened avalanche conditions exist on specific terrain features. Evaluate snow and terrain carefully to identify features concern. Tuckerman Ravine has CONSIDERABLE and MODERATE avalanche […]

Avalanche Advisory for Thursday, February 16, 2017

This morning, there is Considerable danger of Wind Slab and Dry Loose avalanches from 8” of new snow last night. Though this new snow was deposited on generally light winds, some gusty conditions mid-storm may have created a cohesive slab in some areas. Much larger and more dangerous Wind Slab avalanches will be likely this afternoon as wind from the northwest ramps up. These slabs will release naturally and most likely run far into flat areas like the floor of Tuckerman Ravine and the wooded areas in Huntington. Our avalanche paths have grown very large in the past week. The size of these slopes, the available new snow, and the high winds have set the stage for very dangerous avalanche conditions today. Travel in avalanche terrain is not recommended.

Avalanche Advisory for Wednesday, February 15, 2017

This advisory expires at Midnight.   All forecast areas of Huntington and Tuckerman Ravine have CONSIDERABLE avalanche danger. Natural avalanches are possible and human-triggered avalanches are likely. Dangerous avalanche conditions exist. Careful snowpack evaluation, cautious route-finding and conservative decision-making are essential today. The only exception to this is the Little Headwall which has Low avalanche […]

Avalanche Advisory for Tuesday, February 14, 2017

Wind and a barrage of snow over the past 36 hours formed Wind Slab in our terrain. The weather today will not increase the avalanche danger. The area of greatest concern today will be the Sluice through Chute in Tuckerman. A fresh crown in the Lip is a sign that this area is on the edge of shedding its most recent layer of wind slab and may be reactive to a human-trigger. All other forecast areas are displaying sign of avalanche debris with few crown lines visible. This should highlight the reloading that has taken place with several avalanche cycles occurring yesterday.

Avalanche Advisory for Monday, February 13, 2017

This morning, there is Considerable danger of Storm Slab avalanches from 17” of new snow last night. Diminishing wind speeds at the start of the storm deposited this snow in our entire forecast area with little wind effect. Steep terrain this morning also has significant Loose Dry avalanche potential with Wind Slab concerns in upper start zones. As wind ramps up from the north, rapid loading of slopes with a southern through eastern aspect will occur and build large and dangerous wind slabs. These slabs will release naturally and most likely run far into flat areas like the floor of Tuckerman Ravine and the Fan in Huntington, as well as through avalanche paths in adjacent areas like the Gulf of Slides.

Avalanche Advisory for Sunday, February 12, 2017

This advisory expires at Midnight. Huntington and Tuckerman Ravine have MODERATE avalanche danger today. All forecast areas have Moderate avalanche danger. Natural avalanches are unlikely and human-triggered avalanches are possible. Heightened avalanche conditions exist on specific terrain features. Evaluate snow and terrain carefully to identify features of concern. The only exception to this rating is […]