Issued: Jan 18th, 2024 4:00PM
Watch for fresh wind-slabs at ridge top especially on south through west aspects.
Use cautious route-finding and conservative decision making while giving the new snow time to stabilize.
Thursday, there was a close call and a skier triggered a size 2 avalanche on a S/SW aspect and was able to self arrest.
Wednesday there was a widespread natural cycle triggered by the wind.
Tuesday, there was a skier triggered avalanche on the steep west aspect of Cheops.
Earlier in the week, there were more reports of skier accidentals on the Jan 3rd crust. *All skier triggered avalanches failed on a suncrust.
Moderate to strong northerly winds have redistributed the recent 10-20cms of storm snow. Beneath this recent storm snow is a layer of harder wind affected snow sitting on a sun crust on solar aspects.
In sheltered areas below treeline this new snow is evenly distributed and sitting on facets.
Below 2100m there is a crust down 70-80cm (from Dec 5th/6th).
The Dec 1 surface hoar layer is down 90-120cm and is decomposing. However, it is still reactive in isolated snowpack tests.
A short lived break of high pressure makes way for warming temps & moderate snowfall. Weak high pressure builds on Sunday.
Tonight: Mainly cloudy, Low -14°C, Light SE wind.
Friday: 11cm, High -4°C, Light South wind, Freezing level (Fz Lvl) 1200m
Sat: 6cm, High -1°C, Light SW wind, Fz Lvl 1700m
Sun: Trace precip, High -2°C, Light SW wind, Fz Lvl 1700m
Terrain and Travel Advice
- Watch for newly formed and reactive wind slabs as you transition into wind affected terrain.
- Watch for areas of hard wind slab on alpine features.
- Be aware of the potential for loose avalanches in steep terrain where snow hasn't formed a slab.
Fresh snow with wind has created a new storm slab problem. North winds and valley bottom gap winds have created slabs in non-typical places, heads up! Expect the new slab to be most reactive on south and west aspects where buried crusts exist.
Aspects: All aspects.
Elevations: Alpine, Treeline.
The new low density snow falls on a sugary layer that was created in the deep freeze. This a perfect combo for sluffs and loose dry avalanches running fast & heavy.
Aspects: All aspects.
Elevations: Treeline, Below Treeline.
Valid until: Jan 19th, 2024 4:00PM