Approach the backcountry with focused attention on wise terrain choices for both up and down routes this week. With Monday’s forecasted sunny skies and access opening up, conditions will present the opportunity for folks to explore higher elevations of the zone. Be on the lookout for clues such as recent avalanches, blowing snow, recent cornice growth, and fat, pillowed snow surfaces. All these clues can help you identify and steer clear of recent fresh wind deposits and potential wind slab or new snow avalanche conditions. Evaluate terrain features that are conducive to capturing drifting snow such as the leeward sides of ridgelines, gully features, and cross-loaded depressions. Extreme terrain features such as steep couloirs and rolling convexities may present the most hazard for wind slab instabilities or loose snow sloughing right now.
Don’t lose sight that it’s still early and there are a lot of submerged obstacles and hazards out there.