The recent spat of storms brought 4 to 6’ of snow and has helped turn the corner on a rather lean season. The rapid series of storms produced the biggest avalanche cycle of the season with impressive debris fields in many of the runouts throughout the range. The heavy snow accumulations have buried the persistent weak layers deep into the snowpack reducing the concern for triggered release, except possibly in very isolated areas where it could be closer to the surface. Prior to the recent series of storms, the facet layers were showing signs of sintering and rounding, with some shallow areas becoming wet and refreezing, becoming stronger in the process.
The recent storms were accompanied by strong SW winds, pre & post frontal passage, forming widespread Wind Slabs on NW-N-NE-E-SE aspects. These Wind Slabs have generally had enough time to strengthen and bond to the underlying snow and as a result, less reactive. As winds veer to the North-Northeast today (3/26), moderate winds above ~10000’ will begin to forming new and tender Wind Slabs on NW-W-SW-S-SE aspects, near and above treeline (~10000’ and above).
Loose Wet – temperatures are forecasted to climb into the mid 30’s today and begin appreciably warm the snow for the first time since the recent series of storms passed through the region. Anticipate a developing cycle of Loose Wet, with a few possible today and becoming increasingly likely tomorrow (3/27) with high temperatures forecasted to climb into the mid 40’s. Today, Loose Wet release will generally be small on solar aspects (W-SW-S-SE), primarily tree line and below, as temperatures begin to rebound to seasonable.
Loose Dry sluffs may be encountered in isolated steep terrain, near and below tree line in sheltered locations. While these slides are not a concern for burial, they can sweep a rider into potential hazardous terrain or obstacles.