There hasn’t been any significant wind slab avalanche activity reported or observed since Dec 29th; activity has been limited to some small Loose Wet activity on Southeast and Westerly aspects on New Year’s Day. The warm temperatures and solar input have continued to consolidate and anchor in the snowpack and the wind has been doing its customary work blowing out the northerly terrain as well as hammering the sunny aspects with its SW prevailing pattern. We certainly have had a lot of northerly wind these past few weeks which has kept forecasters on their toes with snow loading patterns. Although there has been some consolidation and strengthening of the snowpack in many areas, there also has been a lot of metamorphism and degradation of thin snow coverage. Temperature gradients are exacerbated with thin snow coverage and in the shady aspects in the northern and southern part of the forecast zone much of the snow is becoming looser and less cohesive as moisture is pulled out. The bottom line is that the snowpack is extremely variable both in depth and structure across the forecast zone, so every drainage and mountain should be looked at with a critical eye to what is really going on in your specific area.
At this point, the range is looking a little haggard and thin, but despite, there is still enough coverage to find good riding opportunities throughout. One must just be able to dig a bit deeper to find those soft surfaces.
THANKS to all who have been submitting OBSERVATIONS, they’re invaluable to keeping the knowledge rolling and current!