Last week storms brought in 2-3.5’ of snow accompanied by strong SW winds, providing a supportable, all-be-it shallow, base of snow and start to the backcountry touring season with few if any underlying weak layer concerns. Sunday was a beautiful calm, cold, yet sunny day which allowed wind slabs from Saturday time to bond. Reports came back of some people seeing evidence of D2 wind slab avalanches in several areas which occurred mid storm. Monday cloud cover increased as well as upper elevation winds, which transported snow in some areas and likely led to isolated small patches of fresh wind slab. With light snowfall expected Tuesday into Thursday accompanied by light winds with moderate gusts from the south, fresh isolated wind slabs will be our greatest avalanche concern in exposed mid to upper elevation areas.
Early season obstacles exist! Plenty of rocks, logs, and tree stumps are lurking just under the surface, and we've heard of atleast one snowboard that has just bitten the dust.
A skier triggered avalanche occurred in the tahoe area on Sunday 12/2. While this is outside our forecast area, it is still the Sierra and we can learn from it. Remember to keep vigilant out there, not let your guard down, and practice safe one-at-a-time travel protocols. Click here for detailed report from the party and good photos.