Above 2500′ on slopes steeper than 35°, it will be possible to trigger slab avalanches 0.5-3.5 feet deep on several persistent weak layers. These weak layers include last week´s drizzle crust, isolated buried surface hoar in the upper snowpack, facets in the mid pack, and facets near the ground.
The last human triggered avalanche was 2/6, when a snowmachiner remote triggered a large avalanche on a north aspect near Idaho peak. The last natural avalanche was observed 2/5 on a northwest aspect of Marmot mountain.
Shooting cracks, whumphing, or collapsing may or may not be present prior to triggering this avalanche problem.
Observers have found poor snowpack structure and propagation potential in the mid elevations.
Observers were able to trigger very small wind slabs 6-12″ deep failing on top of the drizzle crust on Lower Eldorado Bowl NNE test slopes on 2/12
Weather at 3450′ since Saturday 2/9:
Temperatures averaged 22°F, with a low of 2°F and a high of 34°F.
Winds averaged NW 5 mph, max 15 mph. Max gusts recorded were 34 mph NW Tuesday night.
There has been ~2″ of snow (0.16″ SWE) recorded at Independence Mine since Saturday 2/9.
Weather at 4500′ since Saturday 2/9:
Temperatures averaged 18°F, with a low of 2°F and a high of 30°F.
Winds averaged SE 4 mph, max 12 mph. Gusts averaged SE 10 mph, max gust 27 mph*.
*Note*: Moderate to strong north to northwest winds occurred Tuesday afternoon through Wednesday morning. Marmot weather station typically under reports for this wind direction.
Stay tuned to the NOAA point forecast for an updated weather forecast each day. The best way to see if it’s snowing in Hatcher Pass is to look at the webcam snow stake HERE and the Independence Mine SNOTEL site HERE
State Parks Snow Report and Motorized Access information can be found here.