The only avalanche observed this week was a natural, large wet loose avalanche (possible wet slab). This avalanche occurred on a west aspect on Across Motherlode run at 4000’ and is believed to have occurred Tuesday
Cornices are large and can be difficult and dangerous to assess. Cutting cornices of this size as a stability tool is not recommended nor effective. We recommend avoiding traveling beneath them, especially during the warmest part of the day. Cornice fall can trigger large slab avalanches that run further than anticipated. Choose safe zones out of the anticipated runout of potentially large avalanches. Cornices are unpredictable, it’s best to just avoid them.
While wet loose avalanche activity will generally be unlikely today, if the sun pops out and temperatures rise enough to melt surface crusts, isolated small to large wet loose avalanches may be possible on steep E to W aspects at mid and upper elevations and all aspects at lower elevations. Fortunately, the snowpack gives us clues when the it becomes wet enough to be a problem. Rollerballs, wet soggy snow, and stepping into the snow and sinking in more than shin deep are red flags for when to move to shadier aspects and cooler terrain. Freezing nights and cooler daytime temps will keep wet avalanches to a minimum today.
Wet slabs will generally be unlikely at low elevation to the lack of a slab component. Overnight freezing temps about 3000’ will also limit wet slab activity and mid and upper elevations, although small avalanches in isolated terrain are possible.
Weather at 3450′ since Saturday 4/6:
Temperatures averaged 32°F, with a low of 24°F and a high of 42°F.
There has been ~1.5″ new snow recorded at Independence Mine.
Weather at 4500′ since Saturday 4/6:
Temperatures averaged 27°F, with a low of 22°F and a high of 39°F.
Winds averaged ESE-SSE 6 mph, max 17 mph. Gusts averaged SSE 10 mph, max gust 26 mph.
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.