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ARCHIVED FORECAST - All forecasts expire after 24 hours from the posting date/time.
Issued
Thu, November 11th, 2021 - 7:00AM
Expires
Fri, November 12th, 2021 - 7:00AM
Forecaster
Jake Kayes
The Bottom Line

Loose Dry is today’s avalanche problem. 3 inches of snow fell last night and additional 5-6” is expected by this evening, increasing the avalanche danger.

Human triggered Dry Loose avalanches are possible at all elevations in terrain that’s 40° or steeper. These avalanches will be able to entrain old and new snow, increasing their size. Traveling above terrain traps will increase consequences if you are caught. 

Early season riding conditions still exist in Hatcher Pass. If you do get caught in an avalanche, exposed rocks, open creeks, old open glide cracks, and other obstacles will increase the chances of injury.

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Regular forecasts have begun for the season and will be posted every Thursday and Saturday. Be sure to check out the observation page and please submit any observations if you’re out in the mountains!

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Thu, November 11th, 2021
Upper Elevation
Above 3,500'
Moderate (2)
Avalanche risk
Mid Elevation
2,500'-3,500'
Moderate (2)
Avalanche risk
Low Elevation
Below 2,500'
Low (1)
Avalanche risk
Upper Elevation
Above 3,500'
Avalanche risk
Moderate (2)
Mid Elevation
2,500'-3,500'
Avalanche risk
Moderate (2)
Low Elevation
Below 2,500'
Avalanche risk
Low (1)
Danger Scale:
No Rating (0)
Low (1)
Moderate (2)
Considerable (3)
High (4)
Extreme (5)
Recent Avalanches

There were several human triggered Dry Loose avalanches observed in Hatcher Pass.

11/10 Loose Dry on upper Eldorado Bowl 4200′ ENE

Avalanche Problem 1
  • Dry Loose
    Dry Loose
  • Almost Certain
    Very Likely
    Likely
    Possible
    Unlikely
    Likelihood
  • Historic
    Very Large
    Large
    Small
    Size
Dry Loose
Dry Loose avalanches are the release of dry unconsolidated snow and typically occur within layers of soft snow near the surface of the snowpack. These avalanches start at a point and entrain snow as they move downhill, forming a fan-shaped avalanche. Other names for loose-dry avalanches include point-release avalanches or sluffs.

Likelihood of Avalanches
Terms such as "unlikely", "likely", and "certain" are used to define the scale, with the chance of triggering or observing avalanches increasing as we move up the scale. For our purposes, "Unlikely" means that few avalanches could be triggered in avalanche terrain and natural avalanches are not expected. "Certain" means that humans will be able to trigger avalanches on many slopes, and natural avalanches are expected.

Size of Avalanches
Avalanche size is defined by the largest potential avalanche, or expected range of sizes related to the problem in question. Assigned size is a qualitative estimate based on the destructive classification system and requires specialists to estimate the harm avalanches may cause to hypothetical objects located in the avalanche track (AAA 2016, CAA 2014). Under this schema, "Small" avalanches are not large enough to bury humans and are relatively harmless unless they carry people over cliffs or through trees or rocks. Moving up the scale, avalanches become "Large" enough to bury, injure, or kill people. "Very Large" avalanches may bury or destroy vehicles or houses, and "Historic" avalanches are massive events capable of altering the landscape.

Signal Word Size (D scale) Simple Descriptor
Small 1 Unlikely to bury a person
Large 2 Can bury a person
Very Large 3 Can destroy a house
Historic 4 & 5 Can destroy part or all of a village
More info at Avalanche.org

3 inches of new snow fell last night and an additional 5-6 inches is expected by the end of the day today. This new snow and old low density snow have created conditions capable of producing Loose Dry avalanches. These avalanches will be small in size and will be found in steep terrain 40° or steeper. 

Even small avalanches can have high consequences when traveling in steep terrain. Cliffs, rocks and gullies are all things that can increase consequences. Be aware of what is below you and practice good slough management when traveling in steeper terrain.

8-9 inches of new snow will have accumulated by mid morning today. Winds capable of transporting snow are not anticipated with this storm. This new snow will be sitting on old, sugary, weak snow. This combination of low density new and old snow could create a storm snow problem later today. These avalanches will be small and similar in size to the Loose Dry problem. Use small tests slopes, hand pits and other traveling tests to help identify this avalanche problem. Shooting cracks and whumphing are red flags.

11/10 Loose Dry on upper Eldorado Bowl 4200′ ENE

Cold temps have created low density surface snow

 

Additional Concern
  • Glide Avalanches
    Glide Avalanches
Glide Avalanches
Glide Avalanches are the release of the entire snow cover as a result of gliding over the ground. Glide avalanches can be composed of wet, moist, or almost entirely dry snow. They typically occur in very specific paths, where the slope is steep enough and the ground surface is relatively smooth. They are often proceeded by full depth cracks (glide cracks), though the time between the appearance of a crack and an avalanche can vary between seconds and months. Glide avalanches are unlikely to be triggered by a person, are nearly impossible to forecast, and thus pose a hazard that is extremely difficult to manage.
More info at Avalanche.org

While glide cracks can still be found throughout Hatcher Pass, cold temps have helped increase stability for this avalanche problem. It’s still a good idea to avoid spending time underneath any “brown frowns”. Any new snow that has fallen will make identifying glide cracks difficult.

“brown frowns” on lower Eldorado 11/10/21

 

Weather
Thu, November 11th, 2021

NWS Rec Forecast here.

NWS point forecast here.

State Parks Snow Report and Motorized Access information here.

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