Avalanche Education Providers
Cloud cover was less than forecast expectations leading to more incoming solar radiation than expected. Strong SW winds at and above treeline were drastically slowing the rate of snow surface melt in wind exposed areas. Last night's amount of snow surface refreeze differed dramatically above and below 8,000'. Below 8,000', little to no overnight refreeze had occurred in areas under forest canopy. A marginal refreeze had occurred on open slopes. Above 8,000' the top 4 inches (10 cm) of the snowpack had refrozen to 1F+ to P hardness. In wind exposed areas this refreeze was still very supportable at mid day on solar aspects. In contrast, wind protected areas near and below 8,000' held unsupportable conditions at mid day. Minor loose wet avalanches in these wind protected areas near 8,000' could be skier triggered on steep SE aspect test slopes. N aspect test slopes in the immediate area were not very far behind in melt rate and had lost skier supportability. Deep wet snow existed in the forest below 8,000' down to the lowest point of travel at 7,400'.
4 inches of snow surface refreeze on open slopes above 8,000'.
Very supportable conditions at 11:15 am on SE aspect above 8,000'.
Slightly increase depth of wet snow at noon on SE aspect above 8,000', but still very supportable.
Intertionally skier triggered small loose wet avalanche on SE aspect at 8,200' at 12:15pm.
Same small loose wet avalanche in previous photo.