State of the Snowpack for 12/26/2020 - 1/1/2021

Dates of the Week: 
12/26/2020 to 1/1/2021
Avalanche Problems: 
  • Persistent Slab - 2 human-triggered avalanches reported in the forecast area.  1 person caught and buried. They were rescued with no injuries. 1 of these was remotely triggered. 3 more remotely triggered persistent slab avalanches were reported just north of the forecast area. These failed on the Dec 11 facets.
  • Wind Slab - 2 large (D2) avalanches were reported. 1 was human-triggered and caught and partially buried the person. They were rescued with no injuries. The second one's trigger was unknown.  Multiple small D1 natural and human-triggered avalanches reported. These failed at the base of the 12/25 snow.
General Snowpack Structure: 
  • New snow accumulated on top of a generally weak, shallow, and variable snowpack.
  • In addition to the avalanche activity, widespread whumpfing, cracking, and unstable snowpack test results occurred on the Dec 11 facets. The base of the Dec. 25 snow also yielded unstable results early in the week. 
  • Signs of instability started to decrease by the end of the week, but the snowpack is still not in good shape to handle new loading.
Weather Events: 
  • Significant winter storm Friday (12/25) night into Saturday (12/26) with gale force SW winds and 6 to 13 inches of new snow.
  • Several wind shifts with strong E and SW winds through Wednesday (12/30)
  • Light snow Wednesday (12/30) night and unsettled weather on 12/31-1/1