Near and below treeline terrain is faceting out quickly. Slabs from this previous storm cycle have lost a lot of strength and it was difficult to locate an area with a cohesive enough slab to show results in extended column tests. The new storm snow alone doesn't appear to be enough of a slab to communicate propagation right now. If you can remember back to just before Christmas however, we had another strong wind event that built hard slabs in most of our near and above treeline terrain. These hard slabs were inconsistently strewn about and varied greatly in thickness and density. Areas where these hard slabs are buried, are the areas where you are still most likely to trigger an avalanche near treeline. Unfortunately, it all looks the same from the surface right now and the only way to identify this structure is to get that shovel out.
I am talking strictly about near and below treeline terrain.
We undoubtedly have cohesive slabs capable of producing an avalanche on our above treeline terrain.
Clear sunny days and cold clear nights are driving a steep temperature gradient that is weakening and faceting our snowpack.Close