Avalanche Forecasts are for use by experienced backcountry travelers in uncontrolled sidecountry and backcountry terrain. These forecasts and conditions do not apply to open, in-bounds terrain at ski resorts, which is subject to avalanche control by local resort ski patrol.
Analyze wind loading patterns to navigate around deeper, more reactive wind slabs. Practice good avoidance! Some slabs may have potential to step down to a deeper weak layer if triggered.
Including 5 -15 cm Tuesday night, 10-20 cm of recent snow now overlies a mix of previous surfaces that includes crust on south aspects and all aspects at lower elevation, surface hoar in sheltered features and previously wind-affected surfaces in the open. Areas where wind loading has increased the depth of new snow and where preserved surface hoar is buried are the most concerning.
30 to 40 cm of snow sits above an older layer of large surface hoar and/or faceted crystals at treeline and above. A widespread, thick crust exists 30 to 60 cm below the surface. This problematic combination remains a concern as the load above it increases.
The snowpack is well bonded and strong below this crust.
Reports from the past week show a pattern of mainly small wind slab avalanches on a range of aspects, both human and remote triggered. Slabs have averaged 20 - 30 cm thick, with some failing on buried surface hoar and propagating widely.
Looking forward, focus is shifting to more recent snow settling on a new set of problematic interfaces. There remains uncertainty about the possibility for surface avalanches to step down to the weak layers involved in recent avalanches.