Backcountry Advisory 

As of Wednesday, Feb. 9


Treeline: MODERATE

BelowTreeline: LOW

Travel Advisory: Windslabs of varying thickness are widespread and affect almost every aspect in the alpine. Solar exposed aspects have a variable sun crust that likely replaced or significantly modified the windslab. These surface layers are sitting over soft slabs, loose soft snow, and the January rain crust. The weight of a skier is still propagating the surface layers. The sun is gaining more punch as the season progresses, so be aware of solar aspects in the afternoon.

Avalanche Activity: Skier-triggered and natural size one and two avalanches were observed on Tuesday, especially on southwest exposures. Helibombing produced small size one avalanches Monday, while natural and skier-triggered size one releases were occurring Sunday.

Snowpack: The storm snow received on Feb. 4 is where all the snowpack activity is concentrated. This snow fell on well-settled windslabs and weak crusts. Northeasterly winds on Sunday formed windslabs on all aspects in the alpine. Solar heating on Tuesday resulted in snowballing and a sun crust. Cold temperatures have resulted in faceting in the loose snow below these variable surface layers. Below the January crust the snow is still moist but is continuing to slowly freeze. Finally, surface hoar has been developing up to 10 mm in size.

Weather: High pressure is expected to maintain mostly clear skies with milder temperatures by Thursday or Friday and a weak disturbance on the weekend.

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