Weak snow at the ground continues to plague our snowpack, and yesterday I received more reports of collapsing and whoomphing - telltale signs of instability. Though not a widespread problem, areas of unstable snow exist on steep, NW-N-E facing slopes right around treeline and above and human triggered avalanches up to 2' deep remain possible in these areas.
Episode 3 of the UAC podcast is live. We talk with UDOT Avalanche Program Supervisor Bill Nalli on how he and his teams keep the Greatest Snow on Earth from avalanching over the open roads and highways of the state. Check it out on ITunes, Stitcher, the UAC blog, or wherever you get your podcasts.
The UAC Marketplace is online. The holiday auction is closed, but our online marketplace still has deals on skis, packs, airbag packs, beacons, snowshoes, soft goods and much more.
Yesterday's storm brought a much needed dose of around 6" of low density snow to the mountains and If nothing else, it felt good to be out in winter weather! Folks were out enjoying it and even starting to make turns off trail. Check out this report from Evan Clapper.
Skies are clear and it's cold this morning! It's 16 degrees at the Geyser Pass Trailhead and 10 on Pre Laurel Peak. NW ridge top winds are averaging 15-20 mph.
Base depth at Geyser Pass Trailhead: 16"
Base depth in Gold Basin: 25"
New snow totals in Gold Basin.
Snow totals at the Geyser Pass Trailhead, (9600')
Wind, temperature, and humidity on Pre Laurel Peak (11,700')
Road conditions to Geyser Pass Trailhead: 3"-5" of snow exists on the road but several cars made it up yesterday. 4wd and good tires are required.
Grooming conditions: All trails were rolled out yesterday and Matt will be up today setting corduroy.
Today expect sunny skies and warming temperatures into the low 30's at 10,000'. NW winds will be light. We'll be under a mostly dry, northwest flow for the remainder of the week with a hope for change coming by the weekend.
NW winds yesterday drifted the low density snow onto the lee sides of ridge crests and terrain features in upper elevation, wind exposed to terrain. Today, continue to be on the lookout for smooth rounded pillows of recently deposited, wind drifted snow. A triggered wind slab also has the potential to step down creating a deeper and more dangerous persistent slab avalanche.
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This information does not apply to developed ski areas or highways where avalanche control is normally done. This advisory is from the U.S.D.A. Forest Service, which is solely responsible for its content. This advisory describes general avalanche conditions and local variations always occur.