Forecast for the Abajos Area Mountains

Issued by Eric Trenbeath for Monday, February 11, 2019 - 7:33am
Blowing and drifting snow over the past several days have created dangerous avalanche conditions, and the avalanche danger remains CONSIDERABLE on steep, upper elevation, wind drifted slopes that face NW-N-E. Human triggered avalanches involving wind drifted snow, and buried, persistent weak layers, are likely in these areas and natural avalanches are possible. Mid and lower elevation slopes on the south side of the compass offer MODERATE to LOW danger.
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Special Announcements
I'm sorry to report more sad news from the backcountry. On Saturday, a 49 year old man was killed in an avalanche accident on the west side of Humpy Peak in the East Fork of the Chalk Creek drainage while riding with his son and a friend. That makes four avalanche fatltities this month.
Or deepest sympathies go out to the families and friends of the victims.
Weather and Snow
It looks like about 2"-4" of new snow across the range with moderate to strong westerly winds this morning. The storm will quickly exit the area but we may see a couple more inches. Today look for mostly cloudy skies, blustery NW winds averaging 20-25 mph, with high temps in the upper teens. Skies should begin to clear later today with dry conditions through tomorrow. A significant storm system on an "atmospheric river" looks to be headed our way on Thursday, with more snow through the weekend.
Snow totals at Buckboard Flat (8924')
Snow totals at Camp Jackson (8858')
Wind, temperature, and humidity on Abajo Peak (11,000')
National Weather Service point forecast.
Avalanche Problem #1
Wind Drifted Snow
Natural and human triggered avalanches involving wind drifted snow are likely today primarily on slopes facing NW-N-E. Avoid steep slopes with recent deposits of wind drifted snow
Avalanche Problem #2
Persistent Weak Layer
New snow, and wind drifted snow have added stress to buried, persistent weak layers in the snowpack. Our primary concern is layer of weak, sugary snow at the base of the snowpack, and human triggered avalanches failing on this weak layer are likely today. The danger is greatest on steep, mid and upper elevation slopes facing NW-N-E, but in some areas the problem wraps around to W and SE facing slopes.
General Announcements
Your information can save lives. If you see anything we should know about, please help us out by submitting snow and avalanche observations HERE. You can also call me at 801-647-8896, or send me an email:
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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.

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