Check out the new free online avalanche course series
developed by the Utah Avalanche Center. This is a great way to refresh your skills or prepare you for a Backcountry 101 or Level 1 class.
Thanks to Grand County Search and Rescue, Classic Air Medical, and instructors Scott Solle, Chris Benson, and Tim Mathews for making yesterday's winter training a success!
Skies are clear, WSW winds are calm to non-existent, and temps are in the high 20's. I'm sure we'd all prefer snow but it's going to be a beautiful day in the mountains. Look for continued sunny skies, mostly calm SW winds with 10,000' temps in the upper 30's. We'll see a few clouds on Monday as a weak disturbance clips by to the north with a return to high pressure later in the week.
Wednesday's wind event put the final hurt on exposed snow surfaces and you'll have to work hard to find soft snow in sheltered locations. Low snow conditions still prevail as well with rocks and deadfall lurking just beneath the surface so be careful out there. Base depth in Gold Basin is 30".
Chris Benson was out flying around on Wednesday, and sent in this aerial observation.
Not much has changed since then and the aerial view gives a great overall perspective on current conditions.
A view of the North Group looking south. Chris Benson photo.
In my travels Thursday I observed a few natural avalanches from the previous day's WNW wind event. Initiating from wind drifted snow, they appeared to have broken down into old weak layers with fractures 2'-3' deep, and up to 50' wide. These all occurred on E-NE facing slopes in the highest elevations.