The road is plowed.
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 fatalities this month. A preliminary investigation is found here.
Or deepest sympathies go out to the families and friends of the victims.
A fast moving storm system is upon us. Starting just before 5:00 a.m. precipitation rates have been hammering at about 2" an hour and it looks like about 6" so far at the Geyser Pass Trailhead. The Gold Basin sensor has been unable to keep up. The storm will quickly exit the area but we may see a couple more inches. Current Pre-Laurel wind data is also unavailable but 700 mb charts (10,000') show a shift to the west with speeds in the 30 mph range. 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.
Strong southerly winds throughout the week have wreaked havoc on the snow surface, and in the words of local skier Thatcher Vagts, "It's quite remarkable how bad conditions can be with so much new snow last week." The new snow will help freshen things up quite a bit, but winds continue to blow, scour, and drift, so sheltered locations will be your best option for finding soft snow.
Base depth in Gold Basin: 60"
Great conditions for learning about avalanches at our Backcountry 101 class this weekend. Thanks to all who attended!