Forecast for the Skyline Area Mountains

Issued by Brett Kobernik for Sunday, December 2, 2018 - 6:44am
The avalanche danger remains CONSIDERABLE on steep northwest, north and northeast facing slopes. Human triggered avalanches are almost certain in this terrain. Dig down to look for sugary loose snow near the ground. If you find it, make sure you are not on slopes steeper than 30˚. The easiest way to stay out of avalanches is to just avoid the described terrain until it stabilizes.
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Weather and Snow
We picked up a couple of inches of snow overnight and it looks like we'll see periods snow today ending early Monday. We should see another 4 to 8 inches of snow. Temperatures are in the mid teens and should drop to around 10˚ or a bit colder tonight. The wind is generally light from the south. It should increase a bit as it shifts around to the northwest.
Riding conditions are better than expected but we do have some serious avalanche concerns.
Avalanche Problem #1
Persistent Weak Layer
My goal during Saturday was to figure out what the stability is like on the upper elevation northerly facing terrain. I found out and you won't like the answer. It is unstable and human triggered avalanches are likely. In short, any slope that has old snow from October and early November should be avoided. This is generally on northwest, north and northeast facing slopes above around 9500'. That old snow has "faceted" and turned loose and sugary. Now that we've added more snow on top of the weak old snow, it is collapsing with loud audible "WHOOMPS" when traveling over it.
For more details on this, check out this BACKCOUNTRY OBSERVATION from yesterday.
Also, if you missed SATURDAY'S FORECAST, check it out. It has discussion on this old weak snow.
Additional Information
Below is a snowpit diagram which gives you an idea of how the current snowpack is unstable.
General Announcements
I'll be publishing very basic avalanche information Monday through Friday.
I'll be publishing more detailed forecasts on Saturday and Sunday.

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