Skies cleared overnight and temperatures cratered into block heater territory with most remote stations averaging close to -10 degrees. Fortunately, west and northwest winds are light, blowing less than 15 mph along the high peaks. However, that's enough to put windchill values near -25 degrees. Here's the bright side, riding and turning conditions are about the best they've been in years and snow depths across the range average just over 3'.
We are working to get the entire Uinta weather network back online. In the meantime, above is 24 hour data from Trail Lake (9945').
Jeff Duenwald surveys his weekend turns on a south facing slope (lookers left portion of the image) with no old snow near the ground. Looks pretty straight-forward, but here's the problem... as snow stacks up and terrain turns white, even slopes we're familiar with can appear uniform and small nuances in aspect can mean the difference between riding safely and triggering an avalanche. A true, big mountain BA, Jeff is in his mid 70's and is on the snow nearly everyday. He's been tagging big mountain approaches and ascents since the 60's. His longevity in the mountains is rooted in making smart decisions, not by rolling the dice or taking chances
Meanwhile on the North Slope, Ted found excellent riding conditions yesterday and avoided the avy danger by riding lower elevation terrain which had no old snow prior to the big Thanksgiving storm. More on his travels here.
Plowing is done on Mirror Lake Highway, but Wolf Creek Pass is still open. However, just 'cause you can see your rig parked near Wolf Creek, doesn't mean the terrain you're choosing to ride is good to go.
Remember- this is the time of year where most of us get tricked thinking there isn't enough snow to avalanche. Unfortunately, this is also the type of setup when most close calls and accidents occur. If you are getting out and about, be prepared for your own self rescue. Wear and know how to use an avalanche beacon, shovel, and probe.
No new avalanche activity to report, but this caught my attention from Ted's ob... "numerous rumbling collapses today was the big red flag along with a poor snow pack structure."