• Backcountry Avalanche Forecast
  • Forecast Discussion
  • Observations & Weather Data

Mon, Nov 30, 2020 at 6:35 AM
Issued by: Brian Lazar

Monday

 

Tuesday

Low (1) Generally safe avalanche conditions. Watch for unstable snow on isolated terrain features.   Low (1) Generally safe avalanche conditions. Watch for unstable snow on isolated terrain features.
Low (1) Generally safe avalanche conditions. Watch for unstable snow on isolated terrain features.   Low (1) Generally safe avalanche conditions. Watch for unstable snow on isolated terrain features.
Low (1) Generally safe avalanche conditions. Watch for unstable snow on isolated terrain features.   Low (1) Generally safe avalanche conditions. Watch for unstable snow on isolated terrain features.
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Summary

Avalanche conditions are generally safe. However, you can trigger a small avalanche on steep north and east-facing terrain near and above treeline. The most dangerous slopes hold previously wind- drifted snow in very steep and complex terrain. Even a small avalanche in our early season conditions could push you over thin ground cover and seriously injure you. Sticking to terrain less steep than 35 degrees will help you avoid avalanches today. 

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Please remember to recreate responsibly, including following state and local public health orders and social distancing recommendations.

 

Avalanche Problem

 
problem icon
N
S
E
W
NW
NE
SE
SW
Above Treeline
Near Treeline
Below Treeline
Certain
Very Likely
Likely
Possible
Unlikely
Historic
Very Large
Large
Small
Avalanche Character Aspect/Elevation Likelihood Size

What You Need to Know About These Avalanches


Persistent Slab avalanches can be triggered days to weeks after the last storm. They often propagate across and beyond terrain features that would otherwise confine Wind and Storm Slab avalanches. In some cases they can be triggered remotely, from low-angle terrain or adjacent slopes. Give yourself a wide safety buffer to address the uncertainty.

Avalanche Problem

 
problem icon
N
S
E
W
NW
NE
SE
SW
Above Treeline
Near Treeline
Below Treeline
Certain
Very Likely
Likely
Possible
Unlikely
Historic
Very Large
Large
Small
Avalanche Character Aspect/Elevation Likelihood Size

What You Need to Know About These Avalanches


Wind Slab avalanches release naturally during wind events and can be triggered for up to a week after a wind event. They form in lee and cross-loaded terrain features. Avoid them by sticking to wind sheltered or wind scoured areas.

Avalanche Problem

 
problem icon
N
S
E
W
NW
NE
SE
SW
Above Treeline
Near Treeline
Below Treeline
Certain
Very Likely
Likely
Possible
Unlikely
Historic
Very Large
Large
Small
Avalanche Character Aspect/Elevation Likelihood Size

What You Need to Know About These Avalanches


Wind Slab avalanches release naturally during wind events and can be triggered for up to a week after a wind event. They form in lee and cross-loaded terrain features. Avoid them by sticking to wind sheltered or wind scoured areas.

Weather Forecast for 11,000ft Issued Mon, Nov 30, 2020 at 5:08 AM by Ben Pritchett Statewide Weather Forecast
  Monday Monday Night Tuesday
Temperature (ºF) 24 to 29 10 to 15 22 to 27
Wind Speed (mph) 4 to 14 5 to 15 6 to 16
Wind Direction SW WSW NNW
Sky Cover Mostly Clear Mostly Clear Partly Cloudy
Snow (in) 0 0 0

Archived Forecasts

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Mon, Nov 30, 2020 at 7:25 AM
Issued by: Brian Lazar Statewide Weather Forecast  

As the dry conditions persist, warm days and cold nights will continue to breakdown and weaken our mid-pack slab. This process will make it harder to find the isolated areas where you can trigger an avalanche.  

Continue to approach steep, wind-loaded areas with caution. Riders triggered small avalanches on northerly and east-facing slopes within the last week.  These avalanches look they broke on mid-pack facets that formed during a prolonged period of warm, dry weather in mid-November. 

It’s been almost two weeks since we received reports of avalanches breaking on weak basal facets at the ground. The problematic structure still exists, but pinning down the distribution is becoming more difficult. In parts of the forecast area where snow depths are generally around 3 feet deep, observers can find rounding basal facets. However, in areas with a shallower snowpack, the basal grains are slowly getting weaker. Portions of a slope with thin snow cover such as the backside of steep rollovers, the edges of a slab, or around rocky outcrops are the most likely spots to trigger a slide that breaks near the ground. 

Before committing to a slope, think about the consequences of being pushed around in a small avalanche. Could I be swept off a cliff or buried in a terrain trap, or washed through trees and shallowly buried obstacles? Small avalanches in the wrong terrain can ruin your day, your season, or worse.  

 

 


  • Snowpit on a northeast aspect at treeline. South San Juan. 11/25/20. (full)
  • We performed this Extended Column Test on a west-facing slope immediately after observing a collapse. Failure did not propagate across the column but broke at the top of a melt-freeze crust with 4F- facets below. Wolf Creek Pass, South San Juan. 11/24/20. (full)
  • Snowpit on a northeast-facing slopes near treeline. La Plata Mountains, South San Juan. 11/23/20. (full)
  • Northeast and east-facing terrain in the South San Juan near Bolam Pass. Hermosa Peak is off to the left along the prominent ridgeline. Majority of slopes at higher elevations now bode continuous snow cover to support avalanche flow once a thicker slab forms above. South San Juan. 11/25/20. (full)

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Avalanche Observations
Report Date # Elevation Aspect Type Trigger SizeR SizeD
View Sat Nov 28 - TL NE SS U R1 D1

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Field Reports
Report Date Observer Snowpack Obs Avalanches Media
View Sun Nov 29 Michael Altherr No No Yes (1)
View Sat Nov 28 Mike Cooperstein No Yes (1) Yes (3)
View Fri Nov 27 Mark Mueller No No Yes (1)

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Weather Observations
Station Date Time Temperature Relative Humidity Wind Speed Wind Direction Max Gust 24 Hr Snow
Wolf Creek Pass Mon Nov 30 9:00 AM 16 67 23 218 39 -

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