Snowpack Summary published on April 29, 2017 @ 10:55 am
Issued by Ryan Lewthwaite -

bottom line:

For our closing weekend expect Spring snow conditions at the Bridgeport Winter Recreation Area. The skies have been sunny & warm during the day (40s) & reaching 20s to teens at night. As the evening temps freeze the uppermost snow surface, anticipate icy morning conditions. As the sun travels through the sky, warming progressively different aspects E-S-W-N the snow will melt, loosening snow grains on slopes steeper than 35 degrees. Although new snow is not in our immediate weather forecast, avalanche hazards still exist. Do Not Get Complacent! Enjoy the final weekend at the BWRA & we will see you next season!

Avalanche Character 1: Loose Wet
Loose Wet avalanches occur when water is running through the snowpack, and release at or below the trigger point. Avoid very steep slopes and terrain traps such as cliffs, gullies, or tree wells. Exit avalanche terrain when you see pinwheels, roller balls, a slushy surface, or during rain-on-snow events.

With cloudless skies during the day & temperatures trending warming, the likelihood of afternoon Loose Wet avalanches is likely. The surface snow layer will be most effected by direct sun & temperature changes throughout the day. Timing of your travel will be the variable to consider. With the angle of the sun Easterly slopes see warming first, then South through West slopes later, finally heating North aspects before sunset. Deep track penetration into the surface layer is an indicator of rising instability.

Avalanche Character 2: Normal Caution
Generally safe avalanche conditions. Watch for unstable snow on isolated terrain features. Use normal caution when travelling in the backcountry.

Avalanches can still happen, be Aware.

Snowpack Discussion

We are transitioning to a Spring snowpack with warm sunny days & cool clear nights. We will see solid & icy surface conditions early in the mornings & as rapid warm-up takes place Loose-Wet avalanche activity later in the afternoon. The uppermost surface of the snowpack will see the most rapid change & deformation from sun & air temperature fluctuations. Warm air temperatures allows thawing which will percolate water through the snow layers & can help create an isothermal & more homogenous overall snowpack. Even though some stabilization of the snow is taking place areas are getting thinner & water in the snowpack helps lubricate the ground surface & crust layers.


Warmer and drier conditions will continue through the weekend as high pressure starts to build across the area. This high pressure will weaken slightly early next week and allow slightly stronger winds late Sunday into early Monday and a brief cool down Tuesday. The ridge tries to rebuild by the middle of next week with above normal temperatures before sliding east. By late next week into next weekend there could be showers over portions of the region.

Two-Day Mountain Weather Forecast Produced in partnership with the Reno NWS
For 8000 ft. to 10000 ft.
  Saturday Saturday Night Sunday
Weather: Sunny Clear Sunny
Temperatures: 48-54 deg. F. 30-36 deg. F. 53-63 deg. F.
Wind direction: Northeast Northeast NA
Wind speed: 10 to 15 mph gusts up to 40 mph decreasing to 30 mph in the afternoon 10 to 15 mph with gust to 25 mph in the evening becoming light Light winds
Expected snowfall: 0 in. 0 in. 0 in.
For above 10000 ft.
  Saturday Saturday Night Sunday
Weather: Sunny Clear Sunny
Temperatures: 38-46 deg. F. 30-36 deg. F. 48-56 deg. F.
Wind direction: North North Northwest
Wind speed: 30 to 45 mph with gusts to 65 mph becoming northeast 20 to 30 mph with gusts to 45 mph in the afternoon. 10 to 15 mph with gusts to 35 mph in the evening becoming light 10 to 15 mph with gusts to 30 mph
Expected snowfall: 0 in. 0 in. 0 in.

This snowpack summary applies only to backcountry areas in the Bridgeport Winter Recreation Area. Click here for a map of the area. This snowpack summary describes general avalanche conditions and local variations always occur. This snowpack summary expires in 48 hours unless otherwise noted. The information in this snowpack summary is provided by the USDA Forest Service who is solely responsible for its content.