THIS SNOWPACK SUMMARY EXPIRED ON February 6, 2018 @ 8:29 am
Snowpack Summary published on February 4, 2018 @ 8:29 am
Issued by Ryan Lewthwaite -

bottom line:

Loose wet avalanche activity is the primary concern for our forecast period. Intense sun & temperatures 15-20F degrees above seasonal average has diminished our snowpack. The best snow conditions for riding will be in areas above 8750' on aspects that see more shade than sun. It seems as though we are starting our spring in February as corn-like surface snow has begun to take form. Additionally, we have been struggling with a lot of bare road snowmobile travel because of the gate closure. We appologize for this incovenience & sympathise with your machines vulnerability to overheating & carbide destruction. Please remember these gates are a function of the highway department & are NOT maintained by the US Forest Service & the BWRA. 

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.

As the sun casts its rays on mountain slopes expect loose wet avalanche activity to rise in the afternoon. Progressing with the movement of the sun, slopes start to lose stability as they gain intensity from solar radiation in an east to west pattern. Roller-balls & point releases are good indicators that slopes are hot. The liklihood of triggering an avalanche of large size is low. Keep in mind cornices are tender & starting to peel away from ridgelines.

Snowpack Discussion

Not much is changing out there as spring has taken form in the BWRA. Surface snow is highly variable ranging from soft corn snow to stiff wind scoured. The persistent slab problem has subdued itself for the time being but may reappear later this season. Look for surface ice in the AM as near freezing temp lock-up melted snow at night. Loose wet surface snow is a concerning hazard during the late afternoon hours.

recent observations

The past few days of snowmobiling have been relatively safe & very warm. Near freezing temps at night have slowed the rate of melting somewhat. If you climb a sun effected slope look for minor wet sluffs being kicked off from your track. Snow measurements hover around <20 inches (52cm) but snow is not evenly dispersed, & is melting quickly. 

CURRENT CONDITIONS Weather observations from Sonora Pass
0600 temperature: 31 deg. F.
Max. temperature in the last 24 hours: 52 deg. F.
Average wind direction during the last 24 hours:
Average wind speed during the last 24 hours: mph
Maximum wind gust in the last 24 hours: mph
New snowfall in the last 24 hours: 0 inches
Total snow depth: 21 inches

Sunshine continues for the extent of our forecast period. Temperatures are almost 15-20F degrees above noramal. Light winds will increase marginally tomorrow as weak disturbance moves across the crest. We will not recieve any precipitation.  

Two-Day Mountain Weather Forecast Produced in partnership with the Reno NWS
For 8000 ft. to 10000 ft.
  Sunday Sunday Night Monday
Weather: Sunny then increasing clouds Partly cloudy Partly cloudy
Temperatures: 50 - 56 deg. F. 31 - 37 deg. F. 53 - 58 deg. F.
Wind direction: Light winds Light winds Light winds
Wind speed: Light winds Light winds Light winds
Expected snowfall: 0 in. 0 in. 0 in.
For above 10000 ft.
  Sunday Sunday Night Monday
Weather: Sunny then increasing clouds Partly cloudy Partly cloudy
Temperatures: 47 - 52 deg. F. 32 - 37 deg. F. 49 - 54 deg. F.
Wind direction: Northwest Northwest West
Wind speed: 10 mph 10 to 15 mph; gusts to 35 mph late 15 to 25 mph; gusts to 40 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.