The Bridgeport Winter Recreation Area is CLOSED to Over-the-Snow Vehicles (including Snowmobiles) for the 2018 winter season.
The strong SW winds have deteriorated & transported most powder snow accumulations. The prevailing W-SW-S winds will continue to load E-NE-N aspects in dramatic fashion. These leeward slopes are holding the thickest snow depths, some are found to be over 300cm (118"). Some slopes above treeline look like wavy sand dunes in texture with billowing shapes on roll-over convexities. Gusts yesterday near 50 mph at ridgeline have formed long sensitive Wind slabs that could fail with the added weight of a traveler & their entourage.
The elusive Deep slab avalanche problem has been showing itself with last weeks storm & more noticably with the latest precipitation. Wind slabs that are releasing can potentially step-down into older buried weak layers where cohesionless persistent grains linger. Although isolated, as a slab avalanche runs over an area where another deep slab has a thin spot, that action could trigger deep pockets of snow to release. As seen in the "Leavitt Region" & "Sonora Pass Avalanche" observation photos.
Cornices are large & tender in the BWRA. We will commonly see cornices that fall trigger slab avalanches that propigate across a starting zone. We see cornice fall activity days after a storm & especially during periods of rapid warming & wind loading.
A complex array of avalanche problems encompass our hazard for the next few days. Lots of dense wet snow & rain fell with strong to extreme winds in the BWRA for a few days. Accumulations are unsettled, in constant transport, & readily forming slabs that are sensitive will avalanche with the right mechanism. The growing snowpack on lee aspects will continue throughout today & increase instability. Deep slab potentials are hiding within the variable snowpack, some as deep as 13'. Rain has seriously effected riding quality at nearly all elevations.
Yesterdays clear skies allowed for a visual of the avalanche activity that happened during our wet, windy & wild storm. Very large in size R3.5 with the destructive potential of D3 makes these avalanches deadly to humans who are victims of them. Seeing snowmobilers who don't carry transcievers, with rescue equipment attatched to their sled tunnels, with friends watching in a runout zone, traveling up a 35 degree slope five at a time; is a potential disaster! Please discuss unsafe riding practices with your firends & think in worst-case-scenarios. The decisions you make, while blinded by having fun, can have huge consequences...
|0600 temperature:||21 deg. F.|
|Max. temperature in the last 24 hours:||34 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:||75 inches|
A cool clear morning will give way to partly cloudy skies & afternoon snow showers. Winds will be less dramatic today out of the SW 15 to 25 mph; gusts to 40 mph. A diurnal refreeze has taken effect overnight. This lock-up will create icy conditions early & make wind slabs tender. No major accumulations expected with the orographic lift today & tomorrow. The precipitation that does fall may be in the form of ice chips or hard rain at lower elevations. Warm springlike conditions will engulf our weather pattern from Tuesday on into the weekend.
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.
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