The Bridgeport Winter Recreation Area is CLOSED to Over-the-Snow Vehicles (including Snowmobiles) for the 2018 winter season.
When will the winds stop (I've run out of windscreen)? All day long huge plumes & banners of snow have burdened the skyline. The transport of nearly all dry snow has allowed drifted accumulations to exceed 300cm (118") on N-E aspects. Today we will see a wind shift from SW to N & NE as our area gains high pressure. The wind slabs are most tender in shallow areas around convex features & are triggering with the weight of a skier. Shifting winds will redistribute loads & potentially create cornices on S-W facing slopes that will be effected by afternoon sun & melting.
Clouds are giving way to abundant sunshine for the upcoming week. Melting & sublimating will deteriorate our snowpack & likely could result in the loosening of surface snow. If winds broadcast snow loads to opposing aspects that receive intense sun, expect this activity to rise. With this scenario look for morning icy conditions, some radiation/recrystallization & afternoonish small loose wet sluffs originating from warm objects.
With the possibility of redistributed snow to South aspects, cornices could form on ridges that get more intense sun. Previously we have seen this hazard & it correlates to rapid melting of the unsupported snow collections until failure. Look for linear cracks or icicles on cornices pointing towards instability.
It has been difficult to escape the winds lately. Moderate & strong winds from the SW have transported dry snow consistently for over three days to NE aspects. Some areas on leeward slopes near treeline have a snow depth of over 300cm, full probe length! Today the winds will transition from SW to NE as the high pressure ridge develops. The snowpack is refreezing at night, but expect significant melting during daylight hours. The Deep slab issue is lessening in reactivity but don't yet rule it out of contention. With the wind shift & the warming trend expect wind slabs & cornices to develop on S-W facing slopes with Loose wet avalanches possible.
After an exciting March where snowpack totals were on the rise & avalanche activity was dramatic, we will swing warm & more spring-like. The wind slabs have been sensitive lately with a small skier triggered slide yesterday near Sonora Pass. After the Wed-Thu deluge it was hard to spot every avalanche that occurred, but they were numerous & quite large. A dormant Deep Slab issue came to fruition with the exponential accumulations of wind, rain, & snow. Observations report that the Deep slab issue on NE aspects created R3.5D3 avalanches up to 13 feet deep at the largest crowns on the Leavitt Cirque.
|0600 temperature:||14 deg. F.|
|Max. temperature in the last 24 hours:||29 deg. F.|
|Average wind direction during the last 24 hours:||Southwest|
|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|
The cold period that we've been experiencing will subside & high pressure will invade our region for the upcoming week. We will trend warmer beginning tomorrow with temperatures in the high 30's & 40's. The moderate to strong winds will continue but will shift from SW to N & NE. Sun will dominate the sky as our spring days lengthen. Cold clear nights will help refreeze the afternoon slush, keeping our winters longevity.
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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