THIS SNOWPACK SUMMARY EXPIRED ON December 31, 2018 @ 7:05 am
Snowpack Summary published on December 29, 2018 @ 7:05 am
Issued by Ryan Lewthwaite -

bottom line:

The weekend has arrived with sunshine, warmth & good riding conditions. Atmosperic processes are facilitating a mostly stable snowpack today & high pressure will persist. There is still a concern for wind slab avalanches on snow loaded features, especially where facets have formed underneath firm windboard. An abundance of subsurface objects & reappearing creeks are busting A-arms & ruining the day for ambitious sledders. Overcome complacency with your throttle-hungry crew & do a midday rescue scenario & beacon check. It is in fact the equipment & skills of your partners that could save your life if you become an avalanche victim. 

Avalanche Character 1: Normal Caution
Generally safe avalanche conditions. Watch for unstable snow on isolated terrain features. Use normal caution when travelling in the backcountry.

The overall consensus is that the snowpack is in a mostly stable pattern. Very little evidence of natural avalanche activity has been observed since the new snow. There is still the potential of lingering pockets of wind slab from new loading or crossloading in the alpine & near treeline. The uninhibited sun could also loosen snow grains around exposed rocks in soft snow.

Snowpack Discussion

A fairly stable snowpack exist in the BWRA. The new snow we received over the Christmas duration seems to be stuck to the slopes, even with the winds misdirection for the past few days. With tenacious intent, snowmobilers were unable to cause failure in the new surface of the snowpack. Natural avalanches were mostly small in size & not easily distinguishable due to the winds errosive force & deposition. Do not rule out the possibility of lingering pockets of wind slab or sun effected areas on South facing slopes. 

recent observations

Yesterday's snowpack proved to be well intact on the slopes we traveled, including all aspects at & above treeline. Subsurface scalloping of snow, by N winds above treeline was creating banners on the highest peak for most of the day. Windchill values were low. Facetting below firm windpack was noticed near the surface, but propigation was nil.

CURRENT CONDITIONS Weather observations from Sonora Pass
0600 temperature: 24 deg. F.
Max. temperature in the last 24 hours: 24 deg. F.
Average wind direction during the last 24 hours: North
Average wind speed during the last 24 hours: Moderate mph
Maximum wind gust in the last 24 hours: mph
New snowfall in the last 24 hours: 0 inches
Total snow depth: 29 inches

High pressure has invaded our zone today bringing with it sun & warming temperatures. Winds will be moderate out of the N to NE & shall diminish as the day progresses. A cold front is on deck for Sunday evening into New Years Eve, & to accompany it wind.. Precipitation is unlikely for the start of next week.

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 Partly cloudy
Temperatures: 35 to 40 deg. F. 19 to 24 deg. F. 38 to 44 deg. F.
Wind direction: North Light winds becoming West late Northwest
Wind speed: 10 to 15 mph; gusts to 40 mph in the AM then becoming light Light winds becoming West 10 to 15 mph late; gusts to 35 mph 10 to 15 mph; gusts to 40 mph
Expected snowfall: 0 in. 0 in. 0 in.
For above 10000 ft.
  Saturday Saturday Night Sunday
Weather: Sunny Clear Partly cloudy
Temperatures: 31 to 36 deg. F. 16 to 21 deg. F. 31 to 36 deg. F.
Wind direction: Northeast North Northwest
Wind speed: 20 to 35 mph; gusts 50 mph 15 to 30 mph; gusts to 45 mph 20 to 35 mph; gusts to 50 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.