The Bridgeport Winter Recreation Area is CLOSED for the season. Thank you for all the support & we will see you next winter.
Isolated features on aspects N-E near & below treeline have been surprising backcountry travelers with reactive slab failure. The avalanches have been releasing on a similar layer within the snowpack, using the old snow surface that existed prior to last weekends storms. Variable thickness & distribution of snow atop this layer & the stubbornness to get collapse can become a problem for identifying where this issue resides. A snowmobile triggered soft slab avalanche occured Wednesday in the confluence of Leavitt & Ski Lake drainages, no injuries.
We have gained roughly 2.5' of snow since the arrival of storms last weekend. The overall stability of the snowpack is good, although isolated persistent slabs still linger on N-E aspects near & below treeline. Fairly similar avalanches across the E Sierra have been recognized to fail at the old snow/ new snow interface which holds faceted grains. This type of avalanche may be difficult to propagate but it has the potential to go big, up to a destructive force of 3 (ability to ruin a car, house, or train). An avalanche investigation yesterday showed tracks on the slopes prior to collapse, & it took 4 high-marks before the failure occured. SS-AM-R2-D2-I Soft slab avalanche, triggered by a snowmobile, Range of 2, Destructive potential of 2, failing at old snow/ new snow interface. The rider initiated the crack at a slope angle of 34 to an angle 38, propagating between trees & rocks with a crown of 2'. I found chains of depth hoar within cavities in & around this event.
Snowpack & Avalanche observations this week have been plentiful, even obtaining public input & photos of a snowmobile triggered slide. Other obs evaluate the recent snows from last weekend & the quick Wednesday night precip. Our "stormboards" have been recording the new snow amounts all the way down to our trailhead.
|0600 temperature:||16 deg. F.|
|Max. temperature in the last 24 hours:||37 deg. F.|
|Average wind direction during the last 24 hours:||South|
|Average wind speed during the last 24 hours:||light mph|
|Maximum wind gust in the last 24 hours:||moderate mph|
|New snowfall in the last 24 hours:||0 inches|
|Total snow depth:||41 inches|
Cloudy today with average seasonal temperatures. Winds will be light through the weekend, coming out of the South & Southeast. No new precipitation until Monday morning, then a large storm develops mid-week. Models show strong support for a blizzrd-like winter storm Tues-Thurs with "feet" of snow for even low elevations.
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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