The avalanche danger has increased with several inches of new snow and strong wind in the upper elevations. As of late Tuesday morning, there’s an estimated ~6″ of new snow in the alpine (past 24 hrs). A few more inches are possible through Tuesday night. This is on top of a few inches that fell late last week.
With heavier snow falling now (10:30am), accompanied by more strong wind, deeper areas of wind drifted snow and wind slabs have developed from last week’s snowfall and the Monday-Tuesday snowfall. Avalanche concerns exist relative to these deeper deposits of wind drifted snow and wind slabs, which will continue to develop through Tuesday.
While the snowpack is still meager to non-existent in many areas, some areas of unstable snow do exist and heightened caution is warranted. Pay attention to the snow you’re traveling over. Areas of deeper wind drifted snow and wind slabs that have developed near peaks, ridges, cross-loaded gullies (or similar terrain features), and in deposition areas are suspect. Look for red flags related to instability and avalanche concerns (especially wind slabs) like whumphing, dense snow overlying weaker and looser snow, hollow sounding snow, cracking, and recent avalanches.
We will attempt to assess conditions more thoroughly later this week when there’s a break in the weather, and then provide another update. However, there’s still insufficient snow coverage to warrant regular observations and information.
Be safe. Have fun.