November 25, 2014

Early Season Conditions Update

There’s still not enough snow to warrant regular observations and information.  Snow fell today, but not enough to change the situation; the snowpack is meager to nonexistent in the core advisory areas.  It’s desperate times for skiers and snowboarders, but fun can be had climbing and hiking.

A look at conditions in the Front Range:

omalley gully wind lipHeavily windloaded areas like Little O’Malley gully are the only areas with a “snowpack,” and as a popular hiking route it will be prudent to use caution in approaching such areas as we receive more snow and wind (photo from 11/22)omalley gully corniceOld, small (D1) avalanche activity/cornice fail, due to windloading, at the top of Little O’Malley gully (photo from 11/22)omalley gully snow depth 1

omalley gully snow depth 2 Deep, and potentially unstable, snow at the top of Little O’Malley Gully where the cornice is forming (photos from 11/20)

randoman ballfied down randoman ballfied upConditions in the Ballfied area (photos from 11/22)

omalley fallsThe lack of snow makes for an easy approach and less avalanche danger at O’Malley Falls (photo from 11/20)

omalley falls mat thin falls randoman climbing

omalley 2nd pitch topO’Malley Falls is thin, but climb-able (photos from 11/22)

omalley falls rapLittle to no snow in the Upper Middle Fork Campbell Creek (Williwaw Lakes) area (photo from 11/22)

ramp chutesRamp Chutes getting blown in (photo from 11/22)

omalley area viewA look at snow coverage on False O’Malley, O’Malley, Hidden Peak, and The Ramp (left to right) from the top of Flattop (photo from 11/23)

pk2&3Peak 2 & 3 snow coverage (photo from 11/23)

pk3 traverse windloadSnow coverage along the ridge between Peaks 2 & 3 – this popular hiking route gets heavily wind-loaded and should be approached with caution as we receive more snow and wind (photo from 11/23)

pk3 rocks upSnow coverage just below the rocks near the top of Peak 3 (photo from 11/23)

down pk3Looking down at Peak 3’s snow coverage from the top (photo from 11/23)

mchugh viewA look at McHugh Peak area snow coverage from the top of Peak 3 (photo from 11/23)

ship & pl passSnow coverage in the Powerline and Ship Lake Pass areas (photo from 11/23)

A look at conditions in the Eagle River area:

ram viewLooking across the Eagle River Valley towards Ram Valley from the north side of the Two Bowls ridge near treeline (photo from 11/16)

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