Obvious signs of instability:
- Sunny (only clouds were way out west) with temps in the lower 20s and light north breeze
- Thin, weak, and carve-able rain crust with soft, dry snow for a few inches below above ~3800′
- Mostly supportable and easily edge-able melt-freeze crust from ~3300-3800′
- Solid, boilerplate melt-freeze crust from ~2800-3300′
The uppermost Arctic Valley Rd (within ~1 mile from upper parking area) is still a bit icy and treacherous (FWD w/studs manageable with caution), but the Arctic Valley backcountry is holding out snow-wise. It’s one of the few places where there’s consistent skinning left (most other areas un-skin-able due to lack of snow or icy, boilerplate melt-freeze crusts on slopes).
On January 16, 2014 (click date to view full observation), there was a D2 human triggered avalanche on NW Gordon Lyon. These slopes had been suspect for a couple weeks prior to that incident due to persistent instabilities (see January 8 observation). At Gordon Lyon today, the snowpack was profiled and assessed just above where the crown of the aforementioned avalanche was at.
Expected danger for Thursday, February 6, 2014: