Update – Monday, January 13, 2014 – Avalanche Danger Increase

The danger for mid to upper elevation wind slabs, from few inches to a few feet deep, increased significantly late Monday morning.  The problem will be the most pronounced in the upper elevations near peaks and along ridges, as well as at the mid elevations on cross-loaded terrain features like gully side walls and other terrain influenced deposition areas.

In addition to the recently emerged wind slab problem, wind loading will further stress existing instabilities within the snowpack.  Check out recent observations (snowpit data) for more information on the mid-upper elevation persistent slab problem.  As areas where persistent slab problems are most tenuous are also likely harboring recently formed wind slabs, an avalanche triggered by wind loading and/or the added weight of a person that overloads a persistent slab or steps down and pulls out a persistent slab as it descends could be large and unmanageable.

Increased avalanche danger will likely persist through the week, with ongoing chances for snow and upper elevation winds.

If you use this information and/or find it valuable, please consider a tax-deductible donation to the Anchorage Avalanche Center.  We are dependent on such donations to cover expenses (which aren’t currently covered).

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