*Snowpack Update - Monday Dec 14th
Dangerous avalanche conditions exist today!
Despite the snowpack being extremely shallow in the backcountry, and in many places still unrideable, fresh windslabs in wind loaded areas will be sensitive to human triggering today. Even steep sheltered areas with fresh snow ontop of old weak sugary faceted snow will pose an avalanche threat.
Mid-mountain sensors are reporting 6-10" of new snow last night with very strong W to SW winds gusting up to 100mph over ridgetops. Trace amounts up to 6" of snow fell Friday night, with strong winds out of the west. 8-16" deep wind slabs sitting on shallow weak faceted snow were reported to be found in un-skied wind loaded areas mid-montain on Mammoth on Saturday.
Fresh snow, light winds and clear skies today will likely lure some out with hopes that this last snow will make for enjoyable riding conditions. If you are one of them just remember all the shallowly buried rocks, logs and stumps that lurk, take it slow and mellow, and avoid denser firmer deeper snow deposits on the leeward side of ridges where its most likely you could trigger an avalanche. Watch for shooting cracks even in sheltered terrain as an indication that the snow is unstable. Even a small avalanche resulting in a fall during these low-snow conditions could result in injury due to all the exposed and shallowly buried obstacles.
Daily advisories will begin as soon as the snow coverage is enough for forecasters to travel safely ... we will be checking this out today.
Season snowpack update posted prior to this past week:
BRING ON THE SNOW!
Two storms in early and mid November provided us with a glimpse of winter and brought over a foot of snow to the central and northern parts of the forecast zone. While this was enough for some eager beavers to sneak in a few turns in isolated areas, conditions are extremely thin and for the most part unrideable.
ESAC is fully staffed and ready to begin issuing daily avalanche advisories as soon as we have enough snow on the ground to ride and ski. In the meantime check our Observations Page for the latest field conditions, and follow some of these tips to get prepared!
Check Your Gear!
- Make sure your beacon shovel and probe are in good working order.
- Pull out and Inspect your equipment for damage and fix or replace as necessary.
- For a great list of common things to look for when inspecting your skies, boots, and bindings follow this link.
- Don't Forget to inspect other equipment like your helmet, goggles, clothing and backpack.
Brush up on Avalanche Rescue Skills!
- Have a buddy (socially distant) hide a beacon in the bushes and practice searching.
- Contact your local avalanche education provider to inquire about upcoming courses.
- Check out our education page HERE for a wide variety of free online education resources.
THANK YOU FOR YOUR SUPPORT!
You raised $32k for your avalanche center at the annual fundraiser
(our most successful event ever!)