Prior to Wednesday’s storm field observations and settlement rates indicate that the underlying snowpack has settled well. 4-8” of new snow fell during the day Wednesday with calm winds below tree line and moderate winds out of the SW near ridge tops. Fresh wind slabs formed and will continue to form in exposed upper elevation areas as ridge top winds continue thru Thursday and increase Friday effecting lower elevation areas. 6-10” storm slabs were skier triggered Wednesday afternoon in steep convexities, and 1-1.5ft wind slabs in exposed upper elevations just below ridge lines.
Avoid denser snow deposits below ridge lines especially on NW thru NE to SE facing slopes. Use clues such as cornice formation and blowing snow that indicate where fresh wind slabs may be. As winds increase on Friday and shift out of the south these wind slabs will likely develop in more widespread areas further downslope.
Be cautious of steep convexities where soft storm slabs and sloughing could remain sensitive to human triggering in un-wind affected areas, especially where terrain traps are involved. These will become less and less sensitive as time goes by.