Last week storms brought in 2-3.5’ of snow accompanied by strong SW winds, providing a supportable, all-be-it shallow base of snow and start to the backcountry touring season with few if any underlying weak layer concerns. Sunday was a beautiful calm, cold, sunny day, which allowed wind slabs from Saturday time to bond. Multiple reports came back on Sunday of people seeing evidence of D2 wind slab avalanches which occurred mid- storm. Monday cloud cover increased as well as upper elevation winds, which transported snow in some areas and likely led to isolated small patches of fresh wind slab.
A weak low pressure system brought light snowfall and surprisingly light winds on Tuesday and Wednesday, dropping up to 8” of very light low density snow. S to SW wind strong enough to transport snow only occurred over the uppermost ridge-tops, potentially leading to very isolated small wind slabs on the leeward side of these ridges. Today, continued light flurries and light wind will not add much to the avalanche problem.
Early season obstacles exist! Plenty of rocks, logs, and tree stumps are lurking just under the surface, which has led to injury and broken equipment already. Take your time, be careful, and don’t end your season before it barely begins!