Mt Hood

Issued: 6:00 PM PST Sunday, December 31, 2017
by Kenny Kramer

Look for signs of recently wind transported snow such as snow drifts, fresh cornices, and uneven snow surface textures. Identify and avoid wind loaded snow on lee and cross loaded slopes.

Danger Scalei
  • No Rating— (Info Avail)
  • Low — 1
  • Moderate — 2
  • Considerable — 3
  • High — 4
  • Extreme — 5

Avalanche Problems for Monday

Wind Slabi

  • Avalanche Problemi
  • Aspect/Elevationi
  • Likelihoodi
  • Sizei

Forecast for Monday:

Mild weather continues Monday with generally sunny skies.

Recently formed wind slabs will continue to be a problem,especially at higher elevations. Look for signs of recently wind transported snow. Identify and avoid wind loaded terrain below ridgelines and cross loaded terrain features. While we expect wind slabs to primarily exist above treeline, keep a watchful eye out for exposed terrain features near treeline where wind slabs may have formed.

Wind slabs can be deceptively difficult to manage in the terrain. Take a moment and read our recent blog post by NWAC Pro Observer Jeremy Allyn on wind slabs.

Avalanche Summary:

Happy New Year from your friends at the Northwest Avalanche Center!

Winds continued to transport snow at higher elevations in the Mt Hood area Sunday creating a variety of snow surfaces including wind scoured snow,  crust, and firm wind slabs.

At lower elevations recent rain created a breakable melt-freeze crust. Several inches of soft snow sit atop this 12/30 crust.

A variety of rain and freezing rain crust exist in the upper snowpack depending on elevation. Current observations do not suggest these layers to be reactive.


An observation submitted through our public observation page continued to show building wind slabs new Timberline Lodge Sunday. These winds slabs were reported as reactive to ski travel.

Photo: Wind transporting snow on Mt Hood near Timberline Lodge Sunday December 31, 2017.

On Sunday Mt Hood Meadows Patrol reported a breakable crust below treeline. They observed isolated wind slabs and very firm crust at higher elevations.

On Saturday Mt Hood Meadows Pro Patrol reported a large natural avalanche in Clark Canyon. Debris from this avalanche ran into the near treeline elevation band. While the exact depth of the avalanche is unknown, this was a very large natural avalanche.

Photo: Brian Murphy, Mt Hood Meadows Patrol. Avalanche debris in Clark Canyon from a recent very large natural avalanche.


No Corresponding Mountain Weather Forecast Available


NWAC avalanche forecasts apply to backcountry avalanche terrain in the Olympics, Washington Cascades and Mt Hood area. These forecasts do not apply to developed ski areas, avalanche terrain affecting highways and higher terrain on the volcanic peaks above the Cascade crest level.