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Olympics

Issued: 6:00 PM PST Monday, January 1, 2018
by Dennis D'Amico

Watch for isolated wind slabs in exposed terrain, especially above treeline on Tuesday.

Danger Scalei
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  • Low (1)
  • Moderate (2)
  • Considerable (3)
  • High (4)
  • Extreme (5)

Avalanche Problems for Tuesday

Wind Slabi

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Forecast for Tuesday:

Mild and cloudy weather should be seen in the Olympics Tuesday. 

Watch for isolated wind slabs in exposed terrain, especially above treeline. Look for signs of wind transported snow such as uneven snow surfaces, fresh cornices, and snow drifts. Each of these observations are signs that the wind has redistributed snow in the area. Identify and avoid wind loaded terrain features.

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 NWAC!

Mild weather Sunday and Monday has allowed the snowpack to continue to heal and gain strength following an active weather pattern this past week.

SW winds Friday night redistributed new snow forming shallow wind slabs on lee slopes at higher elevations. This resulted in a variety of snow surfaces including soft unconsolidated snow, wind scoured slopes, rain crust, and firm wind slabs.

The 12/16 mid-December crust can still be found 2-3 feet down within the snowpack.

Observations

NWAC pro observer, Matt Schonwald visited Hurricane Ridge on Friday, 12/29 and stressed that this is a different snowpack than the Cascades! He visited W-NW-N-NE aspects and found the 12/16 crust and 1-2 mm facets down 2.5 feet. Several PST tests failures, self-arrested, but propagated through most of the column along the 12/16 layer. This PWL will mostly likely be found below ridgelines and will have to be watched moving forward. 

No Corresponding Mountain Weather Forecast Available
This information is provided by the U.S.D.A. Forest Service and describes general backcountry avalanche hazard and conditions. It does not apply to ski areas and highways where avalanche mitigation is conducted. Read more here.