West Slopes North - Canadian Border to Skagit River
Feb. 23, 2016, 7 p.m. PST
Weather: Clear and calm morning but moderate to strong southerly winds hit around 11am and lasted till mid-afternoon. Area with the greatest wind effect was Above Treeline terrain from Ptarmigan Ridge out to the Park Glacier on Mt Baker. Less/no visible wind transport observed in other areas (Skyline Divide, Shuksan, Winchester, etc).
Snowpack: Biggest change today was from wind slabs building on northerly slopes in the alpine with midday winds. We backed out of some steeper terrain we had considered skiing due to rapidly building wind slab. All slopes on the south half of the compass crusted from strong solar on 2/22. 1-2mm SH observed in sheltered, shady aspects. No doubt this surface layer didn't survive winds this afternoon in exposed terrain.
Area Description: South Table to Ptarmigan Ridge + Lasiocarpa Ridge/Peak
Avalanches: No significant avalanche activity observed. Winds kept snow cool enough on solar aspects to prevent Loose Wet avalanche activity. Near summit of Lasiocarpa we released a few shallow pockets of wind slab entering upper slope. Very reactive but again seemed very localized in nature. On exit run saw many, many steep lines around Bagley Lakes had been ridden with no results beside minor Loose Dry . . .
Observation by Lee Lazzara
Did you see any avalanches? No
Did you trigger any avalanches? No
Was anyone caught in an Avalanche? No