Recreational Observation

Railroad Grade/Lower Easton Glacier with an intentional exit from the field by early afternoon.

March 19, 2019, noon PST

Weather: Clear skies and sunshine. High temperatures in the mid 60's at the 4000ft level. Moderate NE winds with strong gusts above 6000ft.

Snowpack: The snowpack is thawing and transitional. Overnight refreezes since 3/15 have been weak and superficial below 6000ft. The top 80cm of the snowpack on E-S-W aspects is wet/moist. Meltwater percolating through the snowpack is starting to break down 3/11 (down 30cm) and 3/6 (down 50cm) interfaces (both MFcr transitioning to MFsl). On solar aspects, 3/11 and 3/6 are both slightly wetter than adjacent layers. Above 5500ft, only the top 10cm of the snowpack are moist and dry snow exists below. Steep and shady N and NE slopes still have dry snow surfaces above 4500ft. Below 3/6, the snowpack is strong and consolidated with alternating layers of MFpc, MFcr, and RG. HS 350-400cm above 4000ft.

Area Description: Mt. Baker NRA

Avalanches: Portions of almost all slopes 40 degrees and steeper facing E-S-W-NW between 1500-6000ft have produced loose wet slides, primarily to size D1 with several size D2. A handful of snowmobile triggered slides occurred over the weekend. A natural icefall avalanche that looked several days old pulled out shallow wind slabs on a south-facing slope at 6500ft, and several wet loose slides ran naturally off the ice formations more recently (photo). The wet loose cycle has been slow to run its course with ongoing wet activity since 3/13. Wet loose activity may have already peaked but will likely continue. No new avalanches were observed on Tuesday before an early field departure at 1:30pm.

Observation by Andrew Kiefer

Did you see any avalanches? Yes

Did you trigger any avalanches? No

Was anyone caught in an Avalanche? No