Issued: 6:00 PM PST Friday, February 2, 2018
by Dallas Glass

Warm weather will create wet surface snow conditions at all elevations. Stay off of steep slopes with wet surface snow where you might trigger a Loose Wet avalanche. Avoid traveling on or below Cornices. Warm temperatures and recent rain will make it more likely for these large blocks of snow to fail.

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Avalanche Problems for Saturday

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Forecast for Saturday:

Warm air temperatures will maintain wet avalanche conditions at all elevations Saturday in the Olympics.

You will be able to trigger Loose Wet avalanches on steep slopes with wet surface snow. Avoid slopes where avalanches may carry you into dangerous terrain such as over a cliff, into a creek, or down a gully. Watch for new rollerballs and pinwheels as these are signs that triggering a Loose Wet avalanche is becoming more likely.

Large Cornices exists primarily on NW-NE aspects along ridgelines. Warming air temperatures and rain will make these massive blocks of snow more likely to fail. It is very difficult to predict when and where Cornices will fall. Avoid traveling on or below Cornices during this warm weekend.

Several glide cracks have been reported by NPS rangers. Glide avalanches occur in locations where wet smooth ground surfaces allow the entire snowpack to avalanche. A very high level of uncertainty exists around the timing of these avalanches. If you see glide cracks on a slope, avoid traveling on or below that terrain. While you are unlikely to trigger a Glide avalanche a resulting slide would be large and deadly.

Avalanche Summary:

Warm wet weather Friday created moist to wet surface conditions up to at least 6000 feet in the Hurricane Ridge area. Several natural loose wet avalanches were observed at all elevations.

Large cornices have developed during the last two weeks of January along ridgelines near and above treeline.

Recent warm wet weather produced glide cracks on slopes with smooth ground surfaces. Observations indicate glide cracks in common locations such as 20th of June, Steeple, and Steep-and-Icy.


NWAC pro-observer Matt Schonwald and NPS Rangers traveled in the Mt Angeles areas Friday. They observed moist to wet surface snow up to 6000 feet. Loose Wet avalanches were seen releasing during sunny breaks around mid-day. They identified and avoided traveling near or below large cornices.

No Corresponding Mountain Weather Forecast Available