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Mt Hood

Issued: 8:45 PM PST Sunday, March 4, 2018
by Robert Hahn

It is still possible to trigger large and destructive avalanches in wind-loaded, steep, open slopes at upper elevations. Stay off of open, obvious wind loaded terrain steeper than 35 degrees and allow recent wind layers time to heal.

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Avalanche Problems for Monday

Wind Slabi

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Forecast for Monday:

Monday's forecast calls for a chance of an isolated snow shower in the morning, then becoming partly to mostly sunny.

Wind slabs are healing, but it is still possible to trigger large and dangerous wind slab avalanches near and above treeline especially on leeward northwest through north through southeast slopes where drifted wind features exist. These avalanches could be large and destructive. Avoid these avalanches by staying off of snow drifts, deeply pillowed features, and fresh cornices on leeward slopes 35 degrees and steeper.

If the sun makes an appearance for extended period of time Monday, you may see small loose avalanches release on steep slopes on the south half of the compass. 

Avalanche Summary:

Mt. Hood received 1" of new snow Sunday evening. A few inches of snow fell during the day Thursday, following on the heels of about 8-10 inches of snow that was deposited Wednesday night through Thursday morning. Strong, mostly SSW winds accompanied Wednesday night's snowfall. A variety of snow conditions exist within the upper snowpack, ranging from sandwiches of soft snow and crusts existing on sunny aspects, wind affected snow, and unconsolidated surface snow in shaded sheltered areas.

In many locations more than 3’ of snow now sits on a firm buried crust layer (2/17). This crust has been reported up to 6600’ by professionals in the region. There are currently no significant layers of concern below the 2/17 crust.

Observations

On Saturday, Mt. Hood Meadows ski patrol reported no new avalanche activity other than small loose wet avalanches on steep solar aspects below treeline. 

On Friday, NWAC observer Laura Green reported reported ski cuts and test results in sheltered terrain did not indicate the potential for triggering slab avalanches. She did report cracking and propagation on recently wind loaded slopes.

On Thursday, Mt. Hood Meadows pro-patrol reported small to large slab releases reactive to ski cuts near and below treeline on steep slopes. Explosives above treeline released large to very large hard slab avalanches on many N-E facing terrain. These large slabs had crown faces ranging from 4-6 ft deep and produced significant avalanche debris in the runout zones well below the start zones! 

No Corresponding Mountain Weather Forecast Available