There is a shift in the weather as colder air moves into the region. We will continue to post updates on conditions and some educational reminders for the season. Daily advisories will begin the week before Thanksgiving if there is enough of the white stuff!
Today’s educational theme is GET THE PICTURE and it’s the fourth of the five GETS! Know Before You Go video link.
Part of GETTING THE PICTURE and the foundation to staying safe in the backcountry is recognizing avalanche terrain. Ask yourself: Can I accurately identify avalanche terrain? Can I tell if a slope is greater than 30 degrees? Am I in avalanche terrain? Take an avalanche class, learn what terrain is capable of producing an avalanche. Practice! Practice! Practice! We will talk more about how to travel on Thursday when we highlight GET OUT OF HARM’S WAY.
Speaking of avalanche terrrain, on Sunday we went to Crow Pass trail to look at snowline and see if there was any natural activity. This popular hiking trail in the summer can be very hazardous once there is snow on the ground. The hiking trail crosses through multiple avalanche paths. A small avalanche starting above could have high consequences. Travel on this trail is not recommended in the winter.
Note the hiker walking through avalanche debris on Sunday, Nov 13th. This avalanche occurred sometime during the Nov 9th and 10th warm storm.
What does GET THE PICTURE really mean?
Many avalanche accidents can be attributed to people missing clues that indicate that the snowpack is unstable.
It is important to look for these RED FLAGS everytime you go out.
1) Recent avalanches
2) Shooting cracks
3) Snowpack collapsing (whumpfing)
Has something changed that could have stressed the snowpack?
4) Recent snow or rain
5) Recent wind
6) Rapid temperature change
Use the Observation page: HERE and the Weather page: HERE, in addition to checking the Avalanche Advisory to help understand the picture before you go!