Category Stability

Conditions Update – Teton Pass area

        Take a look at these graphics: The top chart is from Bruce Tremper’s Staying Alive in Avalanche Terrain.   The top chart shows the timeline of stabilization after a storm event on different weak layers.  Storm snow instabilities tend to stabilize quickly after the storm and slabs on persistent weak layer take […]

Ski Tour in Mail Cabin, Teton Pass

Yesterday’s tour from 7200′ to 8900′  showed just how much variability there was at the mid-elevations. Shady slopes skied very well with boot top facets hissing and sluffing when it got steeper. By and large all slopes were currently stable, but there was a lot of weak snow around waiting for a load (in some cases […]

Conditions Update – Little Cottonwood Canyon

With recent loading on a weak surface, the snowpack is primed for skier triggered avalanches. Our Level 2 course was in Grizzly Gulch when they heard a yell and headed over to check it out. They came upon this crown – SS-ASu-D2-O.  The avalanche was 14-18″ deep, 125 feet wide, and ran 150 feet to […]

Conditions update – Mt. Glory, Teton Pass

Don, Don and Zahan headed up the Glory bootpack today to check out the snowpack in upper elevation north facing slopes.  These slopes – north facing slopes above 9500 are the slopes where the early season snow never melted…it remained on the slope, getting weaker and weaker. Check out the video of the ECT they […]

Conditions update – Avalanche Bowl, Teton Pass

Christian and I were curious about how the base of the snowpack was looking in Avalanche Bowl, so dug two quick pits in that area.  The first pit was about 70 meters to skiers right of the ‘summit’ of Avalanche Bowl. This area is generally one of the weakest areas around (due to surface hoar […]

Snow Pit from Grand Targhee – Nov. 6

Here is a snow pit from yesterday at Grand Targhee. It’s worth comparing this pit with the pit in our previous post. During the tour, Don and Christian experienced collapsing and shooting cracks. There was propagation on an extended column test 15 cm up, on 2 mm facets. Stay safe out there!

Winter is here…food for thought

It’s November again, which means in many parts of the country, winter has begun. There are snow men in yards, sleds with giggling kids, and in my neck of the woods, parking lots packed with powder starved skiers and riders. During the last couple years, there were a number of high profile accidents and the […]