The day was unfolding like so many before. A foot of fresh snow in the last 24 hours made for excellent skiing. It was snowing hard with moderate visibility. We had skied two runs and a third sounded good. The shot in mind was similar to the last two. But what looked like a well […]

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 […]

Knocking off the Rust Part III – the Animal Within “An expert is a man who has made all the mistakes which can be made, in a narrow field”  – Niels Bohr You’ve checked your gear, practiced with the beacon a few times, dusted up on your stability tests and finally the first real storms are […]

Christian Santelices and I struck out for the first turns of the season on November 4, and had a look at the snowpack on the way.  As usual, Grand Targhee has the best early-season coverage in the Southern Tetons (below 10,000’ at least) so off we went for a morning tour.  We ran into Joe […]

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!

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 […]

Why do we care about the early season snowpack? Avalanche forecasters follow the formation of the early season snowpack, as it will be the foundation of the snowpack for the season. The goal of tracking the snowpack is to have a handle on what kinds of avalanche problems we will see.  Not all avalanches are […]