Avalanche Information Update – 3/24/2014

Today, temperatures in some mountain locations rose to above freezing temperatures. Temperatures are expected to be warmer tomorrow increasing the wet avalanche hazard, particularly on sunny aspects.  Be aware of changing weather conditions, specifically rapidly rising temperatures. If travelling on or below sun exposed slopes consider turning around or moving to shaded areas if the snow surface becomes wet, skis or boots sink deep into the snow, or pin wheels or roller balls start to form on steep slopes. Tomorrow the potential exists for both loose, wet avalanches as well as wet slab avalanches. Keep in mind that even small avalanches can have severe consequences when traveling in or above terrain traps such as gullies, cliffs, or road cuts.  Large cornices will also become less stable with the warm temperatures in the forecast. It is important to stay well behind confirmed solid ground when travelling above cornices and avoid travel below. Aside from being a hazard themselves, cornice falls have the potential to trigger deeper instabilities within the snowpack. See Sunday’s advisory below for details on existing avalanche problems. Continue to closely monitor changes in weather conditions and maintain a conservative approach to terrain selection. FAC will be issuing a regularly scheduled advisory on Wednesday, March 26. Check the avalanche advisory for up to date information and hazard ratings.