Avalanche Conditions

4 photos

Heads up Hockey Time!

Rogers Pass - Loop Brook

Avalanche Conditions

It's heads up hockey out there Gang!

I visited Loop brook and the Bonney moraines today with several other groups.

Of note were several recent (within the last 12-24 hours) significant avalanches.

Most impressive was the size 4 off Mt. Green that filled up the canyon for the most part and dusted the uptrack above the elephants trunk with enough force to create a windslab on the surface (I noticed the "curious" windslab while breaking trail prior to seeing the deposit).

This avalanche released from the East side of the summit ridge of Mt. Green (photo 1) starting off as a storm depth slab and then stepping down @ 1800 to the Dec 1st crust/facet layer which added significantly to the mass of this avalanche.

The other 2 avalanches (#2,3) were also @ 1800m. elevation - and being morainal features, you can only assume that any faceting at the crust snowpack interface would only be enhanced.

#2 illustrates the potential for pull back that occurs when a stiff slab fails and pulls back into what would normally be considered lower angled terrain.

Photo number 3 shows a mid slope failure over a convexity - it is hard to say if a small sluff ran from steeper terrain above to trigger this - or if the snowpack just said "enough - I give", and that is with only a 25cm additional load in the last 24 hours (let's just say not a large input).

Given the current forecast weather - if I was planning on recreating around Glacier park this weekend, take-aways for me from these observations would be:
- start early
- stay away from overhead solar slopes
- and keep the terrain simple.

Here is a link to an article "Ruminations on Raincrusts" that I penned last year for a great website "The Powder Cloud" - check it out as it is relevant to the current issues at hand (also tons of other great content on this site for those looking to make informed quality decisions) -

Scott Davis
ACMG Mountain Guide

On The Map

These observations and opinions are those of the person who submitted them. The ACMG and its members take no responsibility for errors, omissions, or lapses in continuity. Conditions differ greatly over time and space due to the variable nature of mountain weather and terrain. Application of this information provides no guarantee of increased safety. Do not use the Mountain Conditions Report as the sole factor in planning trips or making decisions in the field.