Avalanche Danger is High, Snowmobilers advised to use caution
January 30, 2014
Tip Top Search & Rescue urges backcountry users to be aware that the recent snowfall has caused avalanche danger to climb to high right now and most likely will remain so through the weekend. Heavy new snow on top of existing weak layers make for considerable avalanche danger in area mountains. Recreationists headed out to play in mountainous terrain should check with the Bridger-Teton Avalanche Center for their daily condition updates. Avalanches donít just occur in the backcountry. Last night (Wednesday, Jan. 29th) an avalanche slide occurred in Hoback Canyon between Bondurant and Hoback Junction depositing fifteen feet of debris on the highway and causing US 191 to be closed for several hours as WYDOT crews worked to clear the snow from the roadway. Travelers going through Hoback Canyon should check road reports for current conditions, and allow extra time to reach their destination.
Daily Avalanche Reports are available from the Bridger-Teton Avalanche Center based out of Jackson, Wyoming: www.jhavalanche.org.
WESTERN WYOMING AVALANCHE ADIVSORY
Issued on Thu January 30, 2014 5:30 PM
Snow that started falling yesterday morning brought approximately a foot of dense snow by this morning. This snow contained over an inch and a half of water in the Tetons and Southwest Trails areas. The Togwotee Pass area received seven to eight inches of new snow during the same period. Light snow during the day today has added another one to two inches to these totals. During the snowfall yesterday the building slabs were reported to be very sensitive in steep terrain, especially in areas with slick sliding surfaces. Today, new snow slabs were less sensitive, however limited reports have been received from high elevation areas where west winds averaging twenty six miles per hour blew during the snowfall. In these areas above 9000 feet, slabs are expected to be both larger and more sensitive. Winds today were again from the west with fifteen to twenty mile per hour averages. Mountain temperatures that held near twenty degrees during the storm dropped overnight into the mid teens and held there throughout the day. At low elevations temperatures rose from the mid twenties into the thirties. The dense new powder warmed noticeably in lower elevations where it was affected by warm temperatures and partial sunlight. At higher elevations, cloud cover preserved the new powder on all aspects.
At this point in the backcountry, the only slide reported during the storm cycle was in Hoback Canyon where the Cow of the Woods path slid naturally last night, depositing fifteen feet of debris on the highway. There was no activity from Gazex devises on Teton Pass that were fired during the night. It is presumed that many natural slides occurred during the cycle at high elevations that have yet to be seen or reported.
FORECAST FOR Friday, January 31, 2014
Periods of snow are expected through Friday as a cold front brings cooler temperatures to the area. The most significant snowfall will occur Thursday evening and could bring another two to four inches to the area. Mountain temperatures are to rise from the single digits in the morning to the teens in the afternoon. Winds are to be from the west with five to fifteen mile per hour averages.
The general avalanche hazard will be Considerable in all areas. Recently formed slabs could be triggered with depths to two feet that lie upon slick sliding surfaces. Deeper avalanches can also be triggered on persistent weaknesses within the snowpack. These slides could fail to the ground and are most likely to occur in the Togwotee Pass and Southwest Trails areas where weak snow is more prevalent.
TREND FOR Saturday, February 01, 2014 AND Sunday, February 02, 2014
The approaching cold front is to bring colder temperatures to the area. The high on Saturday expected to be in the single digits at 9000 feet. Periods of light snow are expected as imbedding moisture associated with this front pass through the area. The liklihood of triggering new surface slabs will decrease during this time while the chance to trigger slides on older weaknesses in the snowpack will not change significantly.