Wind slabs that formed over the weekend were unreactive and confined to near ridgelines at upper elevation. I could not re-locate the weak layer that caused the slide a week ago on the north side of Copper. Wet loose avalanches may be of a concern in very specific, rockier and steep sunny terrain again tomorrow. Dry loose snow avalanches may be more prominent in steep shaded terrain as the cold weather continues.
It was 0 F at the Banner Summit Parking around 10 AM and 32 F by 230 PM. Steeper sunny slopes were getting soft (easy to make a snowball). Light wind blew from the SE but only near the tallest ridges. It was calm elsewhere.
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There were sun-induced wet loose avalanches in very steep, rocky terrain of the Sawtooths. It appeared to me (from the road) that they were quite shallow and not really running full track. I'd guess that there is plenty left to peel off with another sunny day tomorrow.
8,000’, South (170 deg.), HS 150 cm:
I dug in a similar spot to last week. I couldn't find the layer that produced the avalanche in last week's ob on the north side of Copper. RP shears in the new (20 cm of storm snow) were of no concern. The storm snow was already stiffer (4F to 4F+) on south faces than on north faces (F-) due to the sun. There was a 1 cm crust under the storm snow on steeper S-facing slopes. CT2 and CT8 RP in storm snow. ECTNs
The storm snow on north-facing slopes was quickly faceting. I triggered a couple of very small facet sluffs in steeper N-facing terrain. Surface hoar was also present on shadier slopes.
There were no avalanche problems in the terrain I traveled. Wind slabs were 6-12" thick but tapered quickly off of the ridgeline. I stomped through several of them with no results. Some larger chunks of cornice were still relatively easy to break with a couple of good kicks.
I traveled through steep terrain with low consequence runouts.Close