Current Avalanche Advisory
Spring is Here!Wednesday, March 18, 2015 - 6:27 AM
by Julian Pridmore-Brown
Next week marks the official beginning of Spring, and it's hard to imagine things getting more spring-like considering the weather this winter. It's been an amazing winter in terms of lack of snow, making winter sports a real challenge. We ran into a number of visitors lamenting the even worse conditions in the Cascades. Those that worked a little harder were still rewarded with some excellent riding conditions in higher elevations during much of the winter.
In light of the current snowpack and relatively stable snow conditions, we will continue forecasting through the end of the month. Our forecasting operations normally extend into mid April. Following our usual end of season wrap up forecast, we will count on you - our audience to update significant changes through observations.
This weekend we received rain at most elevations combined with temperatures in the mid sixties in the valleys. Riding in the Blue mountains is difficult at this point. At Salt Creek Summit, snowmobile riders have all but given up for the time being. In fact, we removed the Beacon Park last week for the season. The photo shows conditions at the snopark. A large berm still blocks the road, but bare pavement shows in all but the northern sun shaded aspects. Observers tell us that conditions in the Southern Wallowas are not much better.
For backcountry skiers, expect to carry skis from all entry points. At Salt Creek Summit, you will need to carry skis a little way up the trail to find snow. Aneroid basin never saw enough snow to ski from the trailhead all winter. McCully basin required some hiking for the last month.
Not to leave you on a down note, one group of happy folks in the mountains are backcountry pilots, as all the mountain strips in the Wallowas are in great condition!
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