Avalanche Advisory

Issued: Saturday, February 10, 2018 7:00 AM Forecaster: Chris Edwards

Primary Problem

Secondary Problem


BOTTOM LINE:

Triggering avalanches in the Wallowa and Elkhorn mountains over this weekend is unlikely, but if you did the slab would probably be anywhere between 3.5 to 5.5 feet deep, very large and destructive. A skier triggered avalanche earlier this week proved this on a steep but short moraine feature in McCully Basin. This problem has been found predominantly on north, northeast, and east aspects above 6500 feet. Shallower snowpacks in the northern and western Wallowas observers have found the persistent deep slab problem to be more reactive in stability test compared to the deeper snowpacks of the southern Wallowas and Elkhorns. Be aware of areas with cliff bands, slide paths with trigger points like trees, exposed rocks, and abrupt transitions at the bottom where slides could injure you or bury you deeply.

SPECIAL ANNOUNCEMENT:

Calling all Snowmobile Ladies! The Otherside Ladies Ride sponsored by Outlaw Motorsports and the Wallowa Avalanche Center is taking place the weekend of February 9-11 in Joseph, OR and at Salt Creek Summit snow park, for more info go to: https://www.facebook.com/events/510758772622706/. This is a great fundraising opportunity for the Wallowa Avalanche Center and we greatly appreciate the support of Outlaw Motorsports and our local snowmobile community.

Recent Activity

No recent avalanche activity has been observed or reported since our advisory on Thursday. The skier triggered avalanche by a self guided group in the northern Wallowas can be found here on our observation page, https://www.wallowaavalanchecenter.org/observation/2343.

Current Conditions

At 5 am the current conditions for the northeast mountains of Oregon, it is 11 degrees F on Mt. Howard with light winds 2-6 mph coming out of the northwest, 16 degrees at the Aneroid Snotel with no new snow, and 18 degrees at Salt Creek Summit for the northern Wallowas. For the Elkhorn's it is 10 degrees F at Anthony Lakes, winds are out of the northwest 1-2 mph, and no new snow. Schneider Meadows in the Southern Wallowas is 23 degrees with no new snow, and High Ridge in the Blues is at 22 degrees. Below freezing temperatures, light winds out of the northwest, and a couple inches of snow are in the forecast over the next few days.


Avalanche Problem #1

ASSESSMENT
The persistent deep slab problem is our primary concern currently, through there is low probability there is high consequences. The best way to manage this problem is terrian selection, watch out for shallow areas of the snowpack and trigger points such as trees and rocks, like finding a needle in a haystack if you found the button it's going to go big and be deep. Avalanche professionals and guides are minimizing exposer in shallow avalanche areas and staying away from steeper rocky alpine terrain, it is very difficult to accurately assess stability on a individual slope with this avalanche problem. There are plenty of great terrain choices out there to enjoy winter recreation especially if we get a couple inches of new snow on Sunday.
TREND

Same over next hours
LIKELIHOOD

SIZE

Avalanche Problem #2

ASSESSMENT
Practice good habits everyday! Ski or ride one at a time when traveling on avalanche terrain and regroup in safe areas, stay away from terrain traps like steep gullies, creek beds, and abrupt transitions. There is a crust on most aspects and elevations from the big warm up on Thursday which can make skiing, riding, and snowmobiling challenging on certain terrain so take your time, enjoy, and play safe.



Mountain Weather


        
                
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DISCLAIMER: This advisory does not apply to developed ski areas and avalanche terrain affecting highways.