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Recent avalanche activity

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Thursday, Mar 9, 2017 2:37 PM
Pro Ob
Three Sisters Area (44.031103, -121.698990)
Ob Date/Time:
Thu, Mar 9, 2017 - 2:07 PM
Report Type:
Snow Conditions
Mode of Travel:
Ski or Snowboard

Written Report:
Yup, most folks probably passed on skiing today, because it was WET! Raining and misting throughout my tour. Dutchman sno-park had inches of water running through the parking. In the ski terrain there are rain runnels everywhere. Along the top of Todd Ridge the rain had penetrated the top 15 cm of the snowpack. I saw roller balls / pinwheels just starting to form in steeper terrain, but had them rolling off my skin track (see pic 1). I was easily able to trigger Loose Wet Avalanches and shallow Wet Slab Avalanches on test slopes. This morning most instabilities were in the first 30 cm. of snow. I can't imagine a time when Cornices Failure would be more dangerous after days of growing and now significant weakening. I tip toed up to one and it failed right at my ski tips (pic2). As rain continues to fall throughout the day these problems will worsen. I'll be keeping an eye on weather sensors in the ski terrain like the COAA one on Moon Mountain to see when the temperature drops below freezing, and the Loose Wet and Wet Slab problems might begin subsiding.

Weather ob. from Todd Ridge at 10:40, 6,750 ft. NE
Sky was obscured and it was raining
Temperature 2.5 C
Wind was blowing Moderately from the SW with gusts of Strong, but the snow was too wet to be moving
The top 15 cm. were Melt Forms. Height of Snow 320+ cm., Boot Pen. 65 cm., Ski Pen 15 cm.


Caption: Pin Wheels

Caption: Cornice Failure