Recent snow events have left lingering snow cover at the higher elevations. This snow has transormed to crusts or faceted crusts, and may not bond well with future snow layers. Slopes steeper than 35 degrees that are currently covered by uniform snow cover will be most concerning as new snow accumulates above them; these are most common above 11,000 feet on northerly aspects, especially in the Paradise Divide and Kebler Pass zones. If storms in the upcoming weeks produce significant snowfall, expect to find sensitive wind slabs and storm slabs developing on these older crust layers. High elevation, shaded slopes that receive windloading are where you are most likely to encounter instabilities with future storms. Instabilites are heightened during and shortly after storms or windloading events.
Keep track of the current snow coverage to help discern which slopes will be most threatening as future storms build new slabs. During or following a fall snow storm, monitor the new snow depth, how slabby it feels, how much windloading has occurred, and how reactive new snow layers are over older crust layers. Be wary of leeward and cross-loaded features which may have deeper and denser snow accumulations and are more likely to produce slab avalanches. Consider the terrain consequences of being caught in slide before crossing slopes steeper than 35 degrees. Remember that although the size of these slabs will be relatively small this time of year, the consequences can be worse because they may drag you into rocks.
We will continue to monitor the snowpack and weather and post updates on our Facebook page
and here as conditions warrant. You can also use our Facebook page as a forum to post or view snowpack or avalanche observations. We will begin issuing daily advisories by late November. The CAIC
will also sporadically post updates on the snowpack and weather conditions.