In case you missed it, or just want to clarify a story you heard, KBUT will be airing our latest Fireside Chat with Duane Vandenbuche TODAY, 12 noon, on the West Elk Word. Tune in, or head to the KBUT website for a listen!
Here are the numbers from the Valentines Day storm of 2019. While the snowfall numbers are not incredibly impressive, the liquid water equivalents of 1.5-2.3” that fell from the sky in a 12 hour period are. Accompanied by very strong winds on the storm exit, rather than the traditional storm onset and you now remember why your back and arms are so sore today.
Moving ahead, we are looking at another fast moving, but potent cold front this morning, which will drop additional snow to a snowpack already reeling from the last roundhouse kick. All elevations are suspect. Not all slopes will step down into older layers, but we should assume they will and plan our travel with “worst case” scenario in mind. The persistent weak layers most concerning is the early February small grained facets buried by last week’s storm, and a couple deeper layers from January consisting of pockets of preserved surface hoar and more widely distributed facets. These have potential to break widely and 2-5 feet deep.
Play it cool for a little while longer and we should be looking at a great, generally stable snowpack shaping up for the spring. The persistent weak layers we are managing will grow more unreactive with time. They do not have the same lifespan as nasty large grain depth hoar we usually deal with. Patience and restraint now will be the golden ticket for steeper adventures in the future.
Reported By: Ian Havlick