Zone: Southeast Mountains
Date of Observation: 12/09/2020
Name: Evan Ross
Snowpack: After a long dry spell for the end of November and the start of December, we could boil a snowpack summary down to something fairly simple. If the terrain was white with snow on December 9th, then those slopes will have a weak foundation for the next round of snow and building snowpack to come. Not all the current snow coverage will be the next persistent weak layer, but the vast majority will be. So keep it simple, where we had snow coverage around ~12/9, is where we can expect the next persistent Slab Avalanche Problem to begin building. Of course, we need it to start snowing again. Please start snowing again.
There is less terrain not on the potential problematic list, so let’s look at those slopes. Below Treeline SE, S, and SW have bare ground. Near Treeline, those same slopes have a variable patchwork of snow. Above Treeline southerly facing slopes have the best coverage in the Northwest Mountains, and more patchy snow coverage in the Southeast Mountains. On northerly facing slopes below 8,500ft the snowpack is either very thin or patchy. Just about everything else had continuous snow coverage, or at least much better coverage than what was listed earlier.
The pictures below document some of the slopes that had bare ground or patchy snow coverage on or around 12/9.