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10-24-2007, 11:27 AM #26
There are lots of assumptions, depends, etc. The challenge is that every year is different in term of snow pack, and every location is different in terms of snow pack.
Things are getting pretty warm today, melting down the pack and if we are lucky alleviating the hoar development and creating the possibility of a lower consolidated pack in spots. Its 48 deg at Loveland right now. Corn skiing?
10-24-2007, 08:34 PM #27
do any of you guys contribute to avalanchemapping.org?The killer awoke before dawn.
He put his boots on.
10-29-2007, 07:14 AM #28
Any observations from the weekend? Can't imagine there is much of a base in the bc. If so, how did the warm temps affect the base layer? Isothermal?
The forecast discussions this morning were conspicuously short. Something in the way of an open wave for Tues/Wed. and another, deeper and colder wave for Friday-ish. None of the forecasters were too hot on the first, though the second wave should be colder with a brisker NW-flow. Orographic accumulations in the mountains should be likely. But I think the brevity of today's forecasts indicate that they (or the models) don't have a great handle what is going on later this week/weekend. Some of the longer term models were hinting at a deeper trough developing over the northern rockies, which would favor the NoCo mountains. Other models have been consistently hitting the west with a L undercutting the ridge off the bc coast. Hopefully the 6-10 and 8-14 day forecasts this afternoon will have a better handle.
10-29-2007, 11:35 AM #29
10-29-2007, 12:29 PM #30
went up around Hagar peak yesterday. Snow was in full on corn cycle(6-8 inches deep) by noonish when we finally skied. Some of the upper slopes around 12K were very hard snow that required crampons a few days ago, but had softened up enough to kick steps in by late morning while we were still climbing. Saw evidence of some VERY small point releases near rock bands(small as in ran only a few feet and were only a few feet wide but left a small amount of debris) and in tight chokes on south facing slopes. By the time we skied down, I noticed the first of a few rollerballs that we encountered all day that were no bigger than a baseball or softball. All in all we only hit a few rocks all day until the long runout, and it seemed more like late spring to me in the area we were in.
Now, PRAY FOR SNOW!
Last edited by couloirman; 10-29-2007 at 12:32 PM."Yes, what we do is dangerous, but I'm lucky - I know how to do it. It's changed the way we look at mountains. For me it would be crazy to live in a big city and work on Wall Street. That's insane. I would never do that. I'm living the dream. It's the greatest job ever."
10-31-2007, 09:33 AM #31
Jones Pass 10/30
0-18" base on avg, deeper drifts on the divide.
As Couloirm mentions above there is some tendency towards corn cycle on sunny S/SE aspects - this day it was all frozen and not going corn. Enough melt-freeze that even 5-6" is enough to mostly keep you off the rocks on those aspects.
North aspects it is full thin winter snowpack with 3 or 4 layers of different snow. Depth hoar definitely present especially where rocky or bushy. Not especially well developed, but will becoming more so as time goes by and temps get colder into November. Even more pronounced since the 27th at Berthoud.
As is typical early season in CO the base is rotting out anywhere its not deep - basically everywhere except deep drifts. If the depth is 15" or 38.5cm then any temp colder than -3.8C (25.16) is causing a temperature gradient and depth hoar development. Good news is that hasn't been happening much yet as temps havent been particularly cold yet http://www.wcc.nrcs.usda.gov/nwcc/sn...ays=7&state=CO
More snow please as that will both help make skiing better but also insulate and retard hoar development.
PS - anyone know how/why there is a pickup parked at the top of Jones Pass??
11-02-2007, 08:05 AM #32
A quick look at the forecast this morning yields nothing in the way of measurable precipitation until possibly next weekend. Even then, I am a little dubious. There is a big jet streaking across the Pacific by the end of next week, but the ridge in place may continue to deflect it north. Forecast offices to the west agree with this lack of consensus amongst the models, but have been trending towards a pattern change (somewhat noticed in the recent 6-10 forecasts). Regardless, this season certainly isn't starting like the last two and hopefully that means bigger snows for the core winter months, which have been lacking the last two seasons.
The other thing to note is that temps will be well above normal for the next week or so, so hoar development should be limited.
The longer range forecasts now have below normal chances of precipitation through the 18th of Nov. This is a typical La Nina pattern, with a W/NW flow, but the block ridge is shunting the jet too far north for any precip. The only thing to note is that there is low model agreement for this period, so CPC isn't set on what is going to happen. oh well, it will eventually snow.
Last edited by Rontele; 11-02-2007 at 02:12 PM.
11-02-2007, 02:29 PM #33
I just came across this and it doesn't make me too optimistic.
11-02-2007, 03:03 PM #34Registered User
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Even with the 3-1/2 ft of snow on the ground in the Springs... the depth hoar has gone completely out of hand today for backcountry adventure in the Garden of the Gods. It's sure to be sketch there for the rest of the season.
It's worse than Siberiantarctica there today.
In other central news. S Sawatch down through Wolf Creek has hardly any snow to speak of yet. So little in fact I have not even bothered to go look.
11-03-2007, 09:09 AM #35
I doubt this dry and mild pattern will change prior to the middle of the month. If then...
Maybe its time to bust out the cycling gear again? :-/
11-04-2007, 07:28 PM #36
Berthoud Pass - snowpack has been reduced by sun, temps, and time.
Amazing how the East and southerly facing stuff has firmed up so that even a few inches keep you off the shoals. I think the crust that has developed is retarding depth hoar develpment on those aspects where it is. If only it would get warm enough there would be some good corn skiing.
On shadier aspects it appeared to be developing some hoar and is starting to show some inverted nature with a collapsable nature starting to rear its head.
Overall pretty good skiing if willing to stay to crusty slopes or shadier faces with decent depth where one is not hitting rocks and stumps.
11-07-2007, 01:50 PM #37
11/6 - found good corn skiing on E/SE aspect with a very firm base of 2' off of the continental divide. Anywhere that has seen significant sun is very frozen and crusty. 5" of base might as well be 4' for how it skis, I hit maybe one rock in 2 runs.
On shady aspects the snowpack is starting to form hoar, especially where surrounded by rocks or shrubs.
11-08-2007, 07:31 AM #38
Well, the models are seriously all over the place and what looked to be a consolidated trough passage for Sunday is now looking less likely. The northern stream shortwave originating out of the Gulf of AK is not going to phase with the southern stream closed low over CA. So the Northern stream ostensibly outruns the southern stream and any trough will weaken as it comes ashore...
What does this mean for sensible weather? It looks like there could be some snow in the mountains this weekend. The chances get bumped up in the Sunday night into Monday timeframe...
After that, the EC and GFS show--shocker--the SW Ridge rebuilding over CO. Doesn't look like another good shot of snow until around Thanksgiving. Ugh.
11-08-2007, 08:13 AM #39
why did ullr have to use up all his snow last year in the city
11-12-2007, 08:50 AM #40
Monday morning weather update for those that are interested:
Not surprising, the storm that the forecasters had in store for today, split and pretty much poo pooed. So expect light accums (less than 4 inches). Ridging again for tomorrow into Wednesday as a strong L pressure system moves across the northern Rockies. Initially the models had forecasted a cold front to sag into CO by Tues night, Wednesday, but they have been trending north with this and if it does actually change our sensible weather, I will believe it when I see it.
later on the week, most of the models are in fairly good agreement bringing in a more zonal flow over this flat ridge. Light snows--at time--from the Thursday into the weekend. Nothing big, however.
11-12-2007, 09:38 AM #41
My hut trip to Janets on thanksgiving is not going to involve much skiing.
11-12-2007, 11:00 AM #42
11-12-2007, 01:59 PM #43
11-12-2007, 04:54 PM #44
I'm usually more of a glass half empty kind of guy, but...
One good storm and all those numbers are back to 100% at this time of year.
No snow on the ground = zero depth hoar on the ground.
11-12-2007, 05:06 PM #45
speaking of hoar
Ive seen a good bit of surface hoar on North facing aspects right along the east side trees in more open areas where the snow has a clear line of sight to radiate at night.
from what ive seen its in pretty localized pockets, where there is SOME protection, ie in the open areas and in trees there is none.
maybe not really worth mentioning, but its sticking around and Ive seen it for the past 2 weeks.
ive also learned a new fun word with respect to the snow's surface
11-14-2007, 03:39 PM #46
I thought I would add a quick weather update.
Nothing in store for the remainder of this week into the weekend. The zonal flow advertise to bring some weak shortwaves into the mountains by the weekend is trending away from that. Looks like the ridging will continue to push the storm track to the north.
however, we are in store for a pattern change into next week as the GFS and EC are both advertising a cold and big trough carving out over the western states. they are not in great agreement, so there isn't a consensus regarding the details, but I would expect cold and snowier weather into the holidat week.
conveniently, when I will be back in Michigan for the holiday
11-14-2007, 06:30 PM #47
I'm doing my best to help bring in storms next week as I'm driving to MT for Thxgiving. That should guarantee a blizzard.
11-14-2007, 08:38 PM #48
my mom will be here with her walker and wheelchair for Thanksgiving, which will make snow a royal pain in the ass for her and me since I'll have to carry her up and down the stairs to the house so she doesn't fall and break her hip
Doesn't look like Vail Pass will be "opening" for the season on the day after Thanksgiving unless things change quick.sorry
I'm blind in my right ear, I can't smell a thing you're doing.
11-17-2007, 09:07 AM #49
I was able to get the Vail Pass Winter Recreation Area map and info posted on the FS website last week. Check it out, yo.
Silly snomo pic and FEMA info are not mine - webmaster put them in w/o my knowledge. I'm going to get some better photos and info up soon.
And with the snow predicted for the coming week, I'm hoping we'll be able to get up and running on schedule...sorry
I'm blind in my right ear, I can't smell a thing you're doing.
11-18-2007, 03:28 PM #50
looks like to me that this "storm" this Tuesday and Wednesday might fizzle. From what I see now, maybe just a few inches (less than 6). I hope I am wrong but at least it looks colder, skied the Basin on Sat and Flatstone on Sunday and I got so depressed I almost cried. We need a big storm bad, at least a couple of weeks of cold and small snows would help. It was sunny and 59 when I got home and tomorrow looks sunny and even warmer, maybe low to mid 60s
This sucks! Think Snow. Hut trip on the 14th.
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