The debris field from an early season slide in Colorado. CAIC photo.
There has been substantial snowfall throughout the western US over the past week, contributing to what has been a strong 2018/2019 early season. While few resorts are open, many skiers have been enjoying high-elevation backcountry lines in the Rockies. In the interest of encouraging safe enjoyment of said lines, we’ve put together a roundup of avalanche conditions in the Northern and Central Rockies:
There are no current avalanche advisories in Montana, but slides have been observed in the Bridgers and at Big Sky.
This naturally-triggered avalanche occurred at Big Sky on Friday, Nov. 2. Luckily, no one was in the area. Big Sky Resort photo.
Jackson Hole is the only area in the country with active avalanche advisories. The Teton, Togwotee Pass, and Grey’s River areas all have low-risk advisories based on wind-slabbing on northern and eastern aspects.
Bridger Teton Avalanche Center graphic.
The only avy-related injuries this season have been in Colorado’s high alpine. A skier was caught and partially buried by a slide on Friday, Nov. 2 near Hoosier Pass. Luckily, he was uninjured and was able to self-rescue.
The slide which left a skier partially buried near Hoosier Pass. CAIC photo.
There were two incidents in October, including one in which a hiker was swept off a cliff by an avalanche on South Arapaho Peak, near Boulder. While the October events were likely due to residual snow from last season, they indicate a potentially unstable snowpack rendered even more hazardous by recent snowfall.
For more information:
UPDATE: One skier who was recovered from the slide debris died Thursday evening in a Taos hospital. The other remains in critical condition in an Albuquerque hospital. Our thoughts are with the family and friends of the victims. An avalanche buried several skiers at New Mexico’s Taos Ski Resort Thursday morning. According to the Taos News, the slide occurred in the K3 chute off the resort’s famed Kachina Peak. Two male skiers were extracted from the debris, revived using
Thanks to an atmospheric river sitting on top of California, the Sierra received a considerable amount of new snow. Turns out lots of snow isn’t always good news, that is if you own a private jet. According to the Sacramento Bee, fresh snow piled on the back of a Cessna Citation X jet at the Truckee Tahoe Airport on Wednesday, ultimately tipping it on its tail. Well, there’s a reason why its called “Sierra Cement”. At least conditions look much better in the mountains, with resorts
Two British hikers were rescued in extremely steep terrain in Yosemite early Wednesday morning, just as heavy snowfall was materializing. According to rescue reports, the two hiked up the Yosemite Falls trail, planned to descend the Snow Creek Trail, but got lost around snowline and accidentally started descending a steep dead-end gully as darkness fell. RELATED: 1 Dead, 1 Critically Injured in Taos Inbounds Avalanche Luckily, they were able to place a 911 call, and Yosemite Search and