Bridger Teton Backcountry Avalanche Forecast Center Bridger Teton Avalanche Center

Issued on Tue March 03, 2015 7:10 PM    


Light snow began to fall after sunset yesterday and ended during the day. Most mountain locations picked up 4 to 8 inches of new snow with up to a half inch of moisture. Snowfall rates were rather light until the early morning hours when rates as high as several inches per hour were observed. Skies cleared during the afternoon hours and temperatures in the mountains dropped from the teens to around zero. Winds were from the southwest and veered to the northwest at speeds of 10 to 20 with gusts to 37 miles per hour in the Teton Range. Winds on Lava Mountain along the Continental Divide near Togwotee Pass were easterly before they backed to the west at speeds of 5 to 15 with gusts to 28 miles per hour.

The new snow fell upon surface hoar that grew during the previous two nights and light density snow that fell on hard crusts and settled powder several days ago. At the upper elevations the rapid loading on these layers that occurred during the early morning created unstable conditions on very steep slopes. In the Teton Range soft surface slabs up to eight inches in depth released naturally, on approach by skiers or were easily triggered by ski cuts in the backcountry. The activity observed and reported involved small slides (destructive size 1). In the Southern Teton Range strong northwest winds drifted available snow along the higher ridge lines late in the day.

FORECAST FOR Wednesday, March 04, 2015

Cold air is settling into the region in a dry northwest flow. Temperatures will be below zero in the morning and will rise into the teens during the day under mostly sunny skies. Winds at 10,500 feet will be northwest at 12 to 18 miles per hour.

At the upper elevations small pockets of wind slab 4 to 16 inches in depth could be human triggered in very steep terrain. These pockets could knock a person over and carry them over a cliff, or down a very steep slope. This hazard can be easily managed by smart terrain choices. In the Togwotee Pass/Continental Divide area at the upper elevations persistent weak layers present the possibility for larger triggers such as snowmachines to trigger deep hard slab avalanches in isolated areas. Management of this hazard also involves terrain choices. The general avalanche hazard is expected to be MODERATE at the upper elevations (9,000 to 10,500 feet) and LOW below that elevation.

TREND FOR Thursday, March 05, 2015 AND Friday, March 06, 2015

A slow warming trend will continue into the weekend as a high pressure ridge moves over the area. The general avalanche hazard will slowly decrease.
For further information call 307-733-2664 To report an avalanche observation call 307-739-2607
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