IMPORTANT: The following information is provided in good faith. Both the observation and forecasting methods used to provide this summary are not consistent with international standard. They are based in the collective experience of those providing input on the conditions, the hazards and the respective rating if provided. Due to both the spatial and often subjective nature of the observation input available, forecasting is at best an estimate. Understanding, knowledge and practise in self assessment of alpine hazards is crucial to safe backcountry travel in all alpine areas covered here.
Ongoing persistent weak layer in the snowpack prevails across the range above 1800m with a moderate hazard rating associated. Whilst deep and increasingly unlikely to trigger the consequence is staggering by local standards. Take care and don’t hunt for that trigger spot by using conservative terrain choices. Weather conditions are deriorating ahead of a cold front. Not nearly as wild as we saw this time last week though still serious. Blizzard conditions increasing.
• Very Large human triggered avalanches occurring.
• Small / Medium natural avalanches observed.
• Moderate Wind Slab Avalanche hazard exists.
There is a persistent weak layer at the interface between a hard crust from the ‘june’ snow (bed surface of recent slides) with 60cm - 120cm (wind loaded on aspects lee to the west / north west) of medium density ‘August’ snow sitting above. Atop this is transported medium density snow on aspects lee to north west through to south west. Yielding a total of 2m of cohesive, in places poorly bonded and slowly mending layered snowpack. Continued loading of weaknesses will occur through transportation and new precipitation.
Variable warmer and windy conditions will prevail ahead of a colder spell arriving Sunday.
IMPROVING / ONGOING / DETERIORATING
Monday 12th August: Leatherbarrel Creek. Remote triggered from about 30m away on the ridge riding past this bowl - noticed a shooting crack which instantly appeared when I stopped red (riding) yellow (crack) lines - crack ran the whole ridge approx 300m - figure it’s from nw loading wind slab being buried under wind scour/sastrugi which hid the obvious signs and added weight to that layer. Very touchy. Bowl below ramshead (honey bowl skiers left of the spur) 1900m approx se facing - crown 60cm approx 50m wide - ran 200m - also triggered a secondary slide through rocky terrain approx 50m down