TODAY ... RAIN. SNOW LEVEL 1200 FEET. HIGHS AROUND 41. SOUTHEAST
WIND 10 TO 20 MPH.
TONIGHT ... RAIN. SNOW LEVEL 1400 FEET. LOWS AROUND 35. SOUTHEAST WIND 10 MPH.
WEDNESDAY ... RAIN. HIGHS AROUND 41. SOUTHEAST WIND 5 TO 15 MPH.
We didn't receive quite as much moisture last night as had been predicted, only about 11mm of water at the Tram. This has come as mostly snow in the start zones, 8cm at Tram level and more higher up. It is still cold enough for snow at Eaglecrest and up on Mt Juneau, though we are already changing to rain at the Tram level.
Winds have been mostly 20kts and above, pasting cross loaded snow into the start zones. The East-SouthEast direction loads Thane Rd and Gold Creek slide paths quite well.
We are still expecting another 3/4 inch of water by midnight tonight (could be 8in/20cm of snow in the start zones). As the snow level rises through the day expect to see multiple wet slides. Despite the expected frequency of avalanches there is still not enough accumulation across a wide enough start surface that I anticipate slides reaching developed areas other than in the Thane/Gold Creek areas.
Despite that, it is a good day to use caution when driving Thane Rd particularly around mid day when we will see our warmest temps.
Main avalanche problems today are the potential for rain on snow, and wind loading of storm slabs. The persistent facet layer is not consistent enough to cause widespread slides in the Urban paths though it remains a hazard in the Douglas Alps.
Avalanche hazard is CONSIDERABLE today: Natural avalanches possible; human-triggered avalanches likely. Small avalanches in many areas; or large avalanches in specific areas; or very large avalanches in isolated areas. Be increasingly cautious in or under steeper terrain and in avalanche zones. Monitor avalanche forecasts.
For backcountry travelers dangerous avalanche conditions exist. Careful snowpack evaluation, cautious route-finding and conservative decision-making are essential.
Today's Avalanche Tip
Eaglecrest is running an outreach education program for kids age 12 - 16.
March 21st is the last class of the season. It takes place entirely on snow and is for East and West Bowl riders/skiers that are starting to explore Eaglecrest and it's environs off piste.
The program focuses on working with peers and starting to learn the tools for good decision making in the mountains. Safety gear is provided for those who don't have it and kids who take the class this year will be eligible for a raffle of two separate sets of Beacon, Probe, Shovel, and Pack.
Similar programs in Washington and Utah run $150 a day, but a partnership between the Eagelcrest Ski Patrol, Juneau Mountain Rescue, JSP, and many of our local outdoor retailers means Eagelcrest can enroll kids for just $25. For a 4.5hr course it is a great opportunity.