Yesterday visibility was extremely poor for observing avalanche activity.
2/18 – A large rumble was heard near the Independence Mine indicating a large avalanche release on Skyscraper Mountain. Visibility was extremely poor all day.
2/17 – a couple reports indicated natural avalanche activity on Marmot Mountain’s South aspect and in the Martin Mine area. Again visibility was a limitation, but a large natural avalanche appeared to leave debris at the base of the Martin Mine area near the Independence Mine Bowl.
Storm totals we have been tracking at Independence Mine
2/16-17 – 5.5″
2/17-18 – 14″
2/18-19 – 5-6″
Total approximate accumulation 25.5″
NWS Rec Forecast HERE
NWS point forecast HERE
State Parks Snow Report and Motorized Access information HERE
TREND – The avalanche hazard will remain the same through today and will rise again tomorrow with a new storm system bringing more snow.
The road was plowed yesterday to Goldmint. It is not expected to be plowed today as new snow in town has reset the plow clock. Priority roads need to be cleared before plows can make it to Hatcher Pass. The plows would like to get a single pass up to the top of the road, but resources are limited today. Any new snow in town, will reset the plow clock again.
BOTTOM LINE – UPDATED 2/18 at 9:30am
The avalanche hazard will remain elevated today, with CONSIDERABLE avalanche hazard at mid to upper elevations and Moderate avalanche hazard at low elevation.
Today is a tricky day, with clearing weather, a lot of new snow, human triggered avalanches likely, and natural avalanches possible. This is just the right combination to lure people into steeper, more dangerous terrain, where triggering large avalanches is likely.
If you do head into the backcountry, choose the lower elevation band, slopes 25 º or less steep, and not in the runnout of steeper slopes from above. Avalanches may be remotely triggered from the flats below, or from adjacent or connected terrain, and may run long distances.
Limited visibility and access to Hatcher Pass, due to heavy snow on the road, is limiting our ability to assess the current conditions. As soon as we can access HP and have visibility we will be providing updates.
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