Archived Climbing Report - April 23, 2004
These reports were summaries based on reports from climbers and skiers, weather and avalanche reports, and prior experiences. Observations are sparse and conditions vary widely throughout the Cascades as well as with elevation and aspect on any particular mountain. The intent of these reports is to give a starting point for what to expect - but your safety and that of your partners relies on your own observations and decisions!
These reports are archives and are saved for reference only - they do not apply at this time!!!
Friday April 23, 2004
Expect great weekend weather, continuing into next week. Also expect a wide variety of snow conditions as the recent accumulation of a foot or more develops a crust overnight and in the am then turns to a layer of mush during the day.
There are unconfirmed reports of a very large slab avalanche on the east side of Mt Hood as well as reports of slides in the West Crater Rim and east of the Hogsback. Further south there have been large wet slides on NE aspects on Mt Washington, North Sister and Tumalo Mountain- none of which ran full length, or even onto lower angle terrain. Some may have occurred late Wednesday. The Mt Shasta climbing rangers reported a large human-triggered avalanche Wed. Skiing on Thursday varied from packed powder on shady slopes (N-NW and, until late in the day, W) to a foot or more of very wet heavy snow. On some small test slopes the wet snow was easily pushed downhill on top of the underlying surface. Crusts were developing late in the day.
On Friday there were light rain showers up to high levels. Reports of snow conditions up to 7500' were that they were wet once again. New wet slides occurred during the day in the bowl on Tumalo.
The weekend weather will be progressively warmer through Monday. Night skies should be clear. With the high freezing levels and direct spring sun some slopes may still be hazardous as the day progresses. Expect crusts in the morning, maybe supportable and maybe not. Travel on foot is likely to involve postholing and to be tiring. Skiers are more likely to find the crust supporting them early in day but should expect breakable crusts and heavy wet snow as well.
Consider your travel times and goals in terms of the travel conditions. If your progress is slow reconsider your plans if you are on a long route or a route with hazardous slopes which may be reached after mid morning. Also beware of falling ice in routes such as Leutholds. Any rime ice which formed on the ridgetops during the recent storms will be falling off rapidly as the freezing level rises. Finally, beware of cornices and the slopes below them. Some of the recent wet slides were initiated when sections of cornice collapsed.
With continued warming and clear nights the new snow should consolidate quickly. By early next week we will hopefully be back to melt-freeze cycling with corn skiing. A weak system is forecast to drop south out of BC Tuesday night or Wednesday but should only cool things off a bit with no precipitation.