Ballooning


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Updated: Thursday, Jan 4, 2018 5:03 PM
  ·  
Posted: Thursday, Jan 4, 2018 4:38 PM
Avalanche Red Flags
Rapid temperature rise  
Observer(s):
Brian Sather*
Report Type:
Snow Conditions
Category:
Snowbike
I'm finding a pretty consistent 70 cm of snow around the Andies Prairie area, and the coverage is good even under the trees. You can get most places except for where the biggest trees are down. Today was softening up the ice crust with the warmth and breeziness. Some rain came down but not much when I was there, so the snowpack seems to be holding. Hopefully something new comes in the form of snow because the base is there and ready, we just need more depth.

The roads around tollgate are mostly bare pavement, except for the patch of ice that one car found in the parking lot and ended up with a dent in the front fender adding to my total of accidents witnessed in the recent days.

The Tollgate sheriff says it is freshly groomed out to Bone Springs but other trails don't quite have enough snow yet and the sticky snow is difficult. Right now the trails are very bumpy around Andies Prairie and most of the open slopes are torn up. I could still see my snowbike tracks from Saturday, perfectly preserved, almost like they were fresh.

I'll have a video up soon that shows the conditions better as I tooled around the Balloon Tree locations.


Backcountry observations provided or vetted by trained avalanche professionals.
The Snow
New Snow
0 cm
Total Snow
70 cm
Slope/Aspect
5° / NE
Elevation
5400'

Snow Depths
Location #1: Eagle Creek Breaks — 70 cm (map)
The Weather
Temperature
2°C
Sky
Overcast (> 7/8)
Precipitation
Mixed Rain & Snow - S-1 Very light snow
Wind
South at 1-16 mph
Hi.
Car damage from the ice bank.
At Balloon Tree looking toward the Wallowas.
Some east slopes
Another east slope.
Not much loading on the north aspects.
Eagle Ridge, where all the fun mountain bike descending (and climbing) happens.