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No Snow, Big Problem

In the avalanche world we know that more snow equals more avalanches.  It’s a no brainer.  But during times like these of high pressure, the snowpack starts to get funky.  Instead of getting stronger it gets weaker.  The snow at the surface gets hit with lots of sun and warmth yet gets super cold at night, especially if there’s clear skies.  These temperature fluctuations do damage.  They create angular, small, unbonded grains.  Bad news when we get more snow since they are not strong.

So days and days without snow is good at creating weak layers while making us all a bit crabby about not skiing powder.

Crystals like this can grow like weeds during cold clear nights. They become weak layers once buried with a snowstorm or two. Photo: A. Marienthal

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