Backcountry Conditions 3/3 Update

A good day to enjoy a soak in one of Nagano’s amazing natural onsens.

Snow pack synopsis:

The snow at elevation and above the resorts on the Northern aspects was very light and dry with near surface faceting contributing to the instability of this low density surface snow that is over riding the Rain crust of last week. Compression tests on Northern aspects in the Tsugaike area found easy test results in the new snow due to these faceted grauple grains over the ice crust. the new starm snow will be adding extra load to this unstable low density layer and creating a very unstable and dangerous upper snow pack on the northern aspects.

Solar aspects were affected by yesterday’s warm temperature and intense solar radiation. The surface was slow to crust as the sun went down yesterday afternoon and the snow was much like spring corn snow and and was releasing small wet loose avalanches during yesterday’s warming. The new snow will not be bonding well to the layers below.

Expect natural and Human triggered slides on all aspects but be especially careful on the northern aspect and wind loaded pockets of past storm snow that will slide easily on the rain crust below. Areas of 25cm of the low density faceted snow were found at tree line and below tree line in the Tsugakei area yesterday.

As temperatures rise and snow turns to rain all aspects will rapidly loose stability and natural avalanches can be expected.

Travel advisory:

Backcountry and off piste riding today and over the next 2 days is NOT recommended.

Avalanche Danger is HIGH at all elevations.