As we roll into Spring, our thoughts are turning more and more to the summer climbing and backpacking season. BUT… The snow is still here, and seems to be sticking around for a while longer. At the very least, spring skiing is in full swing! That means corn snow and variable snow conditions but also means short-sleeved shirts on the uphill track and a light wind-breaker on the way down… It makes me feel warm and fuzzy inside! The warmer spring weather also means a stabilizing snow pack, but you should always dig a pit and find out for yourself.
Recent storms over the past 2 weeks have brought upwards of 4 feet in areas around Western Wymoing. The snow brought in by there storms has been able to consolidate quite nicely in southern and eastern aspects. North-facing aspects and the trees are still holding good, dry powder. At elevations of 8500 feet and lower a breakable crust has developed on most sun-facing aspects. Above 8500 feet, pack powder snow is prevalent in between thin crust layers between storms. A new storm system in the next few days is projected to deposit anywhere from 12-16 inches at higher elevations in the Wyoming Range and Tetons.
As always, be safe and use conservative judgement in the backcountry. You should always be carrying your shovel, probe and beacon and be able to use those items in case of an avalanche. Gadgets are no substitute for knowledge and experience and it is highly recommended that you take an avalanche safety course so that you are educated before stepping foot into the backcountry. If you have any questions specifically about snow conditions, give the Great Outdoor Shop a call at (307) 367-2440. We have all the gear you need to get safely into the backcountry!