RMNP Field Report: November 11, 2017

During October the Front range zone got snow from a series of small storms. However, as last week’s Election Day storm began moving across the Front Range most of the snow from October had already melted out. The new snow that fell (16 to 24 inches) fell on mostly bare ground. With shorter days and cooler temperatures this new snow may be the first layer that will stick around and become the base that we’ll be skiing on later in the season.

Touring in Rocky Mountain National Park on Saturday we found a nearly continuous blanket of snow deep enough to cover most of the trails. Westerly winds had started to move snow in the above treeline zone and we could see wind slabs being deposited on easterly lee slopes. Observers on Sunday reported seeing some natural slides.

With no big storms in the forecast for the next several days the Election Day snow is going to start building future avalanche problems as it gets affected by sun, wind and cold & clear nights.