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Issued at 22/09/2014 2:55pm. Valid till 23/09/2014 6pm

Aoraki/Mt Cook

Mountain
Current avalanche advisory
High Alpine

Above 2000 meters

Alpine

1000 to 2000 meters

Sub Alpine

Below 1000 meters

Avalanche Danger Scale
Avalanche Danger Scale
Report TutorialPrint Reporthear report

Primary Avalanche Danger

Dangerous Aspects
high
Danger Rose
2
Highest Danger Rating
Likelihood
indicator
gauge
Certain
Likely
Unlikely
Size
indicator
gauge
Largest
Small
Trend
indicator
gauge
Increasing
No change
Decreasing
Time of day
clock
Time of day
All day
Alpine level
High Alpine: Above 2000m
Alpine: 1000 to 2000m
Low Alpine: Below 1000m
Description:
With last weeks storms bringing loading from the North through to NW and the current winds enough to shift snow lee to the SW and South there could be windslab on nearly any aspect. It's not an easy pick which are the most relevant slopes to concentrate on. The older windslab will potentially be deeper (40-100cm down), while the more recent wind distributed snow has had less time to settle. Watch out for a drumming sound/feel and take the time to dig and investigate. On shady and sheltered areas above 1800m this new snow may well lie over a weaker faceted (sugary loose crystal) layer that developed over the preceding long fine period (now up to 70-100cm down), but it hasn't been readily apparent so far when looked for, so possibly the warm start to last weeks' storms has broken this down except at the very highest elevations. Additionally the several "waves" of storm fronts will have varying bonds between them. This could make it quite reactive and these bonds need to be carefully investigated before venturing onto unknown slopes.

Secondary Avalanche Danger

Dangerous Aspects
high
Danger Rose
2
Highest Danger Rating
Likelihood
indicator
gauge
Certain
Likely
Unlikely
Size
indicator
gauge
Largest
Small
Trend
indicator
gauge
Increasing
No change
Decreasing
Time of day
clock
Time of day
10am - 4pm
Alpine level
High Alpine: Above 2000m
Alpine: 1000 to 2000m
Low Alpine: Below 1000m
Description:
As the sun comes out there will be an increase in the probability of loose wet avalanching. This danger will be most prevelant out of steep ground affected by solar radiation and in the heat of the day. As there has been a fair amount of recent snow near the divide, even a small sluff of this type has the potential to gather snow and run for a long distance so pay attention to where and when you stop and avoid runout zones, even low in the valley.

Tertiary Avalanche Danger

Dangerous Aspects
high
Danger Rose
2
Highest Danger Rating
Likelihood
indicator
gauge
Certain
Likely
Unlikely
Size
indicator
gauge
Largest
Small
Trend
indicator
gauge
Increasing
No change
Decreasing
Time of day
clock
Time of day
10am - 4pm
Alpine level
High Alpine: Above 2000m
Alpine: 1000 to 2000m
Low Alpine: Below 1000m
Description:
As the precipitation ceases and the sun comes out, there will be a cycle of loose wet avalanches. Mostly these will iniate from steeper terrain, under rock bands etc as the heat of the day and sun affects the upper layer of the snowpack. Time your approaches through these areas and watch for "tells" such as rolling snow clumps and small sluffs underfoot

Recent Avalanche Activity

Recent Avalanche Activity
There were several new avalanches observed yesterday that would have run in the storm cycle of the early weekend, including a couple of decent sized (50cm-1m) crown walls on steep southerly aspects in the Leibig and Gammock ranges.
I'd pick there would have been more around but not reported. Nothing seen or reported in the last 24hrs.

Current Snowpack Conditions

Current Snowpack Conditions
The old snowpack is mostly well settled and stable.
A series of fronts since last week has given loadings of between 15 to 50cm at a time to areas near to the main divide. The later storms had a west to NW wind accompanying them and helping to transport the snow lee to those directions.
Sunday's wind shift to the south is enough to transport snow to northern slopes too. So quite a complex pattern of loading.

Mountain Weather

Mountain Weather
The sun is back out to say hello but the winds are likely to remain strong from the South or Sou'west for another couple of days.


MetService
For more information go to: http://www.metservice.com/mountain/index

Sliding Danger

Slide For Life
Crevasse conditions up on the glaciers are much more dangerous than normal thanks to the long fine spell. Sagging lids and bridges are now disguised by fresh snow so take a conservative approach.
At lower elevations the firm old snow layer can provide a great sliding layer in the early mornings. All fine if you feel like a long uncontrolled slide into rocks.

Forecast by Dave McKinley

Mountain Safety Council
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