Brian Lazar shared some excellent points in this AM's Avalanche Discussion for the North San Juan Mountains.
From the Discussion:
We dropped the avalanche danger to Moderate (Level 2) today, but this by no means implies the backcountry is safe. Natural avalanche activity is pretty much over, but on specific slopes it will be easy to trigger an avalanche. The most worrisome slopes face the north side of the compass, are steeper than around 35 degrees, and have a soft slab on top of terribly fragile depth hoar and facets on the ground. Although we have not seen any avalanches larger than a D2, recent tragic events clearly demonstrate that this kind of avalanche can be lethal.
This is what we've been calling Spooky Moderate avalanche danger
Lazar's reflection on Spooky Moderate Conditions are spot on.
Your Hazard and Risk Awareness and your Terrain Recognition and Management need to be on point right now. You can be out in the mountains but Wide Margins are critical to keeping you safe!
Unfortunately, conditions are such that if you drop your guard, you may find yourself in the scary business quickly.
Spooky moderate conditions merit total focus- a lapse in your concentration and the defecation will hit the oscillation quickly.
Lazar's Discussion Continues:
As a couple of our local forecasters said this morning, "I still won’t go near northerly terrain, any elevation band, if it’s steeper than 32-35 degrees." This is the best advice for reducing your risk today.
Other slopes are not as worrisome, but you still need to keep your avalanche wits about you. Cracking and collapsing are obvious signs of a problematic snowpack structure. If you see these signs, give slopes greater than 30 degrees a wide berth. You can safely recreate on lower angle slopes without steeper slopes above.
Be safe out there everyone.
l hope to see you tonight at the Durango Powerhouse at 6pm for FOSJ's KBYG training.