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Avalanche danger high throughout Eastern Sierra

December 28, 2012

Two ski patrollers stand under an 8' crown on June Mountain. Photo/Neil Satterfield/Sierra Mountain Guides

 

Leeward side, ridgelines especially hazardous

The latest rounds of new storms were welcome for many people in the Eastern Sierra, but the Mono County Search and Rescue teams are on high alert for avalanches, a spokesman for the county’s Sheriff’s Department said.

“During the last series of storms to arrive in Mono County, a substantial amount of snow has fallen in the backcountry of Mono County,” the spokesperson said in a news release.

“At times, the series of storms produced snowfall rates in excess of one inch per hour for twenty-four hours. Also, the accompanying winds with the storms provided for wind loading on the lee side of the mountains and ridgelines.

“The early season snowfall has crystallized and formed an extremely smooth base for the new snow to rest upon. The recent heavy snowfall, high winds coupled with a smooth hard pack base has significantly increased the avalanche danger in the backcountry areas of Mono County.”

The Sheriff’s Department issued the following warning and advice:

Backcountry travel is not advised until the snowpack has settled and solidified.

For more information on snow conditions and avalanche warnings, visit www.sierraavalanchecenter.org or www.wrh.noaa.gov/rev/avalanche.

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